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Care in the Context of Recent Immigration: The Limits of Family Solidarity Towards Family Members with Disabilities

Jean-Pierre Lavoie, Hélène Belleau, Nancy Guberman, Alex Battaglini, Shari Brotman, Maria Elisa Montejo, Karima Hallouche

A number of research projects have focused on ethno-cultural minority families and the solidarity they demonstrate towards incapacitated relatives. Such research has shown the great importance they attach to family solidarity, the significant amount of care they provide, and their low level of dependency on outside sources. However, most of this research has targeted either long-established immigrant groups, or mixed groups, thus debarring any grasp of the dynamics that influence recent immigrant families. The present study looks at 15 recently immigrated families who look after an incapacitated relative. An analysis of interviews with them indicates that there is no one single standard of family solidarity and that these families experience many constraints that restrict both their ability and their desire to take care of their incapacitated relatives.