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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/32416

Title: Recent Immigrants as an "Alternate Civic Core". How VCN Provides Internet Services and Canadian Experiences
Authors: Dechief, Diane
Keywords: Vancouver Community Network
Social Capital
Social Inclusion
Civic Participation
Issue Date: 2005
Publisher: Canadian Research Alliance for Community Innovation and Networking
Citation: Dechief, Diane (2005). "Recent Immigrants as an 'Alternate Civic Core': How VCN Provides Internet Services and Canadian Experiences," CRACIN Working Paper No. 8, October, Toronto: Canadian Research Alliance for Community Innovation and Networking.
Series/Report no.: CRACIN Working Paper
Abstract: Vancouver Community Network (VCN) is a charitable internet service provider offering opportunities to contribute to VCN’s operations in a volunteer capacity. Nearly all of VCN’s volunteers are information and communication technology (ICT) professionals — or students with career goals in that field — and more than 60% have immigrated to Canada in the past five years. As newcomer-volunteers search for full-time employment commensurate with their skills, they volunteer as Technical Help Desk Support, Internet Instructors, Local Area Network Support, or Language Portal Developers. By doing so, newcomers interact with one another and with VCN’s members in ways that increase social capital and contribute to social inclusion. Assisting in the network’s mandate of providing opportunities for online participation creates openings for volunteers to meet face-to-face, share information, and work with network members from diverse cultural backgrounds and varied socio-economic circumstances. While it is the volunteers’ own efforts and initiative that bring them to VCN, their collective contributions are important to the success of VCN’s internet service provision and additional member services. Working toward these goals allows newcomers to experience civic participation and community-oriented learning, particularly in relation to ICT work skills. Based on qualitative and quantitative research, this is an examination of how human and social capital is built at VCN, and how it contributes to social inclusion and integration for immigrant volunteers.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/32416
Appears in Collections:CRACIN Working Papers Series

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