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Abstract

This article examines how Asian immigrant women manage the demands of family,job training, and paid work in their new society. Using institutional ethnography, a feminist research strategy developed by Dorothy Smith, the study begins with the women's experiences to explore the extended social relations which give shape to them. The study argues that among those extended relations are the organization of the labor market in the contemporary period, immigration legislation, and the ideological practices embedded in developing, managing, and administering public policies such as job training. A critical eye is turned to social science discourses on family which penetrate the multiple sites forming the institutional complex organizing and regulating the activities of these women. Thus,for example, the article argues that notions such as the "standard North American family" (Smith, 1993) are implicated in the development of family policies designed to help families manage work and family responsibilities. However, such policies neglect the specific experiences of poor, minority, immigrant women since they rely on and reproduce a conception of family built on the experiences of primarily middle-class white women.

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