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Sociocultural contexts and worker safety and health: findings of a study with Chinese immigrant restaurant workers.

Authors
  • Tsai, Jenny1
  • Bruck, Annie
  • 1 Department of Psychosocial and Community Health, University of Washington School of Nursing, Seattle, WA, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
AAOHN journal : official journal of the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2009
Volume
57
Issue
2
Pages
51–58
Identifiers
PMID: 19283933
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

More immigrants are seeking employment in restaurants. Drawing data from an ethnographic study, this article discusses what and how sociocultural contexts shape the safety and health of immigrant restaurant workers. Eighteen Chinese immigrants from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan participated in the study. Data generation methods included a questionnaire, individual and focus group interviews, and participant observations. Ethnographic analysis revealed that immigration mechanisms, demands of English proficiency for employment, and existence of networks and ethnic communities shaped the participants' employment choices. Working hours and schedules, interpersonal relationships at work, job design and training, occupational safety and health training, and national events and economy further influenced the participants' occupational experiences and well-being. Issues were noted with job security, mental health, family relationships, and risks for occupational injuries and illnesses. Implications for occupational health nursing research and practice to reduce immigrant workers' vulnerability to poor safety and health outcomes conclude this article.

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