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03 Defining terms and concepts II- integration vs. assimilation, multiculturalism, tolerance, and political culture.docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Rima Berns- Mc Gown

Lecture 3 Defining terms and concepts II: integration vs. assimilation, multiculturalism, tolerance, and political culture Next Week: Multiculturalism Introduction  This country has the potential to be transformative and path breaking, however, it is very important to think carefully what this experiment is, how things are working, why they are working, etc. It is important to think about what is happening in this country, and is important because it is often discussed messily; when policies that come into place and threaten it, there will be a mess Basic Theoretical Ideas & Terminology  The point about a diaspora is not a category, not a technical thing; it is how you think about yourself. o However, you do not consider yourself diasporic sometimes for a reason. Diasporic means outsider.  To be diasporic has nothing to do with appearance, religion, or generation. It is a question of connections. It is an imaginative space and the stories that you tell yourself of who you are and where you are. Where you see yourself as rooted. It is a connection to an adopted society and home and at the same time a sense of connection to a “mythic homeland” (does not matter if you’ve been there or it exists) o The memory of a place still sits in the minds of the members of the family o It is an idea of a some place else, it does not have to be a physical place that you can walk into – in their minds, it is significant and therefore in your mind that is how you know it  Diasporic community is how you feel about yourself and how you consider yourself depends on how you view yourself and how you feel like you are perceived from the outside world – whether you are welcomed or not quite welcome Terms  Host Society – do not use “host society”; instead, use adoptive home or wider society. This is because Canada is a diasporic host of diasporic people. o What happens when you have a host guest relationship? – You can actually tell your guest to leave or no longer welcome. This is problematic because there is now a power relationship. When one group sets itself up (essentially diasporic) and say they are the power group, it is a power relationship  Assimilation – instead, use integration. The notion of assimilating, you have to think about when the founding fathers of America, they were aware of what they were wrestling with. Assimilation emerged as a form of Anglo-conformity. Washington and Jefferson were concerned with the ideas of what immigrants would bring with them, they did not want the cultures that the immigrants would bring with them. Furthermore, if you cannot adopt, then they should leave – they must cast off the European skin and look forward. These ideas were expressed with the notion of the melting pot. o Even in the situation, they were discussing long before Israelis, they were talking about people who had similar facial structure and who once they have been in the US would pretty much sound similar, but the argument is that no body EVER casts off the European skin. o When you come to the new country, you need to take on this new idea. Leave who you were behind and take on the new culture – convert! o Another problem with assimilation is that they never ever completely assimilate. This is because right away, there is always a criteria of assimilation – skin tone, shape of face, etc.  African Americans and aboriginals were never allowed to assimilate in the past  Integration – two types of integration o Internal weaving  It is a whole package of seeing the world involving religion, way of understanding gender relations, how individuals relate to society, politics, etiquette, holidays, etc.  Over time, they will start to see different frameworks of seeing the world and start to weave the imaginative world with the reality that they live in. The way they see the world will have shifted and will not have the same ideas that they had once upon a time o External weaving  How willing is the wider society able to bring down communication barrier with the person. A perfectly externally integrated person can move any way they want to without the problems of ethnicity – vertically and horizontally; economically, socially, and politically.  ie. Barrack Obama would have let Muslim
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