Social Construction of Ethnicity

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16 Feb 2011
School
Department
Course
Professor
September 28 – History of Immigration
Canadian”
Became an ethnic category
1986: 0.5%
1991: 4% (over one million)
1996: 31% (over eight million)
Social construction of ethnicity
Not “natural/unalterable
Created through social interaction
-Through contact with others, through participation in social institutions
(family/schools/politics/workplace) and through exposure to ideas and
ideologies
Social construction of ethnicity
How does it work?
1. Existence of multiple and symbolic ethnicities
-Ethnic ancestry, individual ethnic identity and group ethnic identity
2. Fluidity of ethnic identity
-You can change it
-presentation of self is a choice
3. What/who are the agents of such an ethnic change?
-Ethnic groups
-Social, economic, political events and processes external to the ethnic group
-Actions and claims that others take/make in reference to an ethnic group
-Government can assign power etc**
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Document Summary

Through contact with others, through participation in social institutions (family/schools/politics/workplace) and through exposure to ideas and ideologies. How does it work: existence of multiple and symbolic ethnicities. Ethnic ancestry, individual ethnic identity and group ethnic identity: fluidity of ethnic identity. Social, economic, political events and processes external to the ethnic group. Actions and claims that others take/make in reference to an ethnic group. Initial increase from 1986 to 1991, which influenced 1996. Because of resulting demographic, political and media context: increase in immigration and contrast with older british-origins immigrants population, increasing conservative climate of 1980s and early 1990s: reform party, media: count-me-canadian campaign 1991, tfdf, terminology used. Canadienne : historical association to people of new france distinguishing selves from french and the elite, in absence of quebecois or french-canadian, canadienne was the choice. Why care: reaffirm the dynamic nature of ethnicity, ethnic origin data are used in the policy arena.

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