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Lecture 4

Lecture 4 July 13 Multiculturalism and Nation.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC367H1
Professor
Nikolauo
Semester
Summer

Description
Multiculturalism and Nation Lecture 4 – Wednesday July 13, 2011 - Bannerji …Mahtani…Frosh, Pheonix and Pattman All interrogate the nation to which citizens can or cannot belong. These sociological concepts, like race class and gender, are seen as fixed entities rather than social relations. Molson beer commercials “I am Canadian” - Commercials ran for 5 years and both won awards in terms of profit and popularity - Response- there are Canadians who do not speak English or Canada, person in commercial is supposed to represent the ―average person‖ - For Canadians or Americans? - Crises of legitimation, we rely on US money and culture ―I don‘t remember reading anything of this counter (Canada) in my geo book, but somehow there were faint echoes of people and nature blurring into each other- ―red Indians‖ From where did these images come if not from my geo book?.. What I am trying to recount is what Canada meant for me—fusion of people, mature, my imagination moved by forests and the flow of Arctic ice. Canada was a mental rather than a historical space. It was an idyllic construction of nature and adventure.‖ (Bannerji 23) Canada as a mental space rather than historical, connect to Razack, Ng, of feminist politics, to look at contexts and subtexts underneath grand narratives! It is thus important to question the subtexts that create frames of reference. You see this in the I am Canadian commercial, jumbling of nature and people! ―This metaphor of the political psyche of Canada as a threatened feminity/nature obliterates indigenous people, swallowing them up in the myth of an empty wilderness that is to be invaded and populated by white people. Atwood follows a literary and artistic tradition already in place, for example in many of the works of the Group of Seven…The Canadian, as the dreamer of the nation, must come to terms with the wilderness in order to find and found Canada s/he is White/European. The indigenous peoples are either not there or are one with the primal, non-human forces of nature. The threat to Canada, then comes not only from south of its border but from within itself- from its denied, unincorporated, alienated nature and its human forms…‖ (Bannerji 36)  Think of representation by Emily Carr – more than one way to interpret/read The Group of Seven- Canadian nationalism? – What is the main criticism of their work? And our representation of nation? Emptiness vs. work of Emily Carr (Big Raven direct connection to animal spirits) This lecture is dedicated to understanding the alien, the other… MULTICULTURALISM ―In the face of my assertion that ―Canada,‖ as a national imaginary, is a sexist- racist entity, some will advance a phenomenon known as ―multiculturalism‖…that the whole world looks up to Canada.‖ … But regardless of my official status as a Canadian citizen I like many others remain an immigrant… Canada then cannot be taken as given. It is obviously a construction, a set of representations, embodying certain types of political and cultural communities and their operations… A Canada constructed on this basis contains certain notions of nation, state, formation and economy.‖ (Bannerji 24) MULTICULTURALISM - Since 1971, under Liberal (Trudeau) government, challenges by ethnic groups and immigrants (uniquely enshrined in Canadian legislation) - Bannerji‘s definition: multiculturalism placates contradictions inherent to colonial AND liberal democratic state o administrative device o nationalist, unifying and homogenizing project o Transcendence o Ideological slogan ―Together we‘re better!‖ ―unity in diversity‖ - Bannerji says: ―language for imagining Canada is with notions as ―solitude‖ and ―survival‖. There is in this national space a legitimation crisis. – Other than the dissent and the struggle of the indigenous… the national project is deeply a rivalry between Anglophones and Francophone- Canada‘s two solitudes. Equally patriarchal and race-inscribed, these 2 solitudes remain central, actors discussing Indian question, politics of erasure (Smith 2006). A creation of violent and illegal settlers (to whom no one issued landing permits), Canada remains an unformed union, its…partisan state formation frequently showing through‖ (Bannerji 31) - Slide 14 quotes - ―White settler colonial state (dominant v. inferior)‖ vs. ―liberal democracy (where all equal)‖ Bannerji says it is a critical part of the past but still ongoing, liberal democracy is critical to Canada so how do you connect? o The liberal democratic state at the level of formal equality is the antithesis of a colonial state o Liberal democracy with a colonial heart – Canada according to Bannerji - ―Lacking a fully articulating bourgeois class in leadership, Canada has in effect a double dependency—on Britain for governmental and certain cultural forms and on the US for capital as well as for social and political culture… In the face of Canada‘s settler origin and the weak development of its capital and capitalist class, the state in Canada has been a direct agent for capitalist development and has performed a substantial role in the accumulation of capital. (external import thus needed) It has also been the chief agent for procuring labour and creating a labour market and has assisted in regulation and exploitation of labour. Canada is depended on imported labour and has organized labour markets along the lines of ―race‖ and gender…the current obedience of the state to NAFTA, or corporate transnational capital, is highly symptomatic of this. ―Race‖ or ethnicity, translated into immigration policy quotas, has actually located different types of labour in different productional recesses‖(CONNECT TO NG AND ECONOMIC CONNECTIONS AND DEPENDENCE ON ECONOMIC SHIFTS/CONNECTIONS) - ―Yet a state cannot become liberal democratic without an element of transcendence. And what, after all, could give Canada the appearance of transcendence as well as ―multiculturalism,‖ with its slogan ―unity in diversity‖…‖Immigrants‖ especially visible minorities become useful with regard to challenging the substantive claim of more well-entrench others (Quebecois and indigenous) who cannot be deported to their home countries, ironically immigrant others who serve as categories of exclusion in Canada‘s nation-making ideology, become an instrument for creating a sphere of transcendence. The state claims to rise above all partisan interests and functions as an arbitrator between different cultural groups. This is the moral high ground, the political instrument with which the state maintains the hegemony of an Anglo-Canada‖ (31-2) Bannerji argues immigrants are useful for challenging more substantive claim of more well entrenched others (Quebecois or indigenous peoples)- it is the use of the raced other to quell disputes between French and English [SLIDE 16] – Main idea- no one has to change, we can all live together. On a surface level, multiculturalism tries to quell difference between Anglo and French Canadians, via immigrant acceptance, thus if we can deal with immigrants we can deal with Canadian camps ―Whose imagination is advanced as the national imaginary? What does this have to do with organizing practical and ideological exclusions and inclusions within the national space?‖ (24) ―Multicultural policy entertains and encourages…cultural diversity, while correspondingly containing it. A transparent norm is constituted, a norm given by the host society or dominant culture, which says that ‗these other cultures are one, but we must be able to locate them within our own grid.‘ (Bhabha cited in Mahtani 86) everything comes back to reference to the dominant one* All authors saying highly race based, idea of whiteness, and everything race based Multiculturalism should mean equality… gist around Frosh article Multiculturalism- ―… not quite right if you‘re not white.‖ (Kondo by Mahtani 77) o Paradox of both belonging and non-belonging to nation simultaneously (Bannerji) o Interviews with ―mixed-race‖ young women paint tense picture of  Multiculturalism  Who authentic (capital-C) Canadians are  ―Europeaness as ―whiteness‘ thus translates into Canada and provides it with its imagined community….there were 2 colours in this political atlas- one a beige-brown shading off into black and the other white. These shades did not simply reflect skin colours- they reflected the ideological, political and cultural assumptions and administrative practices of the Canadian State‖ (24)  Whiteness= belonging – Capital C Canadian - CAPITAL- C CANADIANS o British or French blood  Bannerji and Mahtani reflect on Canada‘s ―two solitudes‖  Read: white, European origin o Persistence of defining who belongs on the basis of skin colour(Stasiulis) o Racism and sexism contribute to positioning certain subjects as outsiders  Ie. Canada‘s reliance on imported (read: racialized) labour  Third world immigrants slotted into working-class positions through processes of decertification/credentialism which increase labour pool (Reserve army of labour (Marx))  Ie. Constantly stereotyping immigrants, people of colour as criminals, terrorists, fundamentals, dangerous o Villains of the peace - Bannerji - Alan (white adolescent British) contests space, annoyed when black people tell him to get out of an area, ―this is my home‖ - [Frosh, Pheonix, Pattman 2002) Bannerji said white suffragettes did not feel they belonged too FROSH, PHEONIX AND PATTMAN (2002: 174, 149) ―Masculinities…are multiple and variegated, constructed anew by each particular boy in relation to the positions made available by the wider culture. In the context at least of ‗multicultural‘ Britain- and probably everywhere else as well – these positions are heavily imbued with ‗race‘, ethnicity and racism. This means that the masculinities we see emerging in these London youngsters are themselves deeply racialized: full of the tension and drama, and the pain, of belonging and not- belonging, including and excluding, that the dimensions of difference encoded in ‗race‘ produce. ―What all this suggests is that the boys in our London sample are very away of ethnic differences and groupings, that for many of them their social world is genuinely multicultural, but this is not the same as saying that everyone is the same.‖ ―Due to its selective modes of ethnicization, multiculturalism is itself a vehicle for racialization. It establishes Anglo-Canadian culture as the ethnic core culture while ―tolerating‖ and hierarchically arranging others around it as ―multi-culture‖ The ethics and aesthetics of ―whiteness‖ with its colonial imperialist/racist ranking criteria, define and construct the ―multi‖ culture of Canada‘s others.‖ (Bannerji 35) - Roots vs. routes - Ethnicity as primary identification o Reduction of identity to ethnic constituency o Obscures peoples‘ lives on multiple planes o Obscures ―gorgeous incongruities‖ (Domosh as cited by Mahtani 2002: 77) HYPHENATION-NATION - Hyphen as… o By product or implementation of multiculturalism OR o ―a union of contradictions, each word symbolizing inversion of the other‖  Marking the ―distance-difference‖ in relation to a Eurocentric framework  Ie. Racialism
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