oct. 31 women, nation, state.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Women and Gender Studies
June Larkin

Difference between nation and state State: the political and bureaucratic institutions, practices and policies that govern a given territory and population (text, p. 151) Nation: collection of people who have come to believe that they have been shaped by a common past and are destined to share a common future (text, p.222) believe themselves to be similar or connected by a common identity (text, p. 151) - Theme from readings: challenge commonness or homogeneity as the goal of nationalism --- we don’t all have the same story People from certain backgrounds (not white) are expected to prove their canadianess over and over again Canada was formed by immigration policies that kept canada Eurocentric and white i.e. Chinese exclusion act from 1923-1947. Chinese were recruited in late 1800’s to build railroad. Once depression hit in 1920’s, jobs were hard to find for Canadians. Because Chinese men already here, families couldn’t follow, no money to go home. Policies put in place to make sure we stay a white settler country Anthem: “god keep us land…” – christian deity “stand on guard for thee” – promise to defend our country, go to war if we must …. Could we promise food for all? Housing for all? “in all our sons command” – nation is gendered as male, masculine. Where do women come in? women come in as the mothers, the bearers of the nation, the ones who are protected. 5 WAYS WOMEN HAVE PARTICIPATED IN STATE PRACTIVES 1) Biological producers of members of ethnic collectivities (reproducers) – a strong nation needs people. Women are the essential tool for national building because they produce people. Incentives for women to reproduce i.e. in quebec, daycare is cheap, easy to have more children. “pro-natalist strategies” 2) Women as reproducers of the boundaries of ethnic/national groups. – states can step in to regulate women’s reproductive functioning to make sure “the right people are reproduced” women should reproduce within their own national identities. i.e. if you marry a Chinese man, you lose citizenship. *Saskatchewan female employment act 1912 – prevented oriental men from hiring white females. Discouraged mixing of white women and oriental men  feared mixed babies. Ex. indian act, when aboriginal women married white men, lost status. Miscegenation: term used to describe the “mixture” of r
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