Week 8 Lecture – February 24, 2014
Making Space for Mosques
How the constitution of spaces:
are organized to sustain unequal social relations
Eg the homeless & the padlocking of parks
reproduce racial hierarchies
space Produces a particular kind of social imaginary, you hear media reports stating good/bad places to live.
le “dangerous” spaces; “good” neighbourhoods
Up on the hill, “the bad side of the tracks”
Space has always been used in a way to reproduce social hierarchies.
All of this information has less to do with the space but the actual people that are inhabiting the space.
Is an organization and symbolic reproduction of space and spatial relations
lt structures and produces relations
It fundamentally is about boundaries & borders.
Was a tool of the colonial enterprise
A type of spatial domination/mastery
It is a way of knowing
Not only to denaturalize geography by asking how spaces come to be
but also to undermine the idea of white settler innocence & to uncover the ideologies & practices of conquest & domination.
National myths: Who and what is “Canada”?
National myths as ideologies of citizenship.
Myth of Canada as a white settler society:
1.Conquest of an uninhabited land whereby the term ”uninhabited” would consist of the production of aboriginal peoples as “not Christian, not civilized,
not commercial, not ‘evolved’” (Razack, Race, Space & the Law, 3)
2.The “empty land” developed by hardy & enterprising European settlers
people of colour are scripted as “late arrivals” after development has occurred.
A national amnesia or disavowal of slavery, indentureship and labour exploitation:
Eg Chinese who built the national railway & the Sikhs who worked in the 19 century lumber industry.
3.Modern Canada now “besieged” & crowded by “Third World” refugees & immigrants
these groups are apparently threatening the calm and orderly space of the original inhabitants.
These new arrivals threaten the calm, orderly spaces of the original (ie. colonial settler) inhabitants
Also threaten principles & foundations of liberal democracy
Ref antiimmigration policies, increased policing of borders, anxiety around terrorism.
The problem with these moral panics is that they have objective reprucissions that cause increased policing, terrorism etc to monitor or deter immigrants.
When police target aboriginal youth, or target certain races these are objective reprocussions.
The role of space in this racialization is when certain areas promote white culture rather then other races. There are some areas of the city that are
completely full of white some others are full of coloured people.
You can see in the way that the space of a city is separated that is represents the segregation of space due to race.
In this article space is never to be understood as innocent and it is always the result of unequal relations due to race.
How much an identity of dominance rely on racializing others to keep them in place? How does place become race?
Toronto’s Changing Demographics
In less than a generation: from an overwhelmingly white Christian society to a multiracial, multifaith society.
In 1990s: 4 out of 10 immigrants to Canada settled in the GTA
By 2000: immigrants made up 48% of Toronto’s population.
Countries of origin of immigrants: shifted from European to mainly Asian, South Asian & Middle Eastern.
A large shift in a short amount of time.
Issues of “integration” & citizenship
Despite federal policy & official discourse of racial harmony & commitment to multiculturalism:
Many immigrant groups occupy a marginal & racialized position in Toronto’s social space.
Citizenship = not only a legal status, but also as participation & influence over the city’s (nation’s) economic, social, cultural & political spheres. This
demonstrates a citizen that is entitled and has influence in shaping the voice and future of the nation.
Racialized immigrant groups: high levels of poverty, severe levels of unemployment, overrepresentation in
lowskill jobs, & low homeownership rates.
Distinction between Informal vs formal spheres of citizenship
Informal: all of Those practices of immigrants that claim public space as their own to foster the formation of new group identities.
Eg street parades, media presence, & park and civic square permits = active claimstaking to citizenship.
Space is crucial to identity especially for homeless who have no space to claim as their own or to fight for rights or issues to be solved. i.e
Informal sphere is very active and claims are being made about ide