SOSC 1130 Lecture Notes - Canadian Nationalism, Wishful Thinking, Biculturalism

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2 Feb 2013

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Canadian Perspectives on Immigrant Integration and Nation-Building
Immigration woven into image of Nation State, crucial to Canada
What is Canada’s vision of development in global context?
How all its inhabitants fit in to it (Canadian born and non-Canadian born)
How it is legitimized
Relates to nation building in the context of power relations
Multiculturalism today is part of a corporate model, characterized as the
selling of diversity
Three Perspectives:
Oldest in Canada
Calls for immigrants to be assimilated
Give up cultural values, embrace those of English Canada
Groups at this time racialized and seen as barbaric (includes eastern Europeans,
Chinese, black, religious minorities)
Viewed as resisting assimilation or as being inassimilable
Worked well for economic elites, saw these groups as cheap commodities
Suited elite interest in Canada because those who could not be assimilated could
be constructed as barbarians and could limit the benefits that the government
could give to them, saving money
Worked well for elites politically, created divisions within population, eliminated
attempts to organize and create change
Terms used today are ethnic and non-ethnic, does not have negative connotation,
term still denotes certain exoticism
Melting Pot
Overtime, countries of immigration have a mixing or blending of cultures
Newcomers bring cultures melts with those of the receiving country; new culture
is created
Wishful thinking
Creates invisible power relations
Dominant view in Canada
Society that embraces different cultures and cultures of new-comers
Does not enforce people to give up who they are, all can benefit from diversity
Has become a Canadian value, just like the maple leaf
Multiculturalism is the theory on immigration, and also government policy
Response to national and international forces after WWII
People against it as it is expensive, a drain on Canadian resources, is too inviting,
and works against Canadian unity
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