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Lecture 9

SOSC 1130 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Christie Pits, Protestantism, Absorptive Capacity


Department
Social Science
Course Code
SOSC 1130
Professor
Alina Marquez
Lecture
9

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November 13
Canada’s Response to Asylum Seekers in the 1930’s: the Jewish Case
Introduction
1. Canadian immigrant policy and categories of admission during that period
2. Ethnic dimension of immigration policies during crises – how and why they were racialized
3. Remember it as we reflect on contemporary policies (next term)
o“None is too many” – their response to the entrance of Jews
oS.S. Lewis filled with Jewish people that were trying to gain entry to any country that would
accept them (Cuba, US, Canada) – but Canada turned them away bac k to Germany probably
executed
I. Closing the Doors to Refugees -- Why did Canada close their doors to refugees in the
1930’s?
a. Lack of “Absorptive Capacity.”
o“We would like to, but we don’t have the capacity to”
More than economic, has a social and political dimension
oNot everyone fits in – so, what kind of a country did the elites want to build at
the time? For whom was the absorptive capacity for? Who, how and why did
they fit in?
o how did policy help shape maintain and carry out the vision of the nation-state
that they wanted to create
oSaw immigrants as economic and were liabilities and used deportations more
often than official history indicates
Force was use against the group in order to maintain hegemony –
1) eliminated grassroots questioning (politically active workers)
2) pacified nativists questioning the need to bring “uncivilised, alien
hordes” to Canada
oFelt threatened that they were occupying the Canadian
landscapes --
oTargeting and excluding the undesirables – to get rid of the problems and to
pacify the nativists
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