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University of Toronto Scarborough
Maggie Cummings

Week 9 Notes Urban Portraits Question of culture, race and identity, against a backdrop of globalization and Diaspora, among students in a Toronto high school o Difference within are flattened out and made secondary to difference between visible groups Cultural pluralism and the belief that if one knows the culture of Others, then it will be possible to tolerate them, accommodate them, join them, or simply stay away from them Cultural pluralism is critiqued on the ground by the everyday practices, identifications and inter-subjectivities o When the desire to know cultures is made rigid, cultural practices are stripped of ambivalence and, in the process, the complexity and fluidity that characterize emergent cosmopolitan cultures in these global times are lost Elusive culture opens possibilities for engaging the multiple and often competing identifications o Youth demonstrate tremendous flexibility in their capacity to make identifications, to experiment, take risks, discard and create ideas and in these processes they resist an understanding of culture as something to simply embody, apply, or force others to have Positive Peer Culture group with a designated teacher for the purpose of exploring personal and social concerns Portraits indicates that these ethnographic snapshots are only meant to capture a moment, a particular pose, and their likeness Overview o Diaspora space mingling of diverse backgrounds, of native and diasporan Space wherein individual subjectivities are forged, not only through relationships with one another, but also through the multiple place associations that are invoked in their everyday encounters in the relational ways by which they name themselves in their respective groups
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