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Culture and Multiculture.doc

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York University
Social Science
SOSC 1350
Julie Dowsett

“CULTURE” AND “MULTICULTURE” [Multiculturalism] reduces the problem of social justice into questions of curry and turban. —Himani Bannerji (1942-present) 1.Official Multiculturalism in Canadian Public Policy and Law -race as a social construction like gender - many politicians were not concerned with sexism and racism a.Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism (1963- 1969) -this was problematic in the 1960s ^ especially in Canada - trudeau thought that this royal commission would save Canada b.federal multiculturalism policy (1971) -the multiculturalism policy, a number of proviences thought it was a good idea too - this policy seem to reverse earlier attempt to get rid of immigrants - this talked about milticultralism within a bilingual framework and a good chunk of money went into it c. Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (1982) - charter included muticultralism as an important part of Canadian identity d.Canadian Multiculturalism Act (Bill C-93, 1988) -July 1988, the conservitate gov’t at the time made this act, and this formalize the gov’t funding , purpose of the act was to recognize that all are canadaians within Canadian society (especially different ethinic groups) 2.Multiculturalism from 1990s-Present political discourse -since 1990s miulticultralism has been a major part of political discourse (like whos elected) - almost a cliché needs to give lip service to multicultrism b.demand from above (rather than below) -multicultrialism was a demand from above (not below), basically, multicultriasm is very much rooted to underline quebec multiculturalism c. concerns granting/funding, electoral politics, “ethnic” cultural fairs and religious celebrations, legal defenses in court (but not social justice) -multiculralism as a policy, is not concern with the wage heiarchy, racial profiling, poverty, racism in immigrant policy, or the LCP ^ it is concerned with granting funding – array of funding programs have emerge like national research for multiculturalism and hows like little mosque on the pararie, elections, tokenism (having one certain person to represent one group) cultural fairs, legal defeneces in court - multicultrial controls the legal and political in Canada d.organizes social, cultural, political and legal spaces in Canada e. video clip: Little Mosque on the Prairie, “Flying While Muslim” (2007) 3.Multiculturalism and Canadian Nationalism - nationalism is about pride in one’s country - Multiculturalism is the reason why we celebrate Canadian identity - To having a shared history and destiny (to differentiate from “us” from “them”) - Canada (in a natural discourse), diversity (culture), freedom, opportunities, health care system*, polite, hockey a. form of moral superiority over the U.S. - Canada is showing how “less racist” we are b. yet multiculturalism is seen as a problem when (white) images of “Canadiana” are disturbed i. Mounties wearing turbans - seen as a problem when canadiana images are disturbed - In the case Blatej Singh Dhillon, and he was a RCMP officer, he met all the requirements but refused entry because of his turban (since he was Sik) - 150,000 people signed a petition to keep the original outfit and to not change it - ^ reason why since Canadian law is seen as white, male, benevolent - For Dhillion, he is allowed to wear turbans and work as a RMCP officer ii. French-Canadians wearing hijabs - Emilie Outimet was kicked out of class because she did not take off her hijab because it would affect her safety - This is a betrayal of the Quebec identity - Assumption who were the hijabs are somehow “oppressed” iii. Asian woman scientist on $100 bill -the new Canadian 100$ bill was suppose to be an Asian women scientist in the back These symbols or pictures represent Canadian culture The 100$, the women had easy Asian features, and changed the image to what we see now Jeremy Harrison = “neutral ethnicity” (the bank changed the image because the bank wanted to represent neutral ethnicity) Neutral ethnicity is or normal is “white”, are
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