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Final Exam Question #3.docx

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York University
Social Science
SOSC 1350
Julie Dowsett

Exam review #3 By: Angelica Lu Question : The history of poverty law concerns shifting conceptions of the “deserving” versus the “undeserving” poor. Similarly, the history of immigration law concerns particular assumptions concerning people seen as “deserving” to immigrate to Canada. Feminists have pointed out that the social and legal constructions of the “deserving” have been highly informed by sexism, racism, and classism. Outline the historical evolution of the legal treatment of poverty and immigration in Canada, and connect this treatment to gender, race, and class. Introduction : In Canadian history, there are poverty laws that define who are “deserving” versus those who are “undeserving.” In other words, those who are “deserving” are seen worthy of obtaining assistance from the government and those who are “undeserving” are ignored. To determine whether an individual is “deserving” or “undeserving,” authorities look at gender, ethnicity and classism because it outlines if one meets the criteria’s to receive benefits and assistance. Thesis : In essence, the concepts of “deserving” and “undeserving” are based on race, class and gender because ethnicities of colour are deemed unworthy in immigrating to Canada, the fact that classism decides which individuals can receive financial aid and it is “normal” to associate males in receiving higher status than females mainly since they are men. Paragraph 1 : In Canada, those who are British are automatically seen as “deserving” to immigrate into Canada because they are “white.” Even in the British North American (BNA) Act in 1867 states that a male born from British territories are automatically citizens of Canada because they were the most desirable to immigrate to Canada. This essentially determined who can and who cannot qualify for citizenship since ethnicities of colour are assumed to be “undeserving” to immigrate in Canada. Examples : The Chinese Immigration Act, and also known as “Chinese head tax,” in the year 1885, where Chinese men had to pay a $50 tax to work in Canada and were paid half of what “white” workers were working solely because they were Chinese. Eventually in 1923, the government passed the Chinese Exclusion Act because Chinese immigrants started to come to Canada, and this was problematic for the government since it did not benefit in having a “white” Canada. So then, the government tried to find ways to discourage Chinese people from immigrating by increasing the tax to $100 in 1900 and then in 1903 increased it to $500 because the government knew that the Chinese could not afford to come to Canada at such a high price. Paragraph 2 : Basically the origin of income security began with motherhood because back then, women did not have any sort of rights or benefits that financially supported them when their husbands died or left them. Therefore, social services offered to help those women are necessary to keep them economically healthy in society. However, when these social services a
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