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SOSC 1350 Study Guide - Final Guide: Marilyn Waring, Nuclear Family, Chinese Head Tax In Canada

Social Science
Course Code
SOSC 1350
Julie Dowsett
Study Guide

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Exam review #3
By: Angelica Lu
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
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
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