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Chapter 15-162012

SIQ Readings: Race & Ethnicity Chapter 15-16 2012/2013.docx

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McMaster University
Sandra Colavecchia

Society in Question (SIQ) Notes: Sociology 1A06 – Prof Colavecchia McMaster University 2012/2013 Race & Ethnicity: Chapter 15: “Multiculturalism or Vertical Mosaic?” – Occupational stratification among Canadian ethnic groups.  Ancestral roots of Canada: Europe or to Asia  Our official government policy of multiculturalism implies a mix of equal cultures  Multiculturalism highlights cultural blending and ethnic equality  Diverse cultural heritages are supported through many institutions including ethnic media outlets, ethnic churches and schools, and ethnic restaurants  Equality of diverse cultures is promoted by governments but also by schools (multicultural curricula now permeate in the school system, social studies courses, recognize religious holidays, and celebrate ethnic heritage days)  Different cultural traditions provide separate ethnic identities within a common, egalitarian framework  John Porter: had a contrasting vision of Canada (1965). He imagined a “vertical mosaic” which he thought Canada’s ethnic groups were vertically arranged. He said distinct social groups were defined by social class and ethnicity. These groups were vertically ranked according to income, power, and prestige. “Mosaic” highlights distinct ethnic identities. Porter saw little mixing or blending. He said the vertical mosaic accentuates distinct cultures and ethnic inequality. Porter described Canada as a nation fractured by ethnicity. He saw the French and the British as two “charter status” groups, commanding greater power and privilege than “entrance status” groups (other immigrants). Power favoring the British over the French. He said that immigration and ethnic affiliation were important factors in the formation of social classes. He said economic power belong almost exclusively to White Protestants of British origins. But more recent analyses of the wealthiest Canadians show less British dominance and British and Canadian elites contain more people from other ethnic backgrounds at one time. By using Census data from 1931, 1951, and 1961, he showed which ethnic groups dominated which job categories. Examples: British and Jewish groups were overrepresented in professional and financial occupations and underrepresented in unskilled and primary jobs (fishing). Explanations for this include British people bringing professional skills and occupational experiences recognized in Canada, and others from other ethnic backgrounds did not have these skills. Also, social mobility was correlated with ethnicity meaning, it varied in how much they valued economic achievement and upward mobility or found that discrimination dampened their labour force market success.  1971-Canada adopts multiculturalism as official federal government policy  1986-Employment Equality Act- eliminates the subordinate positions of women, the disables, Aboriginal peoples, and visible minorities. Requires employers to hire according to equity targets to overcome ethnic inequality in the labor force  Now, occupational experience is more valued than birthplace for new entrants in Canada  Researchers say the vertical mosaic imagery needs revising on its “color coding”. The association between ethnicity and social class has been retained. Now we have a “new ethnic mosaic…redrafted along lines of race and color”  Laurtard and Loree (1984, researchers) concluded that occupational inequality still justifies the use of the concept of the vertical mosaic to characterize ethnic relations in Canada, but provide no test for the two explanations Porter offered about the association between ethnicity and class  Monica Boyd (1985, researcher on the influence of birthplace on occupational attainment) offers a test of the immigration interpretation saying that for foreign-born men and women, ethnic ancestry was correlated with occupational attainment. Found a “double negative” that reinforced the vertical mosaic concluding that birthplace and sex are very important factors underlying the Canadian mosaic Limitations:  Ethnicity: privileges male descent lines used by Statistics Canada for measurement purposes. Problems: Porters view of the charter status groups (French and British) drew no distinction between the English, Irish, Scottish, and the Welsh. Asian ethnic groups were unable to be published for a long time because the ethnic group was too small  Occupations: Porter only used 5 broad occupational categories (professional, financial, clerical, personal service, primary and unskilled, and agriculture). However, Lautard and Loree used more detailed ones. Only if jobs have different rewards attached to them does inequality become an issue. Problems: The vertical mosaic implies hierarchy, but it doesn’t define what the hierarchy is  Historical Comparability: Number and kinds of occupations have changed over time in Canada, as well as the way Statistics Canada collects information, and the detail in how ethnicity has changed historically  Using census data to track labour market changes for member of ethnic groups is highy problematic  To summarize enormous detail of research analyses we measure occupational differentiation by calculating an index of dissimilarity (always positive, the higher the index number, the higher the similarity in for example, gender balance in each one of your courses) and examine occupational stratification by using an index of net difference (may be either negative or positive, measures prestige of occupations including education and income, minus sign means group is lower on the occupational “ladder” relative to the rest of the labor force, positive index indicates a higher relative position, the greater the size of the index: the greater the degree if stratification, net difference of 0 indicates overall equality of occupational status). Used this in 1971 and 2001.  Ethnic occupational differentiation is lower in 2001 than 1971  Ethnic stratification was less pronounced in 2001 than in 1971  Most men and women of North European origin and Jewish origin tend to be in higher occupational skill groups than people of South European, Aboriginal, and black origin  Men of Chinese origin are in relatively high occupational skill groups, and women of Chinese and Italian origins are in the middle  Between 1931 and 2001, a decline in the significance of ethnicity, for both occupational differentiation and stratification, has occurred. Yet ethnic origin continues to affect occupational inequality  The trend in occupational dissimilarity indicates a reduction in the ethnic division of labor of about 30 percent for men and 45 percent for women in 70 years  Social differentiation based on ethnicity is eroding  Reitz (researcher, 2001) shows that recent immigrants to Canada have been faring more poorly than in earlier decades of labor market integration. Based on this, there is no firm ground o
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