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SOAN 2290 (9)
Chapter 12

Chapter 12: Fleras Summary

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University of Guelph
Sociology and Anthropology
SOAN 2290
Cecil Foster

Chapter 12: Fleras Chapter 12: This Adventure called Canada Building DEBATE: rethinking belonging in a postmodern era: The Politics of Citizenship -85% of migrants who settle in Canada end up taking the oath of citizenship (right of passage) –so Canada is at the forefront in popularity for citizenship -citizenship=rights and privileges in a good country -until 1947 (the Citizenship Act) there was no such thing as a “Canadian” (just British subjects living in Canada)- obligated to advance British culture and language and conduct themselves as British -Citizenship Act: citizenship- ignoring distinctions between and foreign-born and British-born -integrated all Canadians regardless of where they were from or who they were (bold move for this era, when difference determined inferiority and resulted in exclusion) -Act: redefined what Canadian was –Canadian obligation to Canada -citizenship: legal and social aspect ->legal: formal membership in political constituted country. Reciprocal exchange of rights and duties connected individual to the state • State protects citizens rights and freedoms: rights of equality, democracy, ability to return to Canada , legal rights, language rights, freedom of religion, expression, association and assembly • Individuals obligations to the state: obey laws, participate in democratic process (vote), respect others rights and freedoms and recognise Canada’s multicultural heritage and dual language ->social aspect: belonging and entitlement -debate about Belonging-> who can belong? How? Why? What entitlements (rights)? -different countries have different rules and ways to get citizenship -1) blood or genealogy- only those who share common decent (Germany) -2) by soil/territory –as long as you are born in a certain territory (U.S.) -3) ideology- no one excluded as long as they share the values and commit t the laws (Canada) -4) by colonialism- former member of empire (Britain) Universal Citizenship -Treats all citizens same (regardless of race or ethnicity) no benefits or losses from being different -rejects group based entitlement or rights (contrary to individual equality) -promoting difference of race or ethnicity undermines loyalty, bond, and identity -U.C. under attack -not addressing claims of minorities and indigenous people -so much diversity due to migration etc, why do we need to have citizenship (some say that is we need citizenship) -Herbert and Sears argue contemporary citizenship involves a dynamic dimension (w/in democratic states) -meaning of citizenship is expanding -It used to mean exclusions and now means inclusion –used to mean geographic border and shared history -universal citizenship means that national Canadian interests are met and individual rights met too -special treatment for historically disadvantaged (aboriginals) –temporarily, problem specific, or on a needs basis not racial or ethnic -for others one-size fits all model unitary citizenship doesn`t fit in Canada (divided society) -the U.C. model fails marginalized minorities because equal treatment is valued over treatment as equals equality vs. equity rights (seeing everyone as equal regardless of circumstance) -Alternative: create more inclusive citizenship incorporating universal and differentiated -take diffs into account -customized -problems: -Countries may be too used to a homogeneous citizenship –how to have difference but also have equality before the law? -risk of creating national disunity -citizenship rights just include individuals or include rights to cultural/political groups too? -create dual type citizenship (incorporates diff identities) with out confusion or dividing loyalties? -can we have citizenship in a world of transnational and Diasporic migrants? -will Canada have people just coming and going with varying degrees of attachment and commitment to citizenship -debate on how to have differentiated citizenship rights so that group specific and collective aspirations are met without belonging to Canada Introduction: New Games, Rules, and Adventures -Adventure: a daring enterprise -Canada in midst of social and demographic revolution -everything is changing i.e. what we once thought was universal truths if now questioned and deemed invalid (difference and change alter assumptions of right and wrong) -used to think difference was incompatible with national unity -now Canada uses the multicultural framework for living together -rules of established order was restricted by some (they were not universal) -this helped create cooperative coexistence -Canada was a self reflective country -Canada Building –Canada is deeply divided and multi layered, has a big geography, colonial history, regionalism (unwieldy), proximity to the US, and diverse immigration and nationalism -Principle of unity within difference –makes it a “contested site” (struggle over power privilege and resources) -rules openly challenged->a new order was yet to be formulated -Canada Building was interrelated and competing society building projects (constructing cohesion and identity -Big land, few people, -shared core values, vision, belonging commitment –“singular collective purpose” -Canada building was contested by the interplays of 3 major ethnicities with different agendas, status, history and entitlement -Canada’s Difference Model- contributes to global peace -“what is Canada for?”->politicization of difference challenges this -community of communities -some say ->tri-state with multicultural society with in it -some don’t want this diversity -Tried for multiculturalism and employment equity –struggle of nothing will work and no one will care -Canada society building skills- competing demands of unity with difference in a global market economy -if we left it to market forces, politics of difference can part the society -different people share land power and resources and respect difference and co-exists -debate over citizenship and human rights -“Canadian way”- Canada’s Difference Model accommodates difference and accommodates different ways of accommodating difference -Canada may be one of the world’s first post modern societies –less imperfect than the rest Canada Building: An Unfinished Work in Progress -Canada a European based constitution accommodates and recognizes cultural diversity -wants are coherent yet it’s a pluralistic society -Went from mono to multi cultural principles and postmodernism -Canada a bilingual and tri-national state -govt used to value superior majority and dominant institutions -Canada’s societal values changes –authoritarian to horizontal model (pragmatism, flexibility, and openness) -Minorities envision commitment to Canada as conditional –claims they were differently accommodated -All groups interested in staying together a) Even though the aboriginals compete for recognition and resources b) Restructure of Quebec-Ottawa relations (federalism) -not solved without recruiting political infrastructure c) Multiculturalism agendas creating unity with difference –cultural diversity commitment, societal equity, citizenship -working together through difference -the ways we think and talk about race ethnicity and aboriginal relations are changing, in process and being challenged -racism for example is not isolated -Can mean many things (ideological and institutional) based on context, criteria and consequence -we are more tolerant and at the policy level when the meaning of racism changed, it was reflected (tolerant of cultural climate, flexible social patterns and images of inclusiveness) -shifts in redefining Canada’s response to change in race, ethnic and aboriginal relation • National Vision: from British colony to multi cultural mosaic • Was whit man’s country to everyone in a tri-national/multicultural work in progress where nothing is certain and everything is negotiated • Patter of Governance: from uniformity to multiculturalists • Assimilation to multiculturalism in governance of difference and diversity • One size fits all universal citizenship to customizing arrangement by multilayered difference • Status of minorities: from margins to centre • No longer Anglo Canadian profile (migrants and aboriginals as inferior and irrelevant)-now the are key player • Institutions: from exclusive to inclusive Excluding minorities, to institutional cooperation, and accommodation • • Respectful responsive to difference by services –available, accessible and appropriate • Status of “diversity”: from indifference to difference • Diff ad irrelevant and inferior to endorsed “pretend pluralism”, to taking difference seriously (who gets what) • Tolerance level: from open dislike to openness • From intolerant of others to embrace of tolerance • Patterns of Entitlement: from equality to equity • From inequality being inevitable, normal and needed to equity and recognition of collective rights (group specific measures) • Take difference into account for true inclusion/equality • From colour conscious to colour blind and back again • Used to exclude due to race • Then, thinking race and colour doesn’t matter (“colour blind”)
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