Textbook Notes (368,098)
Canada (161,641)
POL2101 (26)
Chapter 26

Chapter 26 – The Ambiguities of a Bilingual and Multicultural Canada

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Political Science
Luc Turgeon

26 – TheAmbiguities of a Bilingual and Multicultural Canada Guy Rocher (1972) – analyzes the consequences of the Trudeau government’s unveiling of its multiculturalism policy in October 1971. • The official stand of the Canadian government breaks with the image of a unitary and bicultural country which has consequences (investment of millions of dollars in programs designed to support Canadian cultural diversity). The Bases for This New Position • Pearson government’s Laurendeau-Dunton Commission -two nations supported by two facts (historical and sociological) 1- Historically, the country originated in two communities (Anglophone and francophone) which provided the principal social and political structures. 2- New Canadians integrate with one of these communities (linguistically and culturally) • Trudeau’s government – psycho-sociological foundations (October 8, 1971) • Feeling of belonging (social malaise) – ethnic groups and pluralism helps avoid homogenization – create a feeling of unity and security amongst Canadians • Fidelity to one’s own culture does not necessarily diminish one’s fidelity to the collectivity of the country • The distinction between the historic-sociological foundations and psycho-sociological foundations creates two very different concepts of Canada. • The first emphasizes the central role of the two original communities, to which is grafted the cultural impact of all the other ethnic groups • The second emphasizes the multiplicity of the ethnic groups and their absolute cultural and political equality within the framework of Canada’s official bilingualism. The Dangers Inherent to This Position Bilingualism • The distinction between language and culture is one of the most debatable implications of Trudeau’s position • Official bilingualism is detached from cultural support and has no sociological roots since the majority of Canadians are not bilingual. • When the idea of two cultural communities is abandoned in favor or Canada’s multicultural nature, bilingualism becomes an abstraction • Maintaining bilingualism will be more and more difficult – one will soon find no reason to maintain bilingualism • Canada will be defined as a unilingual country or a country with 4-6 official languages • Ambiguities of bilingualism in a multicultural context; proclaiming the distinction between language and culture while taking measures to supply educational materials for non-official lang
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