Identity and Multiculturalism

Identity and Multiculturalism - Identity and...

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Identity and Multiculturalism Ethnicity and race are socially constructed and are always in flux. Ethnicity in particular is influenced by social processes and institutions. Canadian state policies and census groupings produce and reproduce divisions in the Canadian population. Based on ancestry and race (with some geography as well) These categories don’t always have a social referent. Racial categories dominate. Multiculturalism is part of a pluralist ideology. A set of policies and programs. Arena where ethnicities compete for govt. funding. A controversial policy. The govt. claims the policy helps develop cultural groups, promotes creative encounters in the interest of national unity. Quebec has a policy of interculturalism. It promotes cultural interchanges and citizenship with French unilingualism. Critics of multiculturalism say that other issues, such as economic and political inequalities are not addressed. Also, stereotypes are reinforced, special claims are undermined, and marginalizes ethnic issues. Others argue the policy has be too successful and will affect the Canadian identity. Culture is a set of dynamic processes. Collective ethnic identity vs. individual identity. Diachronic dimensions (ancestry, homeland. Constitutes core of identity) and synchronic dimensions (way an individual is defined by others) of ethnicity. 6 factors of ethnicity: territory (eg. Jews and Israel , culture, historical symbols, institutions, ideology and charismatic leadership (eg. Cubans and Che Guevara) . (language and religion are a part of culture) Ethnic closure creates and sustains boundaries over time. Organizational strengths are actual institutions. Instrumental strengths refers to the group’s collective relative political power. Ethnic organizations are political entities. These have not emerged due to the policy of multiculturalism. Ethnic organizations are agents of socialization for members. In the case of immigrant children, 3 things can happen. 1) they become assimilated into the dominated culture 2)They become integrated into ethnic enclaves 3) They develop marginalized identities and positions in the labour market. Ethnicity censuses do not take in to account what people feel, it is based on their ‘objective’ ancestry. More and more people choosing Canadian as an ethnicity. There is uncertainty on how to interpret this. Racial origins now included in the census as well…will this create racial consciousness? Multiculturalism encourages the maintenance of ethnic and cultural identities. Connected to ideas of pluralism, tolerance of cultural diversity.
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In Canada- All cultures seen as equal. Polices now taking an economic dimension. Process of institutionalization taken into account. Asset within the merging global economy. Multiculturalism an ideology? More focused on ‘song and dance’
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Identity and Multiculturalism - Identity and...

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