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Unequal Relations, Chapter 12: This Adventure Called Canada Is it really an exciting experience? Presenters: Loreto Pagnani and Jenelle Rouse.

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Presentation on theme: "Unequal Relations, Chapter 12: This Adventure Called Canada Is it really an exciting experience? Presenters: Loreto Pagnani and Jenelle Rouse."— Presentation transcript:

1 Unequal Relations, Chapter 12: This Adventure Called Canada Is it really an exciting experience? Presenters: Loreto Pagnani and Jenelle Rouse

2 Rethinking Citizenship: Universal or Inclusive? Citizenship Act The Canadian citizen did not exist preceding 1947, where all persons were defined as British ‘subjects’, with the obligation to exercise England’s language, culture and identity. Its Act used to be assumed as a universal category that transcended a particular background. Yet, Citizenship Act is being redefined what it meant to be a Canadian: the right to full participation in the fortunes and future of nation (Fleras et al., 2005: 344). Social-building is to develop in hope to provide community for minority people to have sense of purpose and identity as a unifying principle. Citizenship itself does not exclude people from full accession to the aspects of Canadian society, merely because of their racial or ethnic differences.

3 However, The Problems are…

4 “A One-Size-Fits-All” A one-size-fits-all citizenship is impossible, because we are in Canada’s Multiculturalism society, which is difficult to cope with our society’s multi-layered and deeply divided diversity! Entitlements under the concept of ‘universal’ citizenship often fail certain racialized and marginalized minorities, because they each have ‘privilege’ individual rights, instead of group differences (Fleras et al., 2005: 345). Citizenship itself has since evolved into a complex and multi- dimensional site: Who/what group is belonged to Canada?!

5 New Game, New Rules, New Adventures Canada-building As a ‘contested site’, where groups of people in Canada are struggling against each other for the position of power, status, and resources. Thus, Canada-building’s adventure, along with new game and rules, it creates unfinished business to integrating all Canadians into a “moral community of citizens with a shared sense of core values, a common vision, a sense of belonging and commitment, a workable citizenship, and a singularity of collective purpose (Fleras et al., 2005: 346). There is a hope for this “adventure called Canada”, where The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (1996) believed that people, indeed, can share land, power, and resources, while accepting their differences.

6 The Challenges of the Millennium In an artistic view: The image of Canada as a “bilingual, multination state within a multiculturalism framework is gradually being shaded” by a monocultural system (Eurocentric-system), which is in conflict with pluralist principles and post-modern realities (Fleras et al., 2005: 348). Transformation: Superiority of majority values and institutions, in spite of Canada’s great amount of minority communities within society. It is referred to the concept of the triangle power—changed from authoritarian pyramid to a egalitarian model (Canada’s new social values) Pragmatism, Flexibility, Egalitarianism Judith Fischer, 2003 Salvador Dali

7 The Changes in Canada  from assimilation to pluralism  from exclusion to inclusion  from intolerance to acceptance  from inequality to equity  from laissez-faire to intervention  from individual rights to individual and collective rights  from standardized to customized  from rural parochialism to urban multiculturalism The Changes are much different from the last century; all to fit the ‘utopia’ images of being Canadian in the ‘respectful’ way…

8 Reflection Human Rights (United Declaration in Human Rights in 1948)

9 Reflection: Human Rights In 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights stressed the principle of civil, political, economic, and cultural rights of all individuals, in hope to create a ‘safety net’ for all persons, including women and children—with no cultural exceptions. Under the term of human rights, it recognizes the dignity, equality, and inalienable rights of all individuals to freedom of speech and belief; freedom from fear and wants; and right to life, liberty and security. Unfortunately, the code of human rights are far more complex; it is not about what is done anymore, but it is about what is not being done to avoid: hurt, exclusion, or exploitation. As a matter of fact, human rights came from liberal-pluralist principles, which prove to be the Western cultural bias. Even though the ‘universal’ human rights exist in our society, the current list continues to be biased by Eurocentric perspective, where it needs to change, by becoming inclusive. Yet, Canada appears to be successful, by balancing the global forces with national interests and minority rights, in spite of the fact that the ‘juggle act’ is bobble at times. Canada is, indeed, a society of immigrants, rather than a ‘real country’. This is because, according to Fleras et al., there is no actual political, economic, or cultural motive to define our Canadian society, nationality, or identity.

10 A Postnational Canada: A Work Progress Canada may seem ‘self-confidence’ to become the world’s first postnational society. However, the reality is that Canadian society, as diverse and evolving, faces the challenges of negotiation and compromise to be flexible for all Canadians while constructing around society-building. There are endless battling over power and control after 135 years of trying to accommodate, which has turned into a type of glue to bind Canada as a “divining rod” to define who we are. Thus, the tension from negotiating, rather than solving such problem seems to contribute to Canada’s ‘outstanding’ reputation as open and tolerant.

11 The Canadian Way: Model or Muddle? Canada endows with a model for “living together with differences”, while having a ‘secret plot’ that its society, along with other countries, is struggling with issues of immigration, multiculturalism, equity initiatives, and ethnic nationalism. The Canadian Way is viewed as a solution to the key challenge of the new millennium: “how to accommodate the different ways of accommodating diversity in deeply divided societies without capitulating to chaos” (Fleras et al., 2005: 354). However, the Canadian Way is not what it appears to be, it has enough muddles where it fails to take differences seriously. That is, even though the Canadian Way expresses a commitment to the principles of diversity and inclusiveness, it continues to fail to specify what it means to be Canadian, despite the terms of rights, principles, obligations and rules of engagement. Consequently, Canada is viewed as only one country to live without identity.

12 Belonging Together with Our Differences Universal Citizenship (a citizenship that treats each person the same, that is, each individual is entitled to the same benefits and rights) Multicultural Citizenship (a different set of citizenship rights, relating to level of needs, such as formal equality versus special needs; status of group members, such as racial, ethnic, and indigenous; relationship to society or the state, such as collective versus individual; and nature of the claims against the states, such as inherent versus delegated) Three different rights Equity Citizenship Rights Self-Determining Citizenship Rights Postnational Citizenship Rights Inclusive Citizenship (despite the difficulty, it seeks to balance the universal with the customized by protecting both group-specific and individual rights.)

13 Discussion Questions

14 Do you think Canada has adhered to the principles of the Canadian Way and do you think they can be applied to other jurisdictions?

15 What type of citizenship is most reflective of the Canadian Way?


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