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Ethnicity, Politics, and Public Policy

Ethnicity, Politics, and Public Policy: Case Studies in Canadian Diversity

Copyright Date: 1999
Pages: 272
  • Book Info
    Ethnicity, Politics, and Public Policy
    Book Description:

    Ten essays on multiculturalism form a comprehensive picture of the problems and prospects of pluralism and mirror the nuanced issues which arise when theories and goals of cultural sensitivity confront real life.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7467-7
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface and Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-xiv)
  4. Part One: Cultural Diversity and Societal Responses

    • [PART I: Introduction]
      (pp. 1-2)

      This section explores the sources of and responses to socio-cultural diversity. The task of blending cultural diversity with integration remains of paramount importance – and the political empowerment of ethnic communities through mobilization and development of the organizational base of the ethnic polity is central to the cause of pluralism in Canada. The belief that Canadaʹs diversity must be reflected in all policy domains, and within the ranks of politicians, policy makers, and professionals, continues to evolve. Canadian society is marked by considerable cultural variation quite apart from that caused by ethnic and racial difference. Regional, religious, rural-urban-suburban, and other...

    • 1 Diversity in Canada
      (pp. 3-25)

      As the 1990s drew to a close, three closely related anniversaries, all of watersheds in Canadian history, passed almost unnoticed. The first, in 1996, was the hundredth anniversary of large-scale non-western European immigration, Clifford Siftonʹs legendary ʹstalwart peasants in sheep skin coats.ʹ For all that historians have written about the duality of the Canadian culture and polity – French and English, with a nod in the direction of the Aboriginal contribution – it was this turn-of-the-century recruitment of ʹnon-traditional sources of immigrationʹ that set the national course toward the multiculturalism that shapes so much of the Canadian urban landscape of...

    • 2 Female Genital Operations: Canadian Realities, Concerns, and Policy Recommendations
      (pp. 26-53)

      Opponents of multicultural policy routinely contend that entrenching multiculturalism may lead to a slippery slope through which unacceptable cultural practices will gain legitimacy in Canada. In other words, some features of foreign cultures will test the limits of Canadian multiculturalism, with implications in a number of policy domains. No practice has incited more apprehension than excision and infibulation of female genitalia. Many Canadians fear that these customs have been imported by the more recent waves of immigration. Indeed, immigration from mainly African countries, where excision and infibulation are commonplace, has put the issue of female genital operations (FGO) on the...

    • 3 Break North: Rap Music and Hip-Hop Culture in Canada
      (pp. 54-88)

      Ladies and Gentlemen

      I′m about to introduce a smooth groove that I just produced

      So don′t dance or prance, move your head to the rhythm

      As we scan this land that we live in is plagued with racism

      C-A-N-A-D-A-Canada I′m watching it decay everyday

      Young minds are being mentally crushed and mushed in

      Thanks to men like Rushton and others

      Who wanna smother a dream of a black mind, revolutionary regime

      We′ve gotta redeem ourselves from shame

      By removin′ all stains and the chain on the brain

      We gotta roll with force ′cause the Klan also move in the Great...

  5. Part Two: Ethnic Match and Minority Origin Professionals

    • [PART II: Introduction]
      (pp. 89-90)

      It is a given that Canadian social institutions must adjust to the increasing diversity of the population. But how, and to what degree? Does pluralism simply require respect for difference, or must concrete steps be taken to modify institutions to make them more culturally sensitive? And given the historic evolution and constitutional precedents in Canada, what are the limits for accommodating groups other than French or English, Catholic or Protestant? Should a ʹwhere numbers warrantʹ criterion be utilized, and if so, how?

      Professionals of minority origin – whether employed in education, law enforcement, justice, health care, social services, the media,...

    • 4 ʹYou Show Up, Youʹre Blueʹ: The Challenges Facing Visible Minority Police Officers
      (pp. 91-116)

      ′I′ve had as many problems in the black community as a lot of white officers have had in the black community. I get treated the same way as any white officer does. If they′ve got a problem with the police, then its the police they′ve got a problem with, regardless of what colour you are You show up, you′re blue, you′re wearing a blue uniform, they have a problem with you′

      A black police officer in Ottawa.

      Since the early 1990s, employment equity plans have been implemented by a host of police services across Canada; these include the Royal Canadian...

    • 5 The Challenge of Ethnic Match: Minority Origin Professionals in Health and Social Services
      (pp. 117-141)

      As Canadian society becomes more ethnically and racially diverse, concern has arisen about how to meet the health care and social service needs of the population in a manner that is both fair and efficient. This concern for cultural sensitivity has included an argument that services to minorities could be improved by means of an ʹethnic matchʹ between those needing and those providing the service (Sue 1992; Weinfeld 1997; see also Table 1.1 in the chapter by Troper and Weinfeld in Part One above).

      One can imagine this ethnic match taking place over three dimensions. The first is matching the...

    • 6 The Role of Minority Educators: Haitian Teachers in Quebec Schools
      (pp. 142-163)

      A young French teacher in Montreal notified her principal that some of her students, recently immigrated from Haiti, are reluctant to participate in certain class activities, consistently fail to ask for help when experiencing difficulties, and generally seem ill-at-ease with classroom interaction. In another school, teachers have reported that although most Haitian students are treated as native French speakers, their knowledge of the language is often patchy and many of them prefer to use Creole with their friends and relatives. In some Montreal-area schools Haitian parents have voiced their concern about what they consider permissiveness and laxness on the part...

    • 7 Wife Abuse and Ideological Competition in the Muslim Community of Toronto
      (pp. 164-190)

      Social work in North America is rooted in Judeo-Christian and liberal-democratic values, which emphasize justice, freedom, equality, and the worth and dignity of the individual. The recent wave of non-European immigrants has consequently posed problems for social work professionals, whose clients may now include immigrants with more collective orientations and different value systems and traditions (Green 1995; Lum 1996). For example, Southeast Asian refugees have often had often traumatic experiences, such as torture, and have required help from mental health professionals. But many Asians associate psychotherapy with mental illness, which in turn is seen as a disgrace. Thus culturally sensitive...

  6. Part Three: Ethnicity, Race, and Politics

    • [PART III: Introduction]
      (pp. 191-192)

      Ethnicity in Canada, as in many other national societies, has become politicized. Like that of most liberal democracies, Canadaʹs political system is rooted in conceptions of the individual citizen exercising individual rights. But group rights must also be considered. Reserving electoral seats for designated groups, designating a religious group as eligible for public funding of its schools, or the exercise of individual rights by a collection of same-origin citizens, such as the right of Sikhs to wear turbans in the RCMP, can contest pride of place with individual rights.

      The political mobilization of minority groups and the greater salience of...

    • 8 Black Insiders, the Black Polity, and the Ontario NDP Government, 1990–1995
      (pp. 193-223)

      In dealing with government, minority activists defend their groupʹs interests in two ways. As leaders of communal organizations, they may put pressure on government from the outside. They may also work from within government, as elected politicians or, more commonly, as senior public servants or government political appointees. Both of these approaches to government have played a role in the evolution of the black polity in Ontario. To date, however, little work has been published on the political involvement and mobilization of blacks in Ontario. This study focuses on the challenges that faced black insiders in the Ontario NDP government...

    • 9 The Canadian Jewish Polity and the Limits of Political Action: The Campaigns on Behalf of Soviet and Syrian Jews
      (pp. 224-252)

      In the early 1970s the Canadian Jewish community was awakened to the plight of Jews suffering under the burden of state-supported discrimination and persecution in both the Soviet Union and Syria. A major campaign was quickly initiated on behalf of Soviet Jewry, a campaign designed to mobilize Canadian and world Jewry into action, engage the sympathy of the larger Canadian community, lobby Canada and other Western governments to intervene and, in the end, to force the Soviet Union either to grant its Jews equal protection of Soviet law or allow them to leave. Under a banner of ʹLet My People...

    • 10 Immigration and the Canadian Federal Election of 1993: The Press as a Political Educator
      (pp. 253-282)

      The early 1990s witnessed a surge of right-wing populism in Canada. Observers have yet to fully explain why this occurred but almost certainly the new rightʹs success owed much to its ability to tap into growing economic anxiety and widespread resentment at what was often described as ʹbig governmentʹ pandering to ʹspecial interest groupsʹ at the expense of ʹordinary Canadians.ʹ The populist agenda for change included demands for less government, lower taxes, less regulation, getting ʹtoughʹ on criminals, a return to ʹcore family values,ʹ and a ʹback to basicsʹ approach in schools. This agenda stressed individual responsibility and a vigorous...

  7. Epilogue: Expanding the Research Agenda
    (pp. 283-290)

    The studies presented in this volume have focused on that aspect of Canadian diversity which Will Kymlicka (1995) calls ʹpolyethnic,ʹ as distinguished from ʹnationalʹ or ʹmultinational.ʹ In the Canadian context polyethnic refers to diversity that has arisen primarily through immigration. National or multinational diversity, in contrast, operates within formal political and constitutional contexts and involves groups with a long-standing link to a specific territory, such as First Nations or Québécois.

    Of course, there are some parallels between the polyethnic cases studied here and challenges facing national minorities in Canada. It is ironic that even as French nationalism in Quebec has...

  8. Contributors
    (pp. 291-291)