Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Multiculturalism and Immigration in Canada: An Introductory Reader

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Multiculturalism and Immigration in Canada: An Introductory Reader

Article excerpt

E. Cameron (ed.), Multiculturalism and Immigration in Canada: An Introductory Reader (Toronto: Canadian Scholars' Press Inc., 2004), 450pp. Cloth. $49.95 ($39.95 US). ISBN 1-55130-249-7.

This reader edited by Elspeth Cameron, who also prepared Canadian Culture: An Introductory Reader (1997), is divided into two sections, centred on theory and experience. As Cameron states in her introduction, the book 'offers a series of readings by academics and journalists that explore various theories about multiculturalism,' and these theories are 'supplemented in a section called "Experience", in which the voices of a representative sample of ethnic writers recreate immigrant experiences in Canada in fiction and poetry' (p. xv). The texts in the first section, arranged chronologically, provide a combination of historical and present-day perspectives on policies and ideas relating to immigration and multiculturalism. Topics such as racism, anti-Semitism, opposition to immigration and economic and political asylum are explored. Social class theory and the demographics of immigration are raised in several of the articles, and the politics of various immigration policies and practices in Canada are discussed.

The second section of the book presents poems and short stories as well as excerpts from novels. Selections include works by well-known Canadian authors such as Neil Bissoondath (who is also represented in the first section of the book), Joy Kogawa and Rohinton Mistry. Interestingly, although Cameron states in the introduction that this section of the book presents a 'representative sample of ethnic writers' (my italics), no texts by French-language writers are presented, despite the numerous contemporary studies of immigrant writers in Quebec. …

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