Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Citizenship in Transformation in Canada

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Citizenship in Transformation in Canada

Article excerpt

Yvonne M. Hébert (ed.), Citizenship in Transformation in Canada (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002), 289pp. Cloth. $75. £40. ISBN 0-8020-0850-X. Paper. $38. £13. ISBN 0-8020-7835-4.

Canadian citizenship, we are told by Hébert and Wilkinson in their introductory essay to this edited collection, is in transformation, its meaning is expanding and contested, and interest in the subject is exploding. A lively start and the reader's appetite is further whetted by the prospect of a thorough analysis of four dimensions of the citizenship debate - conceptual, policy, experiential and, in particular, citizenship education. And yet, in this reviewer's judgement, there was in the event disappointingly little to feast on in this collection. Part of the problem lies in the over-elaborate nature of Hébert and Wilkinson's discussion of the conceptual foundations of citizenship and identity. This is well illustrated in the fourteen different models of democratic citizenship itemised in the appendix to the collection. 'Itemised' is the operative word here, as the reader is left to figure out for him or herself how to make the connections between this complex and elaborate analytical framework and the transformations taking place in contemporary Canadian citizenship. …

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