Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Racisms in a Multicultural Canada: Paradoxes, Politics, and Resistance

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Racisms in a Multicultural Canada: Paradoxes, Politics, and Resistance

Article excerpt

Augie Fleras, Racisms in a Multicultural Canada: Paradoxes, Politics, and Resistance (Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2014), 342 pp. Paper. $44.99. ISBN 978-1-55458-953-1.

This book explores the issue of racism in a contemporary multicultural Canada. Augie Fleras firstly draws attention to the problems of defining what racism even means: 'Nobody can agree on what it means or refers to', while disagreement continues to mount over 'what it's doing, to whom, why, and how' (p. ix). He thus argues that a conceptual reappraisal of racisms is needed. The book is structured around three main ideas: (1) the continued existence and expansion of racisms; (2) the features of modern racisms ('how racisms work' and 'doing racism'); and (3) the rise of new spaces of discussion to explain 'neo-racisms'.

The idea that as the world evolves, so too does racism, is a central feature of the book. Fleras debunks the popular myth that Canada is some sort of post-racist utopia. Utilising a critical framework that has power and politics at the core of analysis, the overarching theme of the book is an all-encompassing paradox: how to explain the apparent expansion and continued existence of racisms in a country that conducts itself based on the idea of multiculturalism at the same time as dedicating itself to post-racial principles. Fleras poses several questions while acknowledging that he does not have all the answers. What is racism? What does racism stand for in the context of a supposedly post-racial world? …

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