Multiculturalism, Ethnicity and Minority Rights: The Complexity and Paradox of Ethnic Organizations in Canada

By Guo, Shibao; Guo, Yan | Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal, Spring-Summer 2011 | Go to article overview

Multiculturalism, Ethnicity and Minority Rights: The Complexity and Paradox of Ethnic Organizations in Canada


Guo, Shibao, Guo, Yan, Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal


Abstract

Ethno-specific organizations are often criticized for threatening national unity, diluting Canadian identity, and promoting ghettoization and separatism. Drawing from two case studies, this article examines the role of Chinese ethnic organizations in responding to changing community needs in Edmonton and Calgary. The study results suggested that ethno-specific organizations can be an effective alternative in providing accessible and equitable social services for immigrants because they are more closely connected with and responsive to ethnic community needs. The study reveals the salience of ethnicity as both an important resource and a liability. On the one hand, ethnicity was utilized by the state as a way to mobilize ethnic political support to serve an ethnic-specific community; on the other hand, the same ethnicity also became a device for the state to legitimize its political agenda in multiculturizing ethno-specific organizations with an ultimate goal of assimilation. To build an inclusive society, it is imperative to treat ethno-specific organizations as an integral part of Canadian society and to adopt minority rights that recognize and accommodate the distinctive identities and needs of ethno-cultural groups and their ethnic communities.

Resume

Les organisations ethniques se font souvent critiquer pour menacer l'unite nationale, diluer l'identite canadienne et promouvoir la ghettoisation et le separatisme. A partir de l'etude de deux cas, cet article porte

sur le role d'organisations ethniques chinoises qui repondent aux besoins changeants d'une communaute en evolution a Edmonton et a Calgary. Les resultats de cette etude suggerent que des organisations ethniques particulieres peuvent representer une alternative efficace en fournissant des services sociaux accessibles et equitables aux immigrants, parce qu'elles sont plus etroitement connectees aux besoins de la communaute et y repondent mieux. Cette etude revele le poids de l'ethnicite a la fois comme ressource importante et comme handicap. D'une part, l'Etat y a recouru comme moyen de mobiliser un soutien politique ethnique afin de servir une communaute correspondante donnee; d'autre part, cette meme ethnicite est aussi devenue pour lui un outil qui rend legitime son programme politique visant la multiculturalisation d'organisations ethniques particulieres dans un but ultime d'assimilation. Si on veut construire une societe inclusive, il est imperatif de traiter ces dernieres comme faisant partie integrale de la societe canadienne et d'adopter des droits des minorites qui reconnaissent les identites et besoins distincts de groupes ethno-culturels et de leurs communautes, et s'y adaptent.

INTRODUCTION

The Chinese immigrant group in Canada is one of the oldest, and the Chinese are unique among immigrant groups in Canada "in the extent to which they organize voluntary associations within their community" (Willmott 1969, 30). Since Willmott's original work was published, Chinese ethnic organizations have undergone significant changes. In particular, the demographics of Chinese immigrants have changed dramatically (Guo and DeVoretz 2006a; Li 1998). One of the these changes is that they are no longer a homogeneous group from the rural areas of Guangdong and Fujian Provinces. In the 1980s, Canada attracted a large number of entrepreneurs and investors from Hong Kong and Taiwan. Furthermore, an unprecedented number of highly-educated and professionally trained immigrants arrived from the People's Republic of China during the 1990s. The changing characteristics of Chinese immigrants indicate that they come from diverse backgrounds, and present different needs and challenges. These changes also pose questions concerning supports in the Chinese immigrant community: First, what is the role of Chinese ethnic organizations concerning immigrants' settlement and adaptation under the new context? How have they responded in the past to the changing needs of Chinese communities in a multicultural society? …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Multiculturalism, Ethnicity and Minority Rights: The Complexity and Paradox of Ethnic Organizations in Canada
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.