Home and Native Land: Unsettling Multiculturalism in Canada

By Todd, Andrew | Canadian Dimension, November-December 2013 | Go to article overview

Home and Native Land: Unsettling Multiculturalism in Canada


Todd, Andrew, Canadian Dimension


Edited by May Chazan, Lisa Helps, Anna Stanley & Sonali Thakkar (Between the Lines, 2011)

Featuring a wealth of prominent radical and critical race theorists, this collection of essays takes aim at one of Canada's nationalistic sacred cows: our official multiculturalism policy. Taking racial categories seriously as a form of social organization throughout Canadian history, the authors in this book analyze how multiculturalism as an official policy of the Canadian state developed as a result of the crisis in Canadian immigration and labour starting in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

As the state began to look to non-European countries in order to ensure sustainable pools of immigrants and flexible labour, the overt racism and white nationalism which had characterized Canada up until that point could no longer be sustained. The short answer to the crisis involved rebranding Canada as an open and inclusive society tolerant of religious and cultural differences. Multiculturalism became a mode of reasoning through which problematic "others" could be managed and included in the Canadian social fabric in a limited sense. …

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Home and Native Land: Unsettling Multiculturalism in Canada
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