Challenges of Pluralism Notes

January 5, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Social Science, Political Science
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Contending Loyalties

Canada is unique because: Most Countries…


have one language

Is bilingual and multicultural

have a majority population of one ethnicity

has three founding nations and immigrants from around the world

expect people to integrate or assimilate

encourages and protects the rights of minority groups

have developed along defined geographic barriers

was created despite the geography

has had the course of history changed through violent revolution

evolved for the most part peacefully

have limited natural resources

has almost unlimited resources

do not question their identity

constantly seems to questions “what is a Canadian”

Loyalty  allegiance,

faithfulness, devotion, fidelity, steadfastness, attachment

loyalties can affect the choices you make, and some choices can test our loyalties

 Patriotism:

love of country, directly relates to loyalty

Examples of Conflicting Loyalties 

a member of the Blackfoot people feeling a loyalty to her people and to Canada.

people of Newfoundland mourning the loss of soldiers at the Battle of Somme on July 1st

a hockey player traded from Edmonton to Colorado must try to beat the Oilers in a hockey game

could a homecoming parade for soldiers be both a protest against war and a display of patriotism?

The 1995 Quebec referendum demonstrated different perspectives of immigrants versus the long-term residents

“Contending loyalties? Are you kidding? I grew up in the United States, where you swear allegiance to the flag every day in school. We were good Americans and were weren’t embarrassed to show it. Now I’m a dual citizen, American and Canadian, or maybe I should say Canadian and American. I’m not sure which comes first. There are lots of great things about Canada. But it really bugs me when my friends slag Americans for warmongering. Talk about stereotyping! I’m always explaining that there are just as many points of view on war and terrorism in the United States as there is in Canada. So yeah, sometimes it’s hard to separate my feelings for my birth country and my adopted country. “ (student who has moved to Alberta)

Regional and nationalist loyalties can sometimes compete e.g. Alberta and Canada (NEP, Kyoto)

Ignoring contending loyalties – some people remain uninvolved because they feel they don’t know enough, they don’t have enough power, or it does not affect them directly. These people may pay a price for their silence: someone else will make important decisions for them.

Choosing one loyalty over another – can lead to feelings of alienation (e.g. China prohibits practice of some religious groups like Falun Gong; followers must decide which loyalty is more important to them)

Inuit Perspectives 

Inuit signed no treaties with the British, but have still been affected by government policies 

1930s animal populations were declining so Inuit were moved to permanent settlements (sometimes by force) that changed the culture, and health, of Inuit people. This created serious social problems 

eg names – Canadian government decided it was too difficult to keep track of the Inuit people who had only one name. So they assigned a personal number to each person. Often government workers, like teachers, would refer to students by their id number (Annie E7-121). In 1969 the system was abolished but Inuit people were told they would have to choose a last name, which went against the traditions of the Inuit

Nationalist loyalties in a multicultural nation  pluralism:

encouraging many groups to celebrate their collective identities

 

“Canada is a nation of nations” “The Canadian national experience had bedeviled (as well as enriched) by the fact that English and French Canada do not share the same history of 1759. For more than 200 years, Canadian politics has been defined by the quarrel over the meaning of the battle on the Plains of Abraham. It is sentimental illusion to suppose that the two communities will ever agree on what it means. At best, we will agree to disagree; we will continue the argument. And the argument – provided it remains civil – will not prevent us from living together and sharing political institutions.” (Michael Ignatieff)

Reasonable accommodation 

a legal and constitutional concept that requires Canadian public institutions to adapt to the religious and cultural practices of minorities as long as these practices do not violate other rights and freedoms.

the vision of Canada as a bilingual and multicultural society has also sparked debate about how far a pluralistic society should go to accommodate and protect the rights of minorities.

Eg – Sikh turban – RCMP uniform  (does changing a nation’s symbols reduce citizens’ nationalist loyalties?) Hutterites in Alberta and photo id on driver’s licences Having to wear a helmet

 

Non-nationalist loyalties  loyalties

that are not embedded in the idea of nation (eg family) 

sometimes they are intertwined. Loyalty to your friends is not a nationalist loyalty, but you may have chosen a friend because you both moved to Alberta from England and share a nationalist loyalty to your mother country.

Choosing one loyalty over another can lead to feelings of alienation 

e.g. China prohibits practice of some religious groups like Falun Gong; followers must decide which loyalty is more important to them; Aboriginal Canadians feeling disconnected from their culture to fit into urban society

Reconciling contending loyalties  coming

to terms with the past or mending a broken relationship

e.g. Aboriginal peoples of Canada 

Federal government Statement of Reconciliation (1998) – expressed regret for Canada’s history of suppressing Aboriginal culture and values and weakening the identity of Aboriginal peoples. Aboriginal peoples are participating in the creation of school curriculum that celebrates and educates Canadians about Aboriginal cultures and issues Aboriginal groups play a role in making government decisions, therefore showing a loyalty to the Aboriginal nation and the Canadian nationstate

Where do you sit on the spectrum? \----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------/ Nationalism is central to identity


Nationalism plays a minimal role in identity

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