Multiculturalism in Canada

Canada is a multicultural area, which has the different sense background, of religious, racial, and cultural festivity[1]. This is notable through the Canadian government adoption of the Multiculturalism policy, in the 1970-80s. This placed the Canadian government, as being the multiculturalism ideology instigator, due to its public prominence on the articulating the social significance of immigration. Therefore, placing the Royal Commission in Canada, dealing with Biculturalism and Bilingualism,  often to be referred in multiculturalism as being; the modern political wakefulness derivation.

“Multiculturalism” as a term, has been used by Canadians both descriptively, what is seen as a fact sociologically and prescriptively notable to be a political ideology. Canadian “multiculturalism” in the initial sagacity, is a depiction of the numerous different traditions in religion, and influences in culture that are in unison and coexistence in the makeup of the culture[2]. The state consists of natives from a whole host of religious, cultural and racial backgrounds.

It is further open to pluralism in culture. In discussing Canada, it is a state that has experienced diverse immigration waves, since the 19th century. By the 1980s about 40 percent of the Canadian population was of the two major groups, and amid the old. These were neither French nor the British.  In understanding the multiculturalism in the Canadians, past, the affiliation between the French and the British is significant in Canada’s history. By the untimely 21st century, natives from outside French and British inheritance composed the mainstream population, an increasing individual’s percentage, self identified as being the “visible minorities“.

Multiculturalism in the Canadian politics gets to be reflected in law throughout the Multiculturalism Act of Canada  and further in Canadian Rights Charter, section 27. This is with no limitations to the Freedoms that get administered by the Canadian Heritage Department. This gets reflected in the cultures multiplicity in the country. In spite of the official policies, Canadian population segments are critical of the cultural mosaic concept and its implementation in the multiculturalism legislation.

Research Question

To understand the nexus of politics and development in Canada, a great question gets to be posed as a guide in the tackling of this critical issue. This is by looking into:

How can the Canadian Multiculturalism develop the ability of interested persons to access, comprehend, and use it study in broadening the political arena, by analyzing the problems associated with the modern political processes in Canada?

Theoretical Approaches and Argument

Cultural studies a scholarly field of literary criticism and critical theory, firstly was introduced by the British and afterwards adopted by academics that were allied all over the world. Typically an interdisciplinary, cultural study aids cultural researchers, theorizing on the forces of humankind daily lives. This is not an incorporated theory; it is a diverse study field encircling many and diverse approaches, methodologies and intellectual perspectives.

The objectives and methodologies of ethnic studies and cultural anthropology get to be discrete from the breadth. This is because; cultural studies focus is upon the dynamics in politics and that of the historical foundations and contemporary culture, conflicts and significant traits, posing concentration on exacting ideology[3]. This medium relates to gender, nationality, social class, ethnicity, instead of providing a comprehensive categorization and identification, of an exacting culture.

Through this concept, not getting limited to; the social theory,  feminist theory, political theory, literary theory and media theory, there have been criticism towards the need to study various societies cultural phenomena. This is to enable the understanding of meaning generation, which gets to be disseminated, and created from the spherical blend of political, social, and economical, contained by a particular culture. However, in studying this, cultural significant theories of agency and hegemony tend to emerge. This gets to be from movements in the cultural studies, and the communications theory. This broadly explains the globalization cultural forces. With this, distinctive approaches to cultural studies emerged, and have become prominent in the places like Canada, South Africa, United States, Australia, and even in Italy.

Dating to the 1980s, the neo-liberalism rise in Britain and the America’s new conservatism, brought about criticism from the political and academic forces. This was as a result of alliance in numerous scholars’ of cultural studies, and that of Marxist theory. These politics were left-wing, and got to be perceived as being “triumphalism” by conventional scholars. Cultural studies opposition, got to be demonstrated dramatically even with the closure of Cultural Studies that was considered to be the world’s academic founding program specializing on cultural studies. This was with the continued opponents’ description of the discipline as being “irrelevant,”.

The need for more and precise understanding of this subject saw the drift of the hegemony theory. This is meant to enable understanding the changing political status of politics, class, and culture. Through this scholarly there has been a more classical Marxism that is modified to enable the seeing of culture as being a key social and political control instrument. Capitalists in this view, not only used brute force like the police, repression, prisons and military uphold control, but penetrated the culture of everyday through working people. This therefore brought out the cultural hegemony.

In drawing out its merit of consent and culture, it brings the need to understand the fundamental power in the requisites of class opposed to class, giving the class alliance question. This explains the cultural studies rise that was based on fundamental politics prominence and the decline of the class against class.  Further, the hegemony theory was found to be of central importance to cultural studies development. This is because it facilitated scrutiny to subordinate groups’ ways, which actively oppose and respond to domination of politics and economics. As a demerit, these subordinate groups were ideologically not supposed to be seen simply as the reflexive dupes of the dominant class.

Additionally, the agency theory got to be of importance. As a merit to this, there was opened up work of exploring agency. This got to be a theoretical attitude reinserting the people’s dynamic, critical capacities. This has supplemented the scholarly emphasis on peoples groups, including the primitives, working class, women, and even the colonized people of whom the political consciousness and action scope got to be oppositional limited inside certain political and economic structures. In an elaborate manner, most historians, sociologists, economists and political scientists have conventionally failed in acknowledging the role of shaping the world.

At times, as a demerit to this theory, the romance of cultural studies having the conception of agency virtually excludes the prospect of repression. This tends to overlook the subaltern verity that of having their politics, and exaggerates its potential, romanticizing agency, with pervasiveness. However, discoveries in consumers creativity in using commodities by subverting and dominating on ideologies, has seen the orientation come under scrutiny for a diversity of reasons.

Therefore argumentatively, cultural studies get to be concerned with practices and meaning of daily life. Cultural practices contain the traditions in which people do particulars. This is by the use of diverse objects. Hence, this field applies meaning by using peoples attribute, towards a range of objects and partaking in a given setting. Recently, the spread of capitalism throughout the world has put cultural studies on analyzing the local forms and global forms of confrontation to Western motivated hegemony.

Background Research

In understanding the Canadian Multiculturalism, the 21st century gets to be of most significance. Canada gets to be characterized to be having extremely progressive, and a variance in multiculturalism. However, up to the 1940s, Canada got to be dominated by the French  and English linguistic, cultural, and even political identities. This was however with some Aboriginal scope. Looking into the case of the European immigrants, those who speak supplementary languages, examples of Ukrainian Canadians, and those of German ethnicity have history in understanding the political developments. In this case, they were First World War suspects and got put in camps as they were considered to be of enemy nation’s citizens. Having all these suspicions, there came up the need to understand the political scope as a way to woo allies, who could support in the war.

Further, the multicultural history assists predetermine the political future of the Canadians. In a case of the Asians, they encountered obstacles that were legal; limiting their immigration in the 1800s up to early 1900s.This is important in addressing the immigration obstacles for the present and the future in Canada.  Additionally, explicit ethnic groups that immigrate encounter barriers in Canada that prevent their full contribution in matters affecting politics and socialization. This was inclusive of voter rights and equal pay. Earlier on ex-slave refugees who were black of the United States origin, had been tolerated. They were Asian or African racial minorities of origin, and were generally believed not to be acceptable mostly[4].

This understanding started shifting in the Second World War dramatically. This was by the Japanese Canadians are getting to be interned in the period of the overseas divergence, and their belongings confiscated. Preceding the Canadian Rights Bill advent in 1960, there was no much provision in the civil way, therefore getting typically to be limited to the courts. As a way to multiculturalism since the 1960s, there has been an emphasis placed in Canada on people parity and comprehensiveness.


Most important issues that have seen the understanding of multiculturalism in Canada has been immigration. Integrally, this has played a major part in the advancement of multiculturalism. This has especially been in the 20th century last half. With the legislative limits on immigration, which had favored immigrants from America, Britain, and Europe, they got to be amended in the 1960s, resulting in an invasion of varied Asian, Caribbean and African populations. Lately people who are immigrating are steadily increasing. This has been a case between the years 2001 to 2006. This has been through foreign-births with populations of visible minority, as self identities.

Currently, Canada has among the highest immigration rate in per capita across the world. It is motivated by the policy on economy  and reunification of family .Further, it resettles the world’s one in ten refugees and over. This has brought up the fact that Canadians get to be of either the 1st or 2nd generation, therefore, noting that, currently one in every five Canadians was not born in Canada. In political development, political parties get to be precarious on criticizing the towering immigration level, so that not to be renowned as being ‘racist’.

Another issue is the areas that are culturally diverse[5]. Multiculturalism got manifestation through this. Looking into this, newcomers in Canada have got to settle in urban areas majorly. This is providing a unique blend of cultures, especially to those descents of Canada for long. Having several ethnocentric communities in Canada, there have been numerous diverse backgrounds. These are examples of the Italians, Chinese, and Greek. In Canada,  Chinatowns are among the mainly prolific ethnic enclave, in key cities.

Having these areas in Canada, apparently recreate a real Chinese experience in an urban neighborhood. In the 20th century first half, Chinatowns in Canada were associated with dirt, poverty, and abandonment. But by the overdue of the 20th century, they had turned out to be areas worth preserving, and of tourist attraction. In understanding the development linked to multiculturalism, these areas are now valued for their cultural implication and are features of mainly great Canadian cities[6].

After a look into these issues, unlike previous times, significant ethnic isolation, might in one way or otherwise imply integration lack, viewing this as being a social problem.  Currently the residential area’s ethnic concentration is a sign of liveliness indicating multiculturalism, a successful social policy. This has made ethnic groups to retain their identities at wish. This is with the preservation of old-world cultures similar; integrating ethnic groups. Additionally, neighborhoods, like the cultures practiced there, define a city, pointing to the fact implying integration as being a collaborative street.



In conclusion, for a better understanding of the Canadian multiculturalism, critics have to be understood as articulated. There is need to understand that multiculturalism, is ideal for benevolently co-existing cultures. Yet this remains distinct, and is sustainable, absurd or even enviable. In showing the positive role of multiculturalism policy the minority and immigrant process of integration, migration and citizenship in Canada totals the critics’ position.

In a varied scale, Critics may argue stating multiculturalism to be promoting Balkanization,  hence encouraging ethnic group members to look inward, however, to some Canadian citizens’ identities, This has not been the fact. Some extensively argue that multiculturalism restricts the minority members’ freedom, by culturally and geographically confining them to ethnic enclaves with cultures being complex.  This however may not be the case, as this promotes the social elite, which is at the back of political development.

It is notable that most Canadians do not have a strapping sense of being Canadians this is due to ethnic enclaves. This is because they tend to seek fitting in amid conventional Canadian culture. With all this into consideration, although multiculturalism is viable, it has been illustrious to be working better theoretically as opposed to practice. This calls for Canadians being assertive on valuing their national identity. This identity is of English speaking Canada. Multiculturalism can be said to be hurting the Canadians, this is because it perpetuates inter and intra group conflicts. This has the capacity to hinder substantive parity in the politically motivated labor market, threatening ethnic minorities.



Bannerji, Himani. The dark side of the nation: Essays on multiculturalism, nationalism and gender.           Canadian Scholars’ Press, 2000.


Fantino, Ana Marie, and Alice Colak. “Refugee children in Canada: searching for identity.” Child            Welfare 80, no. 5 (2001).


Kumar, K., J. Van Hillegersberg, and E. R. P. Experiences. “Evolution.” Communications of the ACM      43, no. 4 (2000): 23-26.


Kymlicka, Will, and Wayne J. Norman, eds. Citizenship in diverse societies. Oxford University Press,       2000.


Lawrence, W. “Multiculturalism in Canada.” Publications Oboulo. com (2009).


Wood, Patricia K., and Liette Gilbert. “Multiculturalism in Canada: Accidental discourse, alternative       vision, urban practice.” International journal of urban and regional research 29, no. 3 (2005):       679-691.


[1] Lawrence, W. “Multiculturalism in Canada.” Publications Oboulo. com (2009).


[2] Kumar, K., J. Van Hillegersberg, and E. R. P. Experiences. “Evolution.” Communications of the ACM  43, no. 4 (2000): 23-26.


[3] Bannerji, Himani. The dark side of the nation: Essays on multiculturalism, nationalism and gender. Canadian Scholars’ Press, 2000.


[4] Fantino, Ana Marie, and Alice Colak. “Refugee children in Canada: searching for identity.” Child Welfare 80, no. 5 (2001).


[5] Kymlicka, Will, and Wayne J. Norman, eds. Citizenship in diverse societies. Oxford University Press,  2000.


[6] Wood, Patricia K., and Liette Gilbert. “Multiculturalism in Canada: Accidental discourse, alternative vision, urban practice.” International journal of        urban and regional research 29, no. 3 (2005): 679-691.