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The CBC's "Seven wonders of Canada" : exclusionary aspects of a project of national identity

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journal contribution
posted on 24.05.2021, 14:57 authored by Debbie Starzynski
The topic of my major research paper is national identity in the context of cultural pluralism. The paper has as its goal a socio-cultural analysis of national belonging. Immigration policy as gateway has, historically, excluded certain groups from entry to the country; nationalisms have prevented some of those who have gained entry to the country from gaining entry to the nation. I argue that the CBC's"Seven Wonder of Canada" campaign is one such nationalism, revealing nationalist tropes which include the cultural centre's longstanding tradition of identifying with the landscape and its more recent tradition of identifying with multicultural ideology - in its construction of national identity. Ultimately, this paper demonstrates that the campaign reflects an a-historic notion of national identity in which both geography and multiculturalism are used by the cultural centre to exclude. The construction of an exclusionary notion of national identity is necessarily challenged by notions of cultural pluralism. In the context of imbalanced power relations, mainstream Canadians, the cosmopolite and the Other vie for a share of national space.