A case of mistaken identity : reconceptualizing the citizen in multicultural Canada
thesisposted on 23.05.2021, 14:01 by Winnie Wong
As immigration continues to transform the ethno-racial composition of Canada, growing evidence of barriers to integration compels a re-evaluation of multiculturalism. Integration based on multicultural citizenship problematizes immigration by reproducing exclusionary nationalism and essentializing culturalism. The concept of citizenship preserves the myth of a national community although global issues manifest within national borders and local policies prioritize global capital. While multiculturalism implies cultural equality, the reality is a social hierarchy influenced by shifting identities resulting from migration and a constructed 'Canadianness' stemming from colonization. To replace the one-sided approach of immigrant obligation with mutual responsibility, integration must challenge the nationalist/culturalist tendencies of multicultural citizenship by reconceptualising the citizen from a critical transnational perspective that connects the local with the global. Therefore, this paper will present a revised concept of citizenship based on interdependency, which contradicts nationalism by localizing global inequality and challenges culturalism by globalizing local identities.