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A case of mistaken identity : reconceptualizing the citizen in multicultural Canada

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posted on 23.05.2021, 14:01 authored 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.





Master of Arts


Immigration and Settlement Studies

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type


Thesis Advisor

June Ying Yee Gordon Pon