Canadian citizenship in evolution: exploring six Canadian citizenship guidebooks from 1946-2012
thesisposted on 22.05.2021, 10:58 by Sonya Anklesaria
Six educational guidebooks on the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship for new immigrants have existed for approximately six decades, arriving alongside the first Citizenship Act in 1947. These guidebooks have been circulated by the Canadian government in the hopes of educating immigrants unfamiliar with Canadian culture and democracy as adopted from Great Britain. By understanding democratic theory and its relationship to citizenship education, this paper explores four themes (how various governments have viewed the terms and conditions of becoming a citizen, the “vision” of Canada presented in the various guides, the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, and what the guidebooks imply about social inclusion and the integration of new Canadians) within each successive guidebook in order to analyse how different governments over the years have prepared newcomers for citizenship in Canada, and what constitutes successful integration. By exploring the various themes of each guidebook, this paper finds that government-sponsored citizenship guidebooks are products of both domestic and international socio-political atmospheres, whose goal is to present to newcomers citizenship education, as well as a vision of Canada that reflects partisan attitudes toward various public policies.