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Constructing the nation through immigration law and legal processes of belonging

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posted on 23.05.2021, 17:38 authored by Valerie Molina
The aim of this critical literature review is to define the connection between immigration policies and the construction of a national identity, and to discuss what the implications of such connections may be. Tracing how the legal subjectivity of the migrant has developed throughout time and through policy reveals how messages about the nation and Others are created, sustained, and circulated through legal policies. What values are implicit within Canadian immigration policy? How does the migrant ‘other’ help ‘us’ stay ‘us’? How do nationalist ideologies construct the Other and how is this reflected in labour market segmentation? Constructing a national identity involves categorizing migrants into legal categories of belonging, a process in which historical positions of power are both legitimized and re-established through law. Discourses about temporary foreign workers provide examples of how the Other is framed in limited terms and in opposition to that of legitimate members of Canadian society. Key Terms: Citizenship, discourse, subjectivity, immigration law, identity, power, humanitarianism, temporary foreign workers, labour market segmentation.





Master of Arts


Immigration and Settlement Studies

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type