MANAGING CONTRADICTIONS OF MULTICULTURALISM: NARRATIVES OF BELONGING AND BEING CANADIAN AMONG CANADIAN MIDDLE EASTERN WOMEN
thesisposted on 24.05.2021, 12:04 by Niki Mohrdar
This thesis investigates experiences of belonging and being Canadian among first-generation Canadian Middle Eastern women through one-on-one interviews with 13 women. Since the election of Justin Trudeau in 2015, Canada has recommitted to bolstering discourses of multiculturalism. There have been, however, lasting impacts from mainstream discourses that followed 9/11, which positioned Middle Eastern women as imperiled and Middle Eastern culture as backward. Additionally, liberal multiculturalism in Canada has done little to address systemic racism, and instead encourages a superficial level of acceptance. Contradictions of multiculturalism can be found in the narratives of these women, who sometimes repeat discourses that do not benefit them. Conversely, women who have access to discourses that position multiculturalism as ideological, have a difficult time expressing a Canadian identity and display a critical understanding of their experiences. These narratives are considered in a wider context of how race and racism structure Canada today.