Social Cleavages 2

Aboriginal Peoples, Multiculturalism and Gender

WEEK 5, W-2018

Replacing Dr. David Emelifeonwu, Tuesday 6 Feb 1440-1630, G133
Social Cleavages in Canada, part II
Dyck, Critical Approaches, Chapters 4, 6 and 7

Opening question:
what’s in the news? (3 min discussion – 5×30 seconds)

What have you learned so far in POE205 and why do these three subjects belong together?
(2 min discussion – 2×60 seconds)

CA-4 Aboriginal peoples

CA-6 Ethno-cultural minorities

Theoretical considerations

  • Cultural pluralism Politics of identity
  • Normative questions: assimilation vs multiculturalism
  • Reasonable accommodation debates
  • Impact on political culture

Three lives of multiculturalism (Will Kymlicka, 2008 Laurier Lecture)

  • Language (initially OLA, then broader to dress, dance, diet)
  • Phenotype (US Civil rights and pigment discrimination)
  • Religion, especially political Islam vs embedded Christianity

what is a “moral panic”? Why are folk devils and moral panics politically important?

Current profile of ethno-cultural minorities

Immigration history in Canada

  • Dyck, fig 6.1 historical perspective

Multiculturalism and accompanying policies

These are examples of civil society – who pays? who supports? What do they do? How do they play a role in political action and policy development?

Current issues

  • Competition for political culture, cultural hegemony
  • Immigrant question: who, how many, accommodation? Change? Temporary
  • Foreign workers and their treatment
  • Rights, identity, violence, poverty, discrimination
  • values, attitudes and beliefs (VAB) “incompatible” with Canadian VAB?
  • Inclusion and involvement of immigrants
  • “Reasonable accommodation”? Quebec’s bill banning face coverings and German comparison.  Bouchard-Taylor Commission Report

CA-7 Gender


  • Feminist goal of gender equality
  • Sex vs gender
  • Identities, variations, NOT binary
  • Broad or narrow interpretation of the political?
  • Intersectionality

Women’s rights pre-1970

  • Focus on educational and occupational rights pre-1900
  • Enfranchisement – the first wave
  • Reform of social legislation
  • Even with vote, few women legislators for some time

Women’s movement post-1970

Current issues

  • Employment, pay equity, under-representation at executive level Unpaid work in the home, childcare
  • Indian Act and gender equality – 1985
  • Abortion, sexual harassment, sexual assault
  • Childcare, poverty, single mothers, childcare
  • Women’s centres
  • Third wave feminism – shift to marginalized women 1990s
  • Regression in the 2000s (Harper)
  • Changing LGBT community – harassment, discrimination

Readings for tutorial:

W. Kymlicka, “Putting Multiculturalism in Perspective” Russell, chp. 29
H. Cardinal, “The Unjust Society” Russell, chp. 32