by Phil Ryan

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Official multiculturalism, established as Canadian government policy in 1971, has drawn criticism from many scholars and journalists who view it as a potential threat to a strong, unified Canadian society. In this timely and original book, Phil Ryan examines the emergence and influence of these criticisms, which continue to provoke an anxiety he calls "multicultiphobia." Although Ryan argues that multicultiphobic discourse is often marred by important errors of fact and interpretation, a systematic inspection of news coverage and parliamentary debates reveals the persistent influence of these critiques and their underlying concerns.

Rather than simply dismissing multicultiphobia, Ryan acknowledges that critics of multiculturalism have identified issues about which Canadians need to talk. Does multiculturalism discourage adaptation and encourage 'cultural walls' between Canadians? Does it promote an 'anything goes' relativism? Finally, what do we - both as supporters and critics of multiculturalism - wish to make of Canada's ethnic diversity? Multicultiphobia perceptively tackles all of these questions by means of a sophisticated analysis that encourages a deeper understanding of the issues at the heart of multiculturalism.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442698932
Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Publication date: 04/24/2010
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 279
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Phil Ryan is an associate professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University. His most recent book, Multicultiphobia, was shortlisted for the Canada Prize in the Social Sciences in 2011.

Table of Contents

Table of contents
Multiculturalism 4
Culture 10
Plan of this work 22
Why this approach? 27

PART I: Fin-de-siècle critiques of multiculturalism 32
Chapter One: Classics of multicultiphobia 32
Bibby's Mosaic madness32
Bissoondath's Selling illusions35
Gwyn's Nationalism without walls39
Granatstein's Who killed Canadian history? 45
A Summary of the "Classics"47

Chapter Two: Multicultiphobia: A closer look 52
The primitive ontology of multicultiphobia52
Frozen and monolithic multiculturalism 59
Causality in the classics 65
The lure of the fairy-tale 69
Multicultiphobia and the scourge of political correctness 77

Chapter Three: Multiculturalism in Parliament, 1994-95 82
Bloc Québécois critiques of multiculturalism 83
Reform Party critiques 85 The Liberal response 97
The quality of the Parliamentary debate 103

Chapter Four: Multiculturalism in the News (1995) 108
Methodology 109 Thematic analysis 111
Conclusion 128

PART II: Multiculturalism after 911 129
Chapter 5: Multiculturalism, immigration, security 129
Stoffman and Canadian immigration policy 130
Collacott and the terrorist threat 134
Conclusion 137

Chapter 6: Parliament 2005-06: The ambiguous triumph of multiculturalism 139

Chapter 7: Multiculturalism in the News (2006) 148
Echoes of the "classics" 148
Echoes of 1995 themes 152
Paper-by-paper analysis 154
Conclusion 168

PART III: What do we need to talk about? 169
Chapter 8: Multiculturalism and relativism 169
The problem of relativism170
Relativism 1173
Relativism 2180
Relativism 3184

Chapter 9: Multiculturalism and society's basic needs 195
Values, or guns and jails? 198
What society do we want?209
What does this society need?210

Chapter 10: How are we doing? 218
Multiculturalism and the welfare state219
Social cohesion221
Social interaction224

Chapter 11: Sauce for the goose...? 235
Double standards...?236
... What double standards?237
The solidarity principle241
Religious regulation246
Concluding thought251

PART IV: Update and Conclusion 252
Chapter 12: Immortal Multicultiphobia? 252
Recent multicultiphobia252
The Kenney factor254
A Personal Conclusion 263
How do we need to talk? 264
What do we want multiculturalism to be? 273

Works Cited 281
Notes 336

What People are Saying About This

Danielle Juteau

'Multicultiphobia is a nuanced critique from a very cultured author who quotes Habermas and Peanuts, Woody Allen, Dostoevsky, and Rousseau, an author who possesses a good understanding of...multiculturalism as well as a deep knowledge of national debates.'
Danielle Juteau, Department of Sociology, Universite de Montreal

Sheema Khan

'Phil Ryan's in-depth analysis is not only timely, but essential, as Canadian identity evolves in the twenty-first century. His approach makes sense: ask tough questions about multiculturalism based on facts, not fear. Kudos to Mr Ryan for deconstructing the movement against multiculturalism.'
Sheema Khan, Phd, columnist for The Globe and Mail, and author of Of Hockey and Hijab: Reflections of a Canadian Muslim Woman

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