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Commentary on “Canadian Multiculturalism: Global Anxieties and Local Debates by Keith Banting and Will Kymlicka

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In “Canadian Multiculturalism: Global Anxieties and Local Debates” Keith Banting and Will Kymlicka challenge the understanding that failed multiculturalism in Europe will follow suit in Canada. Although Canada is not immune from the challenges that can come with multiculturalism, the way in which they tackle problems are country specific and do not necessarily reflect the practice or outcomes of other nations. As UK critic of multiculturalism Trevor Phillips, observes Canada to be ‘sleepwalking towards segregation’ (44) when the dynamics are far more complicated. TRANSITION SENTENCE REQUIRED
The mention of the abolition of multiculturalism for a “new” post-multiculturalist approach becomes difficult to understand. It claims, “to avoid the ‘excesses’ of multiculturalism” (47), however where does this notable governmental and social switch take place? How is the term coined, and how is it understood in theory versus in practice? How is it different from its predecessor? Even the classification of history struggles to define what is considered to be modern, let alone post-modern, and yet the term suggests a positive approach to alleviating difficult assimilation projects similar to those faced elsewhere (47). This notion may developed on the grounds of “someone else’s problems” ¬– in regards to its Canadian context – as a means to label, or justify, miscellaneous aspects of multiculturalism. However, with the government-wide commitment to policies and programs, in conjunction with social understanding, it naturally becomes subject to a wide array of differing opinions. As both immigration and citizenship policies change, its public reception often shifts as well. Especially since the channels referred to within the ‘multiculturalism...


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... presence of religious diversity amongst the multiculturalist scene, multiculturalism and its relationships to ethnocultureal minorities, Quebec’s reasonable accommodation as well as the overlap of Aboriginal and multiculturalism issues, require research and development. This speak volumes about Banting and Kymlicka, as it places their work on a larger spectrum that will one day be surrounded by other impressive works that may compliment or challenge their findings. Canadian multiculturalism is completely different than what takes place in different countries. It goes without saying that not every picture can be painted with the same type of brush because the world is not full of the same picture that has a white washed idealized understanding. With that being said, the problems in other countries are not inherent to the multiculturalism picture in other countries.



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