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National Identity in a globalized Canada: Language, Culture, Customs, and the intergration of New Canadians - Essay Example

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National Identity in a globalized Canada: Language, Culture, Customs, and the intergration of New Canadians
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National Identity in a globalized Canada: Language, Culture, Customs, and the integration of New Canadians BenedictAnderson argued that the spread of sense of belongingness in an imagined community is the process that gives rise to diverse nation. The community created came through spread of newspaper, rise of literacy, improved communication and travel within the national territory (Anderson, 36-42). A reflective re-examination of the Canadian mosaic reveals that its fundamental lies on a set of core normative and ethical values. This provides an explicit perspective on the central issue of the immigration policy of Canada. The study deals in a close overview on the immigration policies of Canada.
There is a fundamental alteration in the history of Marxism and Marxist. Eric Hobsbawn argues that “Marxist movements and states have a tendency to become national not only in form but also in substance that is nationalist” (Anderson, 2-3). He assumes that this trend will continue. The tendency is not only confined to the socialist world but has spread in other parts of the world too. Every year thousand of new members are admitted in United States. Many of the old nations that were supposed to be consolidated are now facing challenges due to the sub nationalism within their borders. The reality is quite simple, the prediction which said that this is “the end of the era of nationalism, is now not remotely in sight” (Anderson, 2-3).
Marshall argued that the class inequalities of a capitalist society in the eighteenth and nineteenth century were extremely harmonious in term of rights of citizenship. According to Marshall such rights were necessary to maintain a particular form of inequality, since citizenship rights were similar to civil rights and civil rights were indispensable in a competitive market economy (Marshall, 87). Citizenship will strengthen class inequality if such rights are the foundation of citizenship. When political rights and social rights are incorporated in citizenship then the relationship formed with the class system is different from that which includes only civil rights (Turner, 37-38).
The nation-states are cultural artifacts with its origin in religious societies; political dynasties and elite led nation building process that are facilitated by the spread of printed documents and growth of mass media. However Anderson observed an anomaly in including English speaking Canada in United States, the reason being that the Americans failed to realize a territorial dream that integrated Canada. In 1930 Canada showed strong evidences of “a community being constructed around the legacy of ethnocentrism and raciest exclusion arising from its history as a colony within the British Empire” (Simmons, 15). “Thus Anderson situates commercial textuality at the center of the colonial project, mediating and defining a common imperial for geographically disparate group” (Connors, & MacDonald, 195). This is a historical observation that leads to the evolution of Canadian immigration policies.
To understand the Canadian immigration globalization may be considered as an important parameter. Globalization can be linked to different aspects. The concept of time space compression says that globalization lead to an economic, social and political link between the people who were previously isolated (Eriksen, 137). The State of mind concept says that individuals have different view in their minds which gets exchanged when they come in touch with each other (Zheng, 40). Globalization is seen as an ideology that generates imagined future for the nation in the international system. The ideology of globalization leads Canada to gaze towards global trade and competition that creates effective economy to maintain affluent society.
Canada’s culture follows religious pluralism. The huge increase in the immigration from various areas of Asia, Middle East and Africa has contributed in the growth of other religions. A large chunk of the population is Sikh and the immigration laws are tightened and they are denied of proper rights. However seventy-five percent of Canadian citizens follow Christianity (“Culture and Religion in Canada”).
French and English are regarded to be the two official languages of Canada. But there are also over 100 other unofficial languages. All the federal institutions use only these two official languages. Moreover Government of Canada has also set out directives to create and maintain this linguistic duality (“Official Languages”). For work permits knowledge on any of these two languages are mandatory.
The Government of Canada encourages both Canadian citizens and non Canadian’s before entering into Canada to know the customs they follow. Each and every traveler before getting inside Canada must declare “the food, animals, plants and other products” (“Customs: Requirements Upon Entry to Canada”) that are related to their natural habitats. This shows that they are very strict regarding their customs (“Customs: Requirements Upon Entry to Canada”).
Canada is ranked as the third best country among 31 other countries in integrating immigrants into their society. The Migrant Integration Policy Index is responsible for this ranking. The criteria that they judge includes “countrys policies on labor market mobility, family reunification for third-country nationals, education, political participation, long-term residence, access to nationality and anti-discrimination”. Canada is rated high for its anti-discrimination policies. It is also rated favorably well for its policies on education, access to nationality policies, labor market mobility and family reunification (“Immigration: Does Canada do a good job of integrating newcomers?”).
Immigrants are welcome in large numbers as they are assumed to be frequent contributors to the future of the country. But this is seen both negatively and positively. The immigrants would strengthen the economy and create job opportunity but at the same time it would also lead to job competition. However “There is widespread consensus that immigration has the potential to deliver substantial economic and social benefits to receiving countries” (Alexander, Burleton & Fong, 4). Therefore Canada should remove all barriers and look towards promoting immigration.
Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. Verso, 2006
Alexander, Craig, Burleton, Derek & Fong, Fong, “Knocking Down Barriers Faced By New Immigrants To Canada Fitting the Pieces Together”. 2012. February 6, 2013
Connors, Linda E. & MacDonald, Mary Lu. National Identity in Great Britain and British North America, 1815-1851: The Role of Nineteenth-Century Periodicals, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd, 2011
“Culture and Religion in Canada”. n.d. February 7, 2013
“Customs: Requirements Upon Entry to Canada”. n.d. February 7, 2013
Eriksen, Thomas Hylland. Globalization: The Key Concepts. Berg, 2007
“Immigration: Does Canada do a good job of integrating newcomers?”, CBC News, 2011. February 7, 2013
Marshall, Thomas Humphrey. Citizenship and Social Class. Cambridge University press, 1950
“Official Languages”. n.d. February 7, 2013
Simmons, Alan. Immigration and Canada: Global and Transnational Perspectives. Canadian Scholars’ Press, 2010
Turner , Bryan S. Citizenship and Social Theory. SAGE, 1993
Zheng, Yongnian. Globalization and State Transformation in China. Cambridge University Press, 2003 Read More
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