The European Roots of Canadian Identity
Published: April 2013© 2013
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 128 Pages
Dimensions: 5.50 x 8.50
128 Pages, 5.50 x 8.50 x 1.00 in
Ebook - PDF
What makes Canada a different kind of society from the United States? In this book-length essay, Philip Resnick argues that, in more ways than one, Canada has been profoundly marked by its European origins. This is most apparent where the European historical underpinnings both of English-speaking and French-speaking Canada are concerned, but it is no less true when one examines Canada's multiple national identities, robust social programs, increasingly secular values and multilateral outlook on international affairs today. As the war in Iraq brought home, and the 2004 federal election reinforced, Canada is a more European-type society than is our neighbour to the south.
This does not come without its own complexities or problems. On the contrary, there are significant parallels between the ambiguous versions of national identity that one finds in Canada and what one finds on the European continent. There are parallels, too, between the elements of self-doubt that characterize Canadians overall when they think about their country and those of Europeans caught up in their own, often fractious, attempts to forge a more integrated Europe. The author argues that Canada needs Europe as an effective counter-weight to the influence of the United States. He further argues that, at a deeper existential level, Canadians need relevant European references to better understand what makes them the kind of North Americans that they are.
The Canadian Enigma
Particularistic vs. Universalistic Identities
As Canadian as Possible under the Circumstances
Multinational Realities and Ambiguous Identities
The Canadian Social Contract
Is Multiculturalism Enough?
Canada and the Pax Americana
Americanness vs. Europeanness
The Cultural Imperative
The Metaphysics of Canadian Identity
The most articulate and controversial proponent of Euro-Canada is Philip Resnick of the University of British Columbia, a scholar who is well versed in the political ecologies of both English Canada and Quebec. He [has published] an outspoken manifesto calling for a European view of Canada. Doug Saunders, The Globe and Mail
This book offers an engaging insight into the European origins of the national values of Canadians and their future challenges. All those who read it will be drawn into discussion on what it means to be Canadian.... Excellent! Timely! Raymond Chretien, Former Canadian Ambassador to the United States and France
Canada's roots in European traditions remain more important than multicultural advocates allow. So argues Philip Resnick in a book well worth reading. Resnick has new things to say about the perennial question of the Canadian identity. John Richards, Simon Fraser University