Multicultiphobia

by Phil Ryan

© 2010

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.

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  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 279 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.8in x 9.0in
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Quick Overview

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.

Multicultiphobia

by Phil Ryan

© 2010

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.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 279 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.8in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    ‘Ryan‘s book will be of interest to a variety of readers, from political scientists and philosophers to policy-makers and the general public.’
    Chris Durante
    Journal of Religion and Culture, vol 23:2012

    '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

    '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
  • Author Information

    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
    Introduction
    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
    Conclusion193

    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
    Conclusion216

    Chapter 10: How are we doing? 218
    Multiculturalism and the welfare state219
    Social cohesion221
    Social interaction224
    Conclusion232

    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

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