Selling Diversity: Immigration, Multiculturalism, Employment Equity, and Globalization

By Yasmeen Abu-Laban and Christina Gabriel

© 2002

Since the 1990s, Canadian policy prescriptions for immigration, multiculturalism, and employment equity have equated globalization with global markets. This interpretation has transformed men and women of various ethnic backgrounds into trade-enhancing commodities who must justify their skills and talents in the language of business. This particular neo-liberal reading of globalization and public policy has resulted in a trend the authors call selling diversity.

Using gender, race/ethnicity, and class lenses to frame their analysis, the authors review Canadian immigration, multiculturalism, and employment equity policies, including their different historical origins, to illustrate how a preference for selling diversity has emerged in the last decade. In the process they suggest that a commitment to enhance justice in a diverse society and world has been muted. Yet, neo-liberalism is not the only or inevitable option in this era of globalization, and Canadians are engaging in transnational struggles for rights and equality and thereby increasing the interconnectedness between peoples across the globe. Consequently, the emphasis on selling diversity might be challenged.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 208 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.8in x 0.5in x 9.0in
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  • PUBLISHED SEP 2002

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    Regular Price: $32.95

    ISBN 9781442600720
  • PUBLISHED SEP 2002

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    Regular Price: $35.95

Quick Overview

Using gender, race/ethnicity, and class lenses to frame their analysis, the authors review Canadian immigration, multiculturalism, and employment equity policies, including their different historical origins, to illustrate how a preference for selling diversity has emerged in the last decade.

Selling Diversity: Immigration, Multiculturalism, Employment Equity, and Globalization

By Yasmeen Abu-Laban and Christina Gabriel

© 2002

Since the 1990s, Canadian policy prescriptions for immigration, multiculturalism, and employment equity have equated globalization with global markets. This interpretation has transformed men and women of various ethnic backgrounds into trade-enhancing commodities who must justify their skills and talents in the language of business. This particular neo-liberal reading of globalization and public policy has resulted in a trend the authors call selling diversity.

Using gender, race/ethnicity, and class lenses to frame their analysis, the authors review Canadian immigration, multiculturalism, and employment equity policies, including their different historical origins, to illustrate how a preference for selling diversity has emerged in the last decade. In the process they suggest that a commitment to enhance justice in a diverse society and world has been muted. Yet, neo-liberalism is not the only or inevitable option in this era of globalization, and Canadians are engaging in transnational struggles for rights and equality and thereby increasing the interconnectedness between peoples across the globe. Consequently, the emphasis on selling diversity might be challenged.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 208 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.8in x 0.5in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    Selling Diversity begins where official rationales of multiculturalism stop short. Provocatively linking diversity to globalization, Abu-Laban and Gabriel provide a critical and very timely look at the unequal impact of Canadian immigration policies.


    Reg Whitaker, Professor Emeritus, York University and Adjunct Professor, University of Victoria

    An important book for all those interested in public policy in Canada. Abu-Laban and Gabriel analyze concisely and clearly recent policy shifts, showing the ways in which neo-liberal policy directions have played out in immigration, multiculturalism, and employment equity policies. The authors illustrate how, despite a growing acceptance and even celebration of diversity, market-oriented, privatizing policies have in fact led to the selling out of substantive equality. The authors do a superb job of showing how the intersections of gender, race, and class are constitutive parts of these policies and therefore essential to their understanding and analysis.


    Caroline Andrew, University of Ottawa

    Selling Diversity is an excellent resource. By providing a very accessible and thorough account of Canada's economy of diversity, the authors expose the gendered dynamics of each of the policy areas and make transparent how the discourses of globalization can act as an alibi for neo-liberal practices and policies. Selling Diversity offers a timely intervention into the political economy of Canadian public policy and legislation in this moment of globalized neo-liberalism.


    Simone A. Brown, University of Toronto, Resources for Feminist Research

  • Author Information

    Yasmeen Abu-Laban is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta. The author, with Christina Gabriel, of Selling Diversity: Immigration, Multiculturalism, Employment Equity, and Globalization (University of Toronto Press, 2002), she has also written numerous articles on citizenship theory and the comparative dimensions of migration, nationalism, and identity politics.


    Christina Gabriel is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and Pauline Jewett Institute of Women's Studies at Carleton.

  • Table of contents

    Acknowledgements

    Chapter One:
    Diversity, Globalization and Public Policy in Canada

    Chapter Two:
    Immigration and Canadian Citizenship

    Chapter Three:
    Contemporary Directions:
    Immigration and Citizenship Policy 1993-2001

    Chapter Four:
    Multiculturalism and Nation-Building

    Chapter Five:
    Employment Equity

    Chapter Six:
    Conclusion: Selling (Out) Diversity in an Age of Globalization

    Selected Bibliography

    Index

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