The scenarios above are examples of individual discrimination, but other types exist.
Institutional discrimination occurs when a societal system has developed with embedded disenfranchisement of a group, such as the U. While most white people are willing to admit that nonwhite people live with a set of disadvantages due to the color of their skin, very few are willing to acknowledge the benefits they receive. The death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO on August 9, illustrates racial tensions in the United States as well as the overlap between prejudice, discrimination, and institutional racism.
Persistent racial inequality in employment, housing, and a wide range of other social domains has renewed interest in the possible role of. Racial Discrimination - Sociology Paper. ORDERED AND NOT WRITTEN BY LAURA MCCARN 1. Introduction: This topic is geared towards the.
On that day, Brown, a young unarmed black man, was killed by a white police officer named Darren Wilson. During the incident, Wilson directed Brown and his friend to walk on the sidewalk instead of in the street. While eyewitness accounts vary, they agree that an altercation occurred between Wilson and Brown.
Three autopsies independently confirmed that Brown was shot six times Lowery and Fears The shooting focused attention on a number of race-related tensions in the United States. The national dialogue shifted during the next few weeks, with some commentators pointing to a nationwide sedimentation of racial inequality and identifying redlining in Ferguson as a cause of the unbalanced racial composition in the community, in local political establishments, and in the police force Bouie Redlining is the practice of routinely refusing mortgages for households and businesses located in predominately minority communities, while sedimentation of racial inequality describes the intergenerational impact of both practical and legalized racism that limits the abilities of black people to accumulate wealth.
Individuals with multiple ethnic backgrounds are becoming more common. Prior to the twentieth century, racial intermarriage referred to as miscegenation was extremely rare, and in many places, illegal. In the later part of the twentieth century and in the twenty-first century, attitudes have changed for the better.
While the sexual subordination of slaves did result in children of mixed race, these children were usually considered black, and therefore, property. There was no concept of multiple racial identities with the possible exception of the Creole. Creole society developed in the port city of New Orleans, where a mixed-race culture grew from French and African inhabitants. It is now common for the children of racially mixed parents to acknowledge and celebrate their various ethnic identities. While this is the trend, it is not yet evident in all aspects of our society.
For example, the U. Census only recently added additional categories for people to identify themselves, such as non-white Hispanic. A growing number of people chose multiple races to describe themselves on the Census, paving the way for the Census to provide yet more choices. To some, the Confederate flag is a symbol of pride in Southern history.
In January , two girls walked into Burleson High School in Texas carrying purses that displayed large images of Confederate flags. School administrators told the girls that they were in violation of the dress code, which prohibited apparel with inappropriate symbolism or clothing that discriminated based on race.
Why did the school ban the purses, and why did it stand behind that ban, even when being sued? Why did the girls, identified anonymously in court documents as A. The issue, of course, is not the purses: it is the Confederate flag that adorns them. In the end, the court sided with the district and noted that the Confederate flag carried symbolism significant enough to disrupt normal school activities. If the Confederate flag is synonymous with slavery, is there any place for its display in modern society?
Those who fight for their right to display the flag say such a display should be covered by the First Amendment: the right to free speech. But others say the flag is equivalent to hate speech, which is not covered by the First Amendment. Do you think that displaying the Confederate flag should considered free speech or hate speech? Stereotypes are oversimplified ideas about groups of people.
Prejudice refers to thoughts and feelings, while discrimination refers to actions. Racism refers to the belief that one race is inherently superior or inferior to other races. How far should First Amendment rights extend? Learn more about institutional racism at www. Bouie, Jamelle.
August 19, Herring, C. Keith, and H. Hudson, David L. Klonoff, E. Explaining the Skin Color-Hypertension Relationship. Landor, Antoinette M. Simons, Gene H. Brody, Chalandra M.
Bryant, Frederick X. Gibbons, Ellen M. A prejudice is not based on experience; instead, it is a prejudgment originating outside of actual experience. Racism is a type of prejudice that is used to justify the belief that one racial category is somehow superior or inferior to others. While prejudice refers to biased thinking , discrimination consists of actions against a group of people. Discrimination can be based on age, religion, health, and other indicators. Race-based discrimination and anti-discrimination laws strive to address this set of social problems.
Discrimination based on race or ethnicity can take many forms, from unfair housing practices to biased hiring systems. Discrimination against Jews was typical until the s. McGill University imposed quotas on the admission of Jewish students in , a practice which continued in its medical faculty until the s. Both Ontario and Nova Scotia had racially segregated schools. It is interesting to note that while Viola Desmond was prosecuted for sitting in a whites only section of the cinema in Glasgow, Nova Scotia, she was in fact of mixed-race descent as her mother was white Backhouse, These practices are unacceptable in Canada today.
However, discrimination cannot be erased from our culture just by enacting laws to abolish it. The reasons for this are complex and relate to the educational, criminal, economic, and political systems that exist. For example, when a newspaper prints the race of individuals accused of a crime, it may enhance stereotypes of a certain minority. Another example of racist practices is racial steering , in which real estate agents direct prospective homeowners toward or away from certain neighbourhoods based on their race.
Racist attitudes and beliefs are often more insidious and hard to pin down than specific racist practices. Prejudice and discrimination can overlap and intersect in many ways. To illustrate, here are four examples of how prejudice and discrimination can occur. Unprejudiced nondiscriminators are open-minded, tolerant, and accepting individuals. Unprejudiced discriminators might be those who, unthinkingly, practise sexism in their workplace by not considering females for certain positions that have traditionally been held by men.
Prejudiced discriminators include those who actively make disparaging remarks about others or who perpetuate hate crimes. While most white people are willing to admit that non-white people live with a set of disadvantages due to the colour of their skin, very few white people are willing to acknowledge the benefits they receive simply by being white.
White privilege refers to the fact that dominant groups often accept their experience as the normative and hence, superior experience. How many other examples of white privilege can you think of? Discrimination also manifests in different ways. The illustrations above are examples of individual discrimination, but other types exist.
Institutional racism describes societal patterns of discrimination, such as educational and employment outcomes, lack of representation in the media and in politics, over-policing and social violence. This is as a result of poor education opportunities offered to women. The main plaintiff. Since the world is Related Services View all. Therefore, we have implemented a discount program to help offset college expenses.
Institutional racism refers to the way in which racial distinctions are used to organize the policy and practice of state, judicial, economic, and educational institutions. They define what people can and cannot do based on racial characteristics. It is not necessarily the intention of these institutions to reproduce inequality, nor of the individuals who work in the institutions.
Rather, inequality is the outcome of patterns of differential treatment based on racial or ethnic categorizations of people. Clear examples of institutional racism in Canada can be seen in the Indian Act and immigration policy, as we have already noted. The effects of institutional racism can also be observed in the structures that reproduce income inequality for visible minorities and Aboriginal Canadians.
Institutional racism is also deeply problematic for visible minorities in Canada. This can be seen, for example, in the racialized characteristics of the economy. As described below, although labour participation rates are similar for racialized and non-racialized individuals, unemployment for racialized men, and even more so or racialized women , is much hight than for their non-racialized counterparts. Moreover, income levels for racialized Canadians are much lower than for non-racialized Canadians Block and Galabuzi, These substantial, statistically significant differences between racialized and non-racialized Canadians indicate that economic institutions in Canada are systematically structured on the basis of racialized differences in the workforce rather than on the basis of individual qualities of workers or individual acts of prejudice of employers.
In the schools, they received substandard education and many were subject to neglect, disease, and abuse. Many children did not see their parents again, and thousands of children died at the schools. When they did return home they found it difficult to fit in. Because the education at the residential schools was inferior they also had difficulty fitting into non-Aboriginal society. The residential school system was part of a system of institutional racism because it was established on the basis of a distinction between the educational needs of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.
As the Truth and Reconciliation Commission concluded, the residential school system constituted a systematic assault on Aboriginal families, children, and cultures in Canada. Some have likened the policy and its aftermath to a cultural genocide Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Even with the public apology to residential school survivors and the inauguration of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in , the federal government, and the interests it represents, continue to refuse basic Aboriginal claims to title, self-determination, and control over their lands and resources.
We also see the effects of institutional racism in the structures that reproduce income inequality for visible minorities or racialized Canadians. Institutional racism is also deeply problematic for other visible minorities. In , of these 5,, individuals:. Moreover, racialized Canadians earned only Those identifying as Chinese earned According to Block and Galabuzi, these inequalities in income are not simply the effect of the time it takes immigrants to integrate into the society and economy.
Table Source: Statistics Canada — Census. Catalogue Number XCB Issues of race and ethnicity can be observed through three major sociological perspectives: functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interactionism. As you read through these theories, ask yourself which one makes the most sense, and why. Is more than one theory needed to explain racism, prejudice, stereotypes, and discrimination? In the view of functionalism, racial and ethnic inequalities must have served an important function in order to exist as long as they have. This concept, of course, is problematic. How can racism and discrimination contribute positively to society?
Sociologists who adhere to the functionalist view argue that racism and discrimination do contribute positively, but only to the dominant group. Historically, it has indeed served dominant groups well to discriminate against subordinate groups. Slavery, of course, was beneficial to slaveholders. Holding racist views can benefit those who want to deny rights and privileges to people they view as inferior to them, but over time, racism harms society.
Outcomes of race-based disenfranchisement — such as poverty levels, crime rates, and discrepancies in employment and education opportunities — illustrate the long-term and clearly negative results of slavery and racism in Canadian society. The close ties promote group cohesion, which can have economic benefits especially for immigrants who can use community contacts to pursue employment. They can also have political benefits in the form of political mobilization for recognition, services, or resources by different communities.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Aboriginal residential school survivors or the policy of multiculturalism are examples. Finally, the close ties of racial or ethnic groups also provide cultural familiarity and emotional support for individuals who might otherwise feel alienated by or discriminated against by the dominant society.
Critical sociological theories are often applied to inequalities of gender, social class, education, race, and ethnicity. A critical sociology perspective of Canadian history would examine the numerous past and current struggles between the Anglo-Saxon ruling class and racial and ethnic minorities, noting specific conflicts that have arisen when the dominant group perceived a threat from the minority group.
Modern Canada itself can in fact be described as a product of internal colonialism. While Canada was originally a colony itself, the product of external colonialism, first by the French and then the English, it also adopted colonial techniques internally as it became an independent nation state. Internal colonialism refers to the process of uneven regional development by which a dominant group establishes its control over existing populations within a country.
Typically it works by maintaining segregation among the colonized, which enables different geographical distributions of people, different wage levels, and different occupational concentrations to form based on race or ethnicity. For critical sociology, addressing the issues that arise when race and ethnicity become the basis of social inequality is a central focus of any emancipatory project. Feminist sociologist Patricia Hill Collins b. When we examine race and how it can bring us both advantages and disadvantages, it is important to acknowledge that the way we experience race is shaped, for example, by our gender and class.
Multiple layers of disadvantage intersect to create the way we experience race. For example, if we want to understand prejudice, we must understand that the prejudice focused on a white woman because of her gender is very different from the layered prejudice focused on a poor Asian woman, who is affected by stereotypes related to being poor, being a woman, and being part of a visible minority. For symbolic interactionists, race and ethnicity provide strong symbols as sources of identity. In fact, some interactionists propose that the symbols of race, not race itself, are what lead to racism.
Famed interactionist Herbert Blumer suggested that racial prejudice is formed through interactions between members of the dominant group: without these interactions, individuals in the dominant group would not hold racist views. These interactions contribute to an abstract picture of the subordinate group that allows the dominant group to support its view of the subordinate group, thus maintaining the status quo. An example of this might be an individual whose beliefs about a particular group are based on images conveyed in popular media.
These beliefs are unquestioned because the individual has never personally met a member of that group. A culture of prejudice refers to the idea that prejudice is embedded in our culture. We grow up surrounded by images of stereotypes and casual expressions of racism and prejudice.
Consider the casually racist imagery on grocery store shelves or the stereotypes that fill popular movies and advertisements. It is easy to see how someone living in Canada, who may know no Mexican Americans personally, might gain a stereotyped impression from such sources as the Speedy Gonzales cartoon character, Taco Time fast-food restaurants, or Hollywood movies. Because we are all exposed to these images and thoughts, it is impossible to know to what extent they have influenced our thought processes. Throughout Western history intergroup relations relationships between different groups of people have been subject to different strategies for the management of diversity.
The problem of management arises when differences between different peoples are regarded as so insurmountable that it is believed they cannot easily coincide or cohabit with one another. A strategy for the management of diversity refers to the systematic methods used to resolve conflicts, or potential conflicts, between groups that arise based on perceived differences. How can the unity of the self-group or political community be attained in the face of the divisive presence of non-selves or others?
As Richard Day b. The solutions proposed to intergroup relations have ranged along a spectrum between tolerance and intolerance. The most tolerant form of intergroup relations is multiculturalism, in which cultural distinctions are made between groups, but the groups are regarded to have equal standing in society.
At the other end of the continuum are assimilation, expulsion, and even genocide — stark examples of intolerant intergroup relations. Genocide , the deliberate annihilation of a targeted usually subordinate group, is the most toxic intergroup relationship. Historically, we can see that genocide has included both the intent to exterminate a group and the function of exterminating of a group, intentional or not.
But how do we understand genocide that is not so overt and deliberate? During the European colonization of North America, some historians estimate that Aboriginal populations dwindled from approximately 12 million people in the year to barely , by the year Lewy, European settlers coerced Aboriginal people off their own lands, often causing thousands of deaths in forced removals, such as occurred in the Cherokee or Potawatomi Trail of Tears in the United States. Settlers also enslaved Aboriginal people and forced them to give up their religious and cultural practices.
Smallpox, diphtheria, and measles flourished among North American Aboriginal peoples, who had no exposure to the diseases and no ability to fight them. Quite simply, these diseases decimated them. How planned this genocide was remains a topic of contention. Importantly, genocide is not a just a historical concept, but one practised today. Recently, ethnic and geographic conflicts in the Darfur region of Sudan have led to hundreds of thousands of deaths.
As part of an ongoing land conflict, the Sudanese government and their state-sponsored Janjaweed militia have led a campaign of killing, forced displacement, and systematic rape of Darfuri people. A treaty was signed in Expulsion refers to a dominant group forcing a subordinate group to leave a certain area or country. As seen in the examples of the Beothuk and the Holocaust, expulsion can be a factor in genocide. However, it can also stand on its own as a destructive group interaction.
Expulsion has often occurred historically with an ethnic or racial basis. The Great Expulsion of the French-speaking Acadians from Nova Scotia by the British beginning in is perhaps the most notorious case of the use of expulsion to manage the problem of diversity in Canada.
The British conquest of Acadia which included contemporary Nova Scotia and parts of New Brunswick, Quebec, and Maine in created the problem of what to do with the French colonists who had been living there for 80 years. In the end, approximately three-quarters of the Acadian population were rounded up by British soldiers and loaded onto boats without regard for keeping families together. Many of them ended up in Spanish Louisiana where they formed the basis of contemporary Cajun culture.
Their property and possessions were sold to pay for their forced removal and internment. Over 22, Japanese Canadians 14, of whom were born in Canada were held in these camps between and , despite the fact that the RCMP and the Department of National Defence reported there was no evidence of collusion or espionage. In fact, many Japanese Canadians demonstrated their loyalty to Canada by serving in the Canadian military during the war.
This was the largest mass movement of people in Canadian history. Segregation refers to the physical separation of two groups, particularly in residence, but also in workplace and social functions. It is important to distinguish between de jure segregation segregation that is enforced by law and de facto segregation segregation that occurs without laws but because of other factors. A stark example of de jure segregation is the apartheid movement of South Africa, which existed from to Under apartheid, black South Africans were stripped of their civil rights and forcibly relocated to areas that segregated them physically from their white compatriots.
Only after decades of degradation, violent uprisings, and international advocacy was apartheid finally abolished. De jure segregation occurred in the United States for many years after the Civil War. Legislation in Ontario and Nova Scotia created racially segregated schools, while de facto segregation of blacks was practised in the workplace, restaurants, hotels, theatres, and swimming pools.
Similarly, segregating laws were passed in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Ontario preventing Chinese- and Japanese-owned restaurants and laundries from hiring white women out of concern that the women would be corrupted Mosher, The reserve system created through the treaty process with First Nations peoples can also be regarded as a form of de jure segregation.
As was the case in the United States, de jure segregation with the exception of the reserve system was largely eliminated in Canada by the s and s. De facto segregation, however, cannot be abolished by any court mandate. Segregation has existed throughout Canada, with different racial or ethnic groups often segregated by neighbourhood, borough, or parish. The community of Africville was a residentially and socially segregated black enclave in Halifax established by escaped American slaves.
As noted at the beginning of the chapter, some urban neighbourhoods like Richmond, Surrey, and Markham are home to high concentrations of Chinese and South Asians. Sociologists use segregation indices to measure racial segregation of different races in different areas. The indices employ a scale from 0 to , where 0 is the most integrated and is the least. However, these indices are much lower than those observed in the United States for black populations.
In the New York metropolitan area, for instance, the black-white segregation index was 79 for the years — Assimilation describes the process by which a minority individual or group gives up its own identity by taking on the characteristics of the dominant culture. In Canada, assimilation was the policy adopted by the government with the Indian Act, which attempted to integrate the Aboriginal population by Europeanizing them. Assimilation was also the policy for absorbing immigrants from different lands through the function of immigration.
Canada is a settler nation. With the exception of Aboriginal Canadians, all Canadians have immigrant ancestors. As we saw at the beginning of the chapter, the third wave of immigration following the change of the race-based immigration policy saw increasingly larger proportions of immigrants from non-European countries.
Most immigrants are eventually absorbed into Canadian culture, although sometimes after facing extended periods of prejudice and discrimination. However, for the rest of the year, other aspects of their originating culture may be forgotten. Cultural differences are erased. Sociologists measure the degree to which immigrants have assimilated to a new culture with four benchmarks: socioeconomic status, spatial concentration, language assimilation, and intermarriage. When faced with racial and ethnic discrimination, it can be difficult for new immigrants to fully assimilate.
Language assimilation, in particular, can be a formidable barrier, limiting employment and educational options and therefore constraining growth in socioeconomic status. It is represented in Canada by the metaphor of the mosaic, which suggests that in a multicultural society each ethnic or racial group preserves its unique cultural traits while together contributing to national unity. Each culture is equally important within the mosaic. There is a great mixture of different cultures where each culture retains its own identity and yet adds to the colour of the whole.
The ideal of multiculturalism is characterized by mutual respect on the part of all cultures, both dominant and subordinate, creating a polyethnic environment of mutual tolerance and acceptance. As a strategy for managing diversity, Canada was the first country to adopt an official multicultural policy.
In , Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau implemented both a policy of official bilingualism both French and English would be the languages of the state and a policy of multiculturalism. The multicultural policy was designed to assist the different cultural groups in Canada to preserve their heritage, overcome cultural barriers to participation in Canadian society, and exchange with other cultural groups in order to contribute to national unity Ujimoto, However, as a result of this policy initiative, multiculturalism was enshrined in the Canadian Constitution in and in the Multiculturalism Act of as a fundamental principle of Canadian society.
Whereas constitutional democracies like Canada are typically based on the protection of individual rights, multiculturalism implies that the protection of cultural difference also depends on protecting group-specific rights or group-differentiated rights i. Although it seems trivial today, in many felt that the right of Sikhs to maintain their religious practice undermined a core and inviolable tradition of both the police force and Canada. As such, the case served as an emblem of a deeper fear about multiculturalism, namely that it would foster a dangerous fragmentation of an already fragile Canadian unity.
While the positive outcome of the multicultural policy is that the Canadian population remains remarkably accepting of diversity — the most accepting of all OECD countries in according to the Gallup World Poll Conference Board of Canada, — issues around multiculturalism continually bring up the problem of ethical relativism , the idea that all cultures and all cultural practices have equal value.
In a fully multicultural society, what principles can be appealed to in order to resolve issues where different cultural beliefs or practices clash? Richard Day has argued that rather than resolving the problem of diversity, official multiculturalism has exacerbated it.
Hybridity is the process by which different racial and ethnic groups combine to create new or emergent cultural forms of life. Rather than a multicultural mosaic, where each culture preserves its unique traditions, or a melting pot, where cultures assimilate into the majority group, the hybrid combination of cultures results in a new culture entirely.
The post-colonialist theorist Homi Bhabha b. Those things that are regarded as essentially Caribbean like the accents, racial blendings, religious beliefs, spicy cuisines, and music have thoroughly diverse origins while being continuously reinvented Hall, As we noted earlier in this chapter, intermarriage between people of different races or cultures creates new hybrid identities. More recently, Canadian culture has been home to numerous emergent cultural forms, some superficial and some profound, due to the intermingling of people from diverse backgrounds.
While the first wave of immigrants came from western Europe, eventually the bulk of people entering North America were from northern Europe, then eastern Europe, then Latin America and Asia. And let us not forget the forced immigration of African slaves. Most of these groups underwent a period of disenfranchisement in which they were relegated to the bottom of the social hierarchy before they managed those who could to achieve social mobility.
Today, our society is multicultural, although the extent to which this multiculturality is embraced varies, and the many manifestations of multiculturalism carry significant political repercussions.
The only non-immigrant ethnic group in Canada, Aboriginal Canadians were once a large population, but by they made up only 4. These names arise from historically prejudiced views of Aboriginal people as fierce, brave, and strong savages: attributes that would be beneficial to a sports team, but are not necessarily beneficial to North Americans who should be seen as more than just fierce savages. The campaign has met with only limited success. While some teams have changed their names, hundreds of professional, college, and K—12 school teams still have names derived from this stereotype.
Another group, American Indian Cultural Support AICS is especially concerned with such names at K—12 schools, grades where children should be gaining a fuller and more realistic understanding of Aboriginal people than such stereotypes supply What do you think about such names? Should they be allowed or banned? What argument would a symbolic interactionist make on this topic? The earliest humans in Canada arrived millennia before European immigrants.
Dates of the migration are debated with estimates ranging from between 45, and 12, BCE. Over the centuries and then the millennia, Aboriginal cultures blossomed into an intricate web of hundreds of interconnected groups, each with its own customs, traditions, languages, and religions. The history of intergroup relations between European colonists and Aboriginal peoples is a brutal one that most Canadians are familiar with. As discussed in the section on genocide, the effect of European settlement was to nearly destroy the Aboriginal population. In the first stage, the relationship was largely mutually beneficial and profitable as the Europeans relied on Aboriginal groups for knowledge, food, and supplies, whereas the Aboriginals traded for European technologies.
In the second stage, however, Aboriginal people were increasingly drawn into the European-centred economy, coming to rely on fur trading for their livelihood rather than their own indigenous economic activity. This resulted in diminishing autonomy and increasing subjugation economically, militarily, politically, and religiously. In the third stage, the reserve system was established, clearing the way for full-scale European colonization, resource exploitation, agriculture, and settlement. If Aboriginal people tried to retain their stewardship of the land, Europeans fought them off with superior weapons.
A key element of this issue is the Aboriginal view of land and land ownership. Most First Nations cultures considered the Earth a living entity whose resources they were stewards of; the concepts of land ownership and conquest did not exist in Aboriginal societies. The last stage of the relationship developed after World War II, when Aboriginal Canadians began to mobilize politically to challenge the conditions of oppression and forced assimilation they had been subjected to. A key turning point in Aboriginal-European relations was the Royal Proclamation of which established British rule over the former French colonies, but also established that lands would be set aside for First Nations people.
It legally established that First Nations had sovereign rights to their territory. The Indian Act of was another turning point. In effect, discrimination against Aboriginal Canadians was institutionalized in a series of provisions intended to subjugate them and keep them from gaining any power. Nevertheless the Indian Act became the most pervasive mechanism in Aboriginal life, regulating and controlling everything from who could be defined as an Indian, to the reserve and band council system, to the types of Aboriginal activities that would no longer be permitted e.
Aboriginal Canadian culture was further eroded by the establishment of residential schools in the late 19th century, as we saw earlier in this chapter. The residential schools were located off-reserve to ensure that children were separated from their families and culture. Schools forced children to cut their hair, speak English or French, and practise Christianity. Education in the schools was substandard, and physical and sexual abuses were rampant for decades; only in did the last of the residential schools close.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivered an apology on behalf of the Canadian government in Many of the problems that Indigenous Canadians face today result from almost a century of traumatizing mistreatment at these residential schools. First Nations people would be treated just like everyone else, as if the sovereign treaties and centuries of oppression had not occurred.
However, First Nations people still suffer the effects of centuries of degradation. As noted earlier in the chapter, the income of Aboriginal people in Canada is far lower than that of non-Aboriginal people and rates of child poverty are much greater. Long-term poverty, inadequate education, cultural dislocation, and high rates of unemployment contribute to Aboriginal Canadian populations falling to the bottom of the economic spectrum.
Aboriginal Canadians also suffer disproportionately with lower life expectancies than most groups in Canada. Modern Canada was founded on the displacement of the Aboriginal population by two colonizing nations: the French and the British. The Constitution Act of protected the linguistic, religious, and educational of the French and English in Quebec and Ontario, as well as the rest of the country.
Lawrence River in Most of the settlers could trace their origins to the northwest of France, particularly present-day Normandy. The economy of New France was based on agriculture and the fur trade, but with the arrival of the British and especially the British Loyalists escaping the American Revolution in , a pattern of British economic and financial domination emerged.
The establishment of British rule in Canada was accomplished by conquest ; that is, the forcible subjugation of territory and people by military action. As we noted earlier, after attempts at assimilating the French population, the conquest of Port Royal and Acadia led eventually to the Great Expulsion of , in which a large portion of the Acadian French population was deported from Nova Scotia. However, from the time of the Treaty of Paris onward, the British recognized the need to accommodate the French in Canada to avoid the problem of pacifying a large and hostile population. The Quebec Act of granted religious and linguistic rights to the French, and the Constitution Act of divided the province of Canada into Upper and Lower Canada, each with the power of self-government.
The division of Canada into two founding charter groups — French and English — was further established by Confederation. The Constitution Act of protected the religious, educational, and linguistic rights of the French and English in Canada. Despite the notion of equality behind the two-founding-nations theme of Canadian Confederation, English-speaking Canadians in Montreal held the positions of power in the economy. English was the language of commerce in Quebec. In the process of modernizing the state to address the new conditions of industrialization, urbanization, and continental capitalism, the Quebec independence movement emerged alongside an increasingly militant labour movement.
To address the emerging crisis of Canadian unity, the federal government appointed the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism in The report of the commission emphasized ways in which the equality of the two founding peoples could be recognized and led to the Official Languages Act of The Act recognized French and English as the two official languages in Canada and mandated that federal government services and the judicial system would be conducted in both languages.
The notion of equal partnership between French and English Canada was proven to be questionable at best. It failed to get sufficient votes to separate in the provincial referendum on sovereignty in , but the move to repatriate the constitution from Great Britain without the consent of Quebec in fuelled nationalist sentiment. Subsequent attempts to include Quebec as a voluntary signatory to the constitution failed in the Meech Lake Accord and the Charlottetown Accord. Many people in Quebec regarded these failures as rejection of Quebec by the English majority in other parts of the country.
In a second referendum on Quebec sovereignty was a narrowly defeated by a vote of The history of intergroup relations between the French and English in Canada on the model of equal partnership has therefore proven to be a tenuous experiment in dual nationhood. Income data from indicated that the income disparity between French and English Canadians both within and outside the province of Quebec had more or less disappeared, suggesting that the issues of intergroup relations had shifted to political, linguistic, and cultural alienation in Canada Li, It defines French as the official language of Quebec, limits the use of English in commercial signs, and restricts who may enroll in English schools.
Although it remains controversial, it appears to have been somewhat effective in preserving the French language. Linguistically, there were 7 million people who reported speaking French most often at home in compared to 6. In Quebec, This decline was paralleled by the decline in the proportion of the population who spoke only English at home in the rest of Canada from On the other hand, the number of people reporting that they were able to conduct conversation in both French and English increased by , to 5.
Bilingualism was reported by Many people with dark skin in Canada have roots in the Caribbean rather than being descendants of the African slaves from the United States. They see themselves ethnically as Caribbean Canadians. The commonality of black Canadians is more a function of racism rather than origin. It is reported that at least 6 of the 16 legislators in English Upper Canada also owned slaves Mosher, The economic conditions in Canada were not conducive to slavery so the practice was not widespread.
Nevertheless, it was not until that slavery was banned throughout the British Empire, including Canada. Canada became the terminus of the famous Underground Railroad, a secret network organized by American abolitionists to transport escaped slaves to freedom. Between the American Revolution in and the end of the American Civil War in , Canada received approximately 60, runaway slaves and black Empire Loyalists from the United States.
Many black Canadians returned to the United States after the Civil War, and by there were only about 17, left in Canada Mosher, After the change in immigration policy in the late s, blacks from the Caribbean and elsewhere began to immigrate to Canada in increasing numbers. In the census, they made up 2. Many Caribbean people come to Canada as part of the Canadian Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program or as domestic workers with temporary work permits, although the permanent Caribbean community in Canada has more or less the same higher education attainments and full-time employment rates as the rest of the population.
More recently, there has been an increase in immigration of Somalis from Africa as people fled conflict in the area. Between and , more than 55, Somali refugees arrived in Canada, representing the largest black immigrant group ever to come to Canada in such a short time Abdulle, Although slavery became in illegal in Canada in , blacks did not effectively enjoy equal rights in Canada. Blacks could vote and sit on juries, but these rights were frequently challenged by white citizens.
As noted earlier in this chapter, Ontario outside of Toronto and Nova Scotia enacted laws to segregate schools along racial lines that remained in effect until in Ontario and in Nova Scotia Black History Canada, Blacks were also segregated into residential neighbourhoods in Toronto, Hamilton, and Windsor Mosher In Halifax, the community of Africville was set aside for blacks as early as , although most accounts place its establishment to the arrival of black Loyalists after the War of It was considered a slum by city councillors and was bulldozed between and without meaningful consultation with its residents.
Blacks were also restricted by the type of occupations they could pursue. For example, the father of Oscar Peterson, the famous jazz pianist, was a Canadian Pacific railroad porter in Montreal, while his mother was employed as a domestic worker Library and Archives Canada, The story of a large group of black immigrants who arrived in Victoria, British Columbia, from San Francisco in the s, illustrates some of the ambiguities of the early black experience in Canada.
The blacks were initially welcomed to the British colony by Governor Douglas, who assured them they would have full civic rights. Douglas and others were worried that the immigration of white Americans to Vancouver Island might lead to annexation by the United States and the arrival of several hundred black immigrants would help to prevent that eventuality. There was also need for an industrious and reliable workforce and by the black immigrants were fully employed. He won a seat on city council in the wealthiest ward of the city, James Bay, and acted as temporary mayor for a time. On the other hand, tensions and discrimination began to develop between the black and white communities.
Schools were integrated and only one church was segregated. However a dispute over black voting led to a racist campaign by future premier Amor de Cosmos. Blacks began to be denied access to some saloons and desired seating in theatres. As influential as Gibbs was, he was denied tickets to the retirement banquet of Governor Douglas, who had originally been a great supporter of the black immigrants.
By the time Gibbs returned to the United States in , the end of slavery after the U. Civil War had already led to many of the black community leaving Victoria. Although formalized discrimination against black Canadians has been outlawed, in many respects true equality does not yet exist. The census shows that black Canadians earned In addition blacks are subject to greater degrees of racial profiling than other groups.
Racial profiling refers to the practice of selecting specific racial groups for greater levels of criminal justice surveillance. Like many groups this section discusses, Asian Canadians represent a great diversity of cultures and backgrounds. The national and ethnic diversity of Asian Canadian immigration history is reflected in the variety of their experiences in joining Canadian society. Asian immigrants have come to Canada in waves, at different times, and for different reasons.
The experience of a Japanese Canadian whose family has been in Canada for five generations will be drastically different from a Laotian Canadian who has only been in Canada for a few years. This section primarily discusses the experience of Chinese, Japanese, and South Asian immigrants. The first Asian immigrants to come to Canada in the midth century were Chinese. These immigrants were primarily men whose intention was to work for several years in order to earn incomes to support their families in China.
Their first destination was the Fraser Canyon for the gold rush in Many of these Chinese came north from California. The second major wave of Chinese immigration arrived for the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway when contractors recruited thousands of workers from Taiwan and Guandong Province in China.
Chinese labourers were paid approximately a third of what white, black, and Aboriginal workers were paid. Even so, they were used to complete the most difficult sections of track through the rugged Fraser Valley Canyon, living under squalid and dangerous conditions; Chinese workers died during the construction of the rail line. Chinese men also engaged in other manual labour like mining, laundry, cooking, canning, and agricultural work.
The work was gruelling and underpaid, but like many immigrants they persevered Chan, Japanese immigration began in with the arrival of the first Japanese settler, Manzo Nagano. They came from fishing and farming backgrounds in the southern Japanese islands of Kyushu and Honshu. They settled in Japantowns in Victoria and Vancouver, as well as in the Fraser Valley and small towns along the Pacific coast where they worked mostly in fishing, farming, and logging.