Canada has become a nation in which ethnic pluralism must be balanced with national unity. Focusing on information derived from case studies - documents, interviews, and participant observation - the ten essays in this collection introduce the reader to specific problems that arise in an ethnically diverse society. The various essay address a wide range of issues. Original research into visible minority police, Haitian teachers in Quebec schools, and the matching of worker and patient/client ethnicities within health and social services sheds light on the complex situations faced in an increasingly pluralistic society. The intersection (or absence) of ethnic polities and ethnic political representation is also examined. An essay presenting the heterogeneous nature of the Canadian Hip-Hop scene counters reductive stereotypes, while studies of female genital operations and wife abuse in Muslim culture suggest ways of understanding traditions that radically break with the social norms of a liberal-democratic society in order to create and implement policy.
This richly textured volume offers a comprehensive illustration of the problems and prospects of pluralism, effectively mirroring the diversity of the issues that arise when theories and goals of cultural sensitivity confront current Canadian realities.
Harold Troper is professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. The co-author of None is Too Many: Canada and the Jews (with Irving Abella), his most recent book is The Defining Decade: Identity, Politics, and the Canadian Jewish Community in the 1960s. Morton Weinfeld is a professor in the Department of Sociology, McGill University.