Friday, January 12, 2007

It's Not A Small World After All: Part II

For almost forty years now, the unofficial motto of Canada has been "Diversity Our Strength." To suggest otherwise has been considered an embarrassing faux pas at best, downright evil at worst.

Now some courageous academics have decided to attack the underlying the basis of our multicultural myth:

Visible-minority immigrants are slower to integrate into Canadian society than their white, European counterparts, and feel less Canadian, suggesting multiculturalism doesn't work as well for non-whites, according to a landmark report.

The study, based on an analysis of 2002 Statistics Canada data, found that the children of visible-minority immigrants exhibited a more profound sense of exclusion than their parents.

Visible-minority newcomers, and their offspring, identify themselves less as Canadians, trust their fellow citizens less and are less likely to vote than white immigrants from Europe.

The findings suggest that multiculturalism, Canada's official policy on interethnic relations since 1971, is not working as well for newer immigrants or for their children, who hail largely from China, South Asia and the Caribbean, conclude co-authors Jeffrey Reitz, a University of Toronto sociologist, and Rupa Banerjee, a doctoral candidate.

Despite all the denigration and downplaying of Canadian history and culture, Canada is still a Western country, and immigrants from non-Western countries are naturally going to find it harder to integrate.

Think about it in reverse.

If you emigrated from Canada, would you find Germany less of a culture shock than Pakistan?

Source: Globe and Mail

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