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The Practice Of Multiculturalism In Canada

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After approximately four decades, the practice of multiculturalism needs to be re-evaluated. Even though the policy has good intentions and has made progress, there are still unresolved problems. The goal of multiculturalism is to create unity, but it may accentuate the differences between cultures and individuals (Kirova, 2008, 116). Allowing for diversity can also be hard, as individuals struggle to belong to both their heritage culture and the dominant culture of Canada. Furthermore, racism has not been eliminated nor do individuals have equal chances. This may be partially due to how multiculturalism is implemented. Students are frequently taught to appreciate other cultures, but it is usually additive, rather than integrative. Another…show more content…
A degree of unity is necessary to create a sense of national pride and to hold a country together (James, 2003, 140). In Emile Durkheim’s sociological research, he concluded that people within a society trust each other because they have the “underlying set of common beliefs and values” of the larger society (Robson, 2013, 19-20). Durkheim believed that these beliefs and values, which were taught in schools, were necessary to prevent societies from falling apart (Robson, 2013, 19-20). This theory views a homogenous version of Canada as necessary to retain order (Harper, 197, 197). In order for Canada to be perfectly homogenous individuals would need to conform to the broader culture and neglect any traits of their heritage culture that are too different. The dangers and challenges of this extent of conformity are thoroughly supported by research (Kirova, 2008, 110; Kymlicka, 2006, 150; Rudmin, 2003, 10-11). There are concerns with a heterogenous view of Canada as well. A major aspect of multicultural education is learning the differences between cultures (Kirova, 2008, 116). Focusing purely on the differences, even in a celebratory manner, do harm. While the goal is to promote understanding, this often has the unfortunate side-effect of creating a larger barrier between different cultural groups (Kirova, 2008, 116). The gap this creates results in immigrants struggling and failing to be accepted and included in society (Kymlicka, 2006,
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