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What is the difference between individual rights and group rights

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What is the difference between individual rights and group rights

Assignment 1 (100 marks 18%)


Before you attempt this assignment, make sure that you have completed all of the prerequisite readings and learning activities in Unit 1. This is an upper level course, and your essay assignments must show that you have done extra research to expand and go deeper into the topics that you choose. You may use and cite the unit readings for your essay assignments, but you are expected to do more than merely restate what you have read in these materials. Show original thought by providing examples and illustrations relevant to the topics; marshal evidence that supports your views; and demonstrate that you have undertaken some further reading (and always cite your sources!).

Please note: If you rely only on the unit readings and material to complete this assignment, you will not be able to attain the highest grade for this course.


Choose 2 questions from the following topic list and write 2 essays of approximately 750 words. Be sure that you present the concepts in your own words and that you include current information.

Your word-processed assignments should follow APA format for preparing your paper and citing sources; however, do not write an abstract. For guidance on the various aspects of conducting research and writing research papers, consult the detailed information in Study Room 3991or the TRU library.

If you have any questions about the assignment, consult your course Open Learning Faculty Member. When you complete an assignment, submit it to your Open Learning Faculty Member for comments and evaluation.

Topics for Assignment 1

Following is the list of potential topics for this assignment:

  1. Give an example of a group of people who has been represented as inferior in the history of Canada, and discuss the ways in which this form of representation may influence the identity formation of individuals who are identified as part of that group. When discussing your example, consider why identity formation is complex and why strict definitions of culture may become constraining for individuals.
  2. What is the difference between individual rights and group rights? Why does a tension exist between these two kinds of rights in liberalism (illustrate with an example)? How does Kymlicka justify the liberal defense of minority rights?
  3. What specific policies constitute Canadian multiculturalism policy? Do some research of your own on this policy, and give an example of an instance of how it has been applied. Do you think the policy in your example supports or undermines national Canadian unity? Why or why not?
  4. In what political circumstances was the policy of multiculturalism established in Canada? How has it been justified and supported? Why do some critics say that Canadian multiculturalism policy is actually ethnocentric and perpetuates a national attitude of white superiority?
  5. In some of the readings for this unit, stereotypical representations of racialized minorities are said to converge with representations of ethnic cultures as strongly patriarchal, and because of this, these minorities are sometimes labeled as backward and inferior. How can we access a more realistic representation of the way traditional practices interact with women’s rights? Is it possible to have gender equality and multiculturalism at the same time?

Criteria for Evaluating Essays

Following is a set of criteria that is the basis for evaluating all written assignments in this course:

Substance (75 marks)

  • The research paper provides evidence of critical thinking and analysis as well as a synthesis of researched information throughout, and it presents a logical and persuasive argument.
  • Research sources are relevant, current, and credible. They are clearly documented in the paper.
  • The introduction offers a sense of direction for the paper and presents a clear thesis statement to the reader.
  • The body develops the necessary aspects of the main idea and provides examples, support, or illustration for each aspect of the main idea.
  • The conclusion summarizes the main points and ties them to the thesis; it also presents an impact statement and/or suggests direction for future research.

Writing Style and Format (25 marks)

  • Paragraphs are unified, developed, and coherent, with transitions between ideas.
  • Sentences are grammatically correct; words are chosen for accuracy and impact.
  • The writing follows the conventions of spelling and mechanics (punctuation, etc.).
  • The format follows the APA documentation style accurately and consistently.


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