Web Discussion 1: Identity and Multiculturalism in Canada, Topic 3
Give an example of a recent discussion in the media about a cultural practice of an ethnic group that contradicts the liberal values of modern society. How do individuals in modern societies react to such traditional practices? In what way is this practice represented? Is the opinion of the people of the ethnic group involved taken into account in this media discussion? Do you think that the group and the group members are being represented fairly? Why or why not?
Identity and Multiculturalism in Canada, Topic 3
by SANMING MAO – Friday, 11 October 2019, 8:27 PM
Lintott (2019) highlights the contradiction between ethnic cultural practices and modern liberal society. Quebec’s Bill 21 seeks to compel public employees holding positions of authority to desist from wearing items that signify religious symbols. The Bill has been criticized for targeting ethnic and religious minorities, in particular the Muslim immigrant population in the country. The wearing of Hijab by Muslim women has been strongly opposed in some quarters. Individuals in modern societies consider such traditional practices as backward and oppressive. There is a general perception that Muslim women are oppressed and forced to wear the Hijab. The modern liberal society believes that women should not be forced to cover their heads, or abide by other religious or cultural requirements on women’s choice of dressing.
The Islamic faith requires women to cover their heads in public with a Hijab as a sign of decency. Muslim women wear the Hijab proudly and do not see it as a form of oppression. Muslim women are among the groups that have come out strongly against the proposed bill. They say they wear the Hijab by choice and want to continue doing so. Other Christian activists groups have also protested against the bill (Lintott, 2019). The article does not include the opinion of the affected Muslim community, even though the writer is arguing on their behalf. The proposed bill is unfair to the Muslim community in Quebec and Canada in general. It is a direct affront to their personal and religious freedom, as well as freedom of expression. Laws should not be created to target a particular group and restrict them from enjoying all the rights and freedoms as others. The Quebec government is already known for its anti-immigration agenda.
Lintott, B. (Apr 08, 2019). ‘Quebec’s Bill 21 goes against Canadian DNA’, Hamilton Spectator. Retrieved fromhttps://www.thespec.com/opinion-story/9269986-quebec-s-bill-21-goes-against-canadian-dna/
Web Discussion 2: Nation building and belonging, Topic 2
Do you think that clear regional identities exist in Canada? Are they attached to regions or to provinces? If you are Canadian, do you feel a regional sense of identity? If you do, try to define what it is that makes you feel a sense of belonging to your region. In what way is regionalism associated to the history and politics of Canada?
Nation Building and Belonging
by shu wen zhang – Thursday, 22 August 2019, 8:39 PM
Pervasive stereotypes about Canada imply erroneously that the nation has a single coherent identity. Although the nation’s residents must espouse particular values and adhere to set norms, variations in the identities that define the inhabitants of different geographical regions are evident. This observation indicates that regional identities are ubiquitous and connected to the country’s provinces.
The Canadian government has implemented various measures to promote regional integration. However, these strategies have primarily been ineffective. Berdahl & Gibbins (2014) posit that the “durable provincialism” that defines the country accounts for the ineffectiveness of integration initiatives. This observation suggests that the role of provinces in promoting and maintaining regional identities is significant. The fact that regional identities develop due to shared economies, histories, and geographical locations further corroborates this claim (Berdahl & Gibbins, 2014). Since the factors that promote regional identities are mutual, they affect the formation of a sense of self. Thus, individuals are likely to identify with the regions they inhabit. The impact of regionalism is also evident in the political domain, where political decisions are direct responses to the aspects that define different provinces’ identities.
In sum, contrary to prevalent misconceptions, Canada does not have a single integrated identity. Instead, regional identities are a fact of everyday life. Different factors, including shared histories, geographical locations, and economies, foster the development and maintenance of these identities. The fact that these identities vary across provinces indicates that they connect to these regions. These identities determine how residents identify themselves and influence the focus and concerns of political processes.
Berdahl, L., & Gibbins, R. (2014). Looking west: Regional transformation and the future of Canada. Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press.
Web Discussion 3: Inequality and Difference in Canada, Topic 2
Choose an example of an occupational, educational, or leisure gender sphere (such as nursing for women or competitive sports for men) and discuss how the dominance of one gender and the social practices geared to support this dominance contribute to the social construction of femininity and masculinity. In what ways does the social construction of gender contribute to social inequality?
The gendered layers of education
by Hannah Flick – Wednesday, 16 October 2019, 11:05 AM
Education is a highly gendered field. However, it is also a field that is layered in its gender specification. Currently I am employed at a daycare as a full time infant/toddler educator. This is an undoubtably gendered sphere. There are 15 educators and support workers employed at our centre. All of them are women. This is not surprising as in our society women are pushed into career choices still that are care taker roles. I spend my days changing diapers, teaching emotional wellbeing, ensuring children are clean, fed and napped as well as facilitating play, making emotional connections and loving my children the best that I can. These characteristics are expected of women. From a young age, girls are given dolls and taught to care for them and foster their maternal instincts. Thanks to this reality and societal construction of the female care taker, early childhood education is female dominated. Men are not taught that being an emotional caregiver to children is something that aligns with their gender norms. The field of early childhood education is full of underpaid, overworked women. As a full time student, this job pays well enough to more than make ends meet for this year. Having never worked before while going to school it is nice as a fourth year student to be making decent money. However, my coworkers that have done this forever are living pay check to pay check still. I think that by teaching women that care taking fits in to their gender roles we are subconsciously pushing them into careers where they are set up to make less than men.
Elementary and high school educators are more equally divided between the genders than ECE are. However, they are also paid more and there really isn’t a gap in gender pay. This is because educators at this level do not have the same gender expectations. Men and women are both able to fulfill the duties in a modern day educational system. While this was not always the case and women often dominate this field, it is nice to now see more and more men becoming elementary and secondary educators.
As for the more apparent layers of gender in education let’s take post secondary and graduate studies as another example. Men are much more prevalent and play a larger role in these institutions. Due to the higher pay, need for higher education and lack of care taking needed men are pushed into this job. Men are taught that their gender norms are to make more money, work more prestigious jobs and pursue higher education and career advancement. These are all aspects of higher educators. I think that this is a prime example of social inequality in regards to pay and prestige. Women who are ECEs are often disregarded as society does not see this as a ‘real job’ or a difficult career. However, men who are professors are applauded for their discipline and work ethic.
While the educational requirements are different there is a gender aspect as well. Women are pushed into a lower paying, less educated realm of the educational profession while men are steered away from this and encouraged to pursue the role of a post secondary educator as they do not need the skills and traits that often come with the social construction of femininity and the female gender role.