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Shibao Guo and Lloyd Wong, eds. Revisiting Multiculturalism in Canada: Theories, Debates and Issues.

Shibao Guo and Lloyd Wong, eds. Revisiting Multiculturalism in Canada: Theories, Debates and Issues. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers, 2015. 352 pp. References. Index. $54.00 sc; $99.00 he.

2016 was the 45th anniversary of Canadian Multicultural policy. That anniversary passed with barely a political whisper. Perhaps this is understandable. Canada had lots of other issues to consider in late 2015 and early 2016. The media was obsessed with whether Senators were fiddling with their expenses in order to make a few extra dollars at the public trough. With a hotly contested election in the fall, 2015 quickly led to the country becoming obsessed with the Syrian refugee crisis and whether the Liberals were going to be able to live up to their commitments to resettle 25,000 by the end of the year. As a new Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau and his new Cabinet had a steep learning curve, and so it is not that surprising that the celebration of the sapphire anniversary of this policy fell through the political cracks. Yet, despite this silence, 'multiculturalism' casts a long shadow, and is highly relevant for the many issues the country is currently facing.

Shibao Guo and Lloyd Wong's edited collection of essays in Revisiting Multiculturalism in Canada is a refreshing examination of the meaning and implications of the policy in the country today. Such an examination is particularly appropriate because, as the editors note, over the past decade several high profile political leaders in other Western countries have publically distanced themselves from their iterations of the policy. Canada seems to stand alone in its continuing commitment to the policy, and for the relatively widespread public support the policy still garnishes. The main aim of the volume is to expose readers to the broad range of "theoretical issues and debates with critical analysis of multiculturalism" (8). But and more importantly, the collection also presents specific case studies that are organized around thematic topics related to multiculturalism, such as policing, diaspora communities, divided loyalties and education.

The volume contains eighteen chapters and is organized into five sections. Will Kymlicka's essay on 'The Three Lives of Multiculturalism' nicely sets the tone for Section I ('Theorizing and Debating Multiculturalism') by arguing that there have been three stages to multiculturalism. He identifies three historical logics to the policy--ethnicity, race and racialization, and now religion. The issues underlying these three logics have varied, and Kymlicka's chapter is devoted mainly to how multiculturalism can help our society work through faith-based claims for representation and recognition. John Berry's chapter on 'Intercultural Relations in Plural Societies' is a good overview of the empirical research on the nature of intercultural relations and focuses on the level of empirical support for what he terms the multiculturalism hypothesis, integration hypothesis and contact hypothesis. Chapter three, titled 'A Canadian Anomaly' by Elke Winter, examines the relationship between Quebec nationalism and multiculturalism, the factors that account for the consolidation of multiculturalism as the dominant discourse of national identity in the 1990s, and the ways in which the policy is now being rearticulated to promote a pan-Canadian identity. Lloyd Wong's chapter on 'Multiculturalism and Ethnic Pluralism in Sociology' is a critical analysis of the sociological literature that views the policy as a source of social fragmentation. Sourayan Mookerjea's chapter 'Multiculturalism and Egalitarianism' focuses on what the reasonable accommodation debate and the Herouxville affair tell us about the way multiculturalism and racism are changing in Canada. The final chapter, by Ho Hong Leung, titled 'Canadian Multiculturalism in the 21st Century' explores how the policy ought to move forward to take into account ethno-religious diversity in the wider context of the country's commitment to democracy and equality.

Section II, 'Multiculturalism, Ethnicity and Belonging', begins with a very interesting chapter by Shibao Guo and Yan Guo on how multicultural policy is implemented on the ground. They focus on the tensions between immigration, ethnicity and minority rights through an investigation of two organizations--one in Calgary and one in Edmonton--that were initially formed to help Chinese immigrants integrate into Canadian society. Morton Weinfeld's chapter 'Canadian Jews, Dual/Divided Loyalties and the Tebbit "Cricket" Test', examines the ambivalence in Canadian Jewish leaders' response to a version of a question initially asked by British MP Norman Tebbitt in 1990 when he wondered about the integration of immigrants in that country. Weinfeld's question to leaders was 'Suppose that Israel and Canada are competing in a Gold medal Olympic soccer game. For whom would you root and why?' In 'Yiddish and Multiculturalism', Rebecca Margolis examines the changing place of Yiddish within the context of four decades of multiculturalism. She concludes that the policy has been a 'mixed blessing' for Yiddish insofar as its institutionalization has also resulted in a weakening of the impetus to maintain it. Kalyani Thurairajah's chapter 'Canadians Under Suspicion' is about second-generation Tamil-Canadians and how they have responded to their construction as a 'suspect minority' as a result of the definition of the Tamil Tigers as a terrorist organization.

Section III, 'Youth Identity and Racialization', begins with Evangelia Tastsoglou and Sandy Petrinioti's chapter 'Multiculturalism and the Forging of Identities by Lebanese-Origin Youth in Halifax', and focuses on hybrid identities. The authors argue that the hybridity of their identity stems in part from their being seen as 'different' by the mainstream society but also by pressures coming from family and community to maintain a distinct identity. Dan Cui's chapter 'Multiculturalism as an Integration Policy' focuses on the experiences of Chinese-Canadian youth and how they perceive themselves in relation to the dominant white population of Canada and their sense of belonging to the country. Carl James and Selom Chapman-Nyaho's chapter, 'And He Was Dancing Like No Tomorrow' is a fascinating study of the Youth Policing Initiative undertaken by Toronto Police Services. As a summer employment initiative that focuses on priority neighbourhoods in the city, the program also aims to help reduce the social distance between police and youth. Though many of the youth report positive experiences associated with participating in the program, the authors argue that it is less successful in addressing the broader structural issues that result in poor police-community relations to begin with.

Anna Kirova's chapter'Critical Emerging Discourses in Multicultural Education Literature' begins Section IV 'Multiculturalism and Education'. In it, Kirova highlights some of the major conceptual flaws in how multicultural education is conceived in theory and practiced in schools. Yan Guo's chapter 'Multiculturalism and Minority Religion in Schools' examines how Muslim parents in Calgary struggle to negotiate Islamic practices in public schools and the efforts they undertake to counteract marginality. Johanne Jean-Pierre and Fernando Lines, in 'From Integration to Empowerment' focus on how multicultural education in the Board of Education of the City of Toronto was conceived before the introduction of the federal policy in 1971. Based on archival data, they focus on the diversity-related initiatives of the board both before and after the federal policy was introduced. Mariusz Galcyzynski, Vilelmini Tsagkaraki and Ratna Ghosh, in 'Further Unpacking Multiculturalism in the Classroom', focus on the authors' experience of a workshop that aimed to encourage educators to incorporate current events into the classroom to help infuse multiculturalism in the curriculum. Section V, 'The Future of Multiculturalism' is made up of Augie Fleras' chapter 'Beyond Multiculturalism'. In it, Fleras argues that in Canada, where "complex diversities need to be managed within diversifying contexts" (314), a new postmulticultural model of governance is needed to harness the tension between inclusion and diversity.

The articles are pitched at a level at which undergraduate students will easily understand and engage with. The chapters will also help graduate students with formulating ideas and topics for their own research, and university and college level faculty members interested in issues of multiculturalism, ethnicity, immigration, racism and social inequality in Canada will find the volume to be valuable. It will be a very useful addition to mid and senior level undergraduate courses on multiculturalism and diversity in sociology, political science, education and social work. There is a bit too much overlap in the book as many of the chapters begin with recounting the now well-known history of the policy and the various changes in emphasis of the policy over its history. The golden anniversary of the policy is only a few years away now. This book, which takes a critical yet appreciative tone, will help the policy make it to 50 years old.

Vic Satzewich

Department of Sociology, McMaster University
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Author:Satzewich, Vic
Publication:Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal
Article Type:Book review
Date:Sep 22, 2016
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