Essays /

Sociology Essay

Essay preview

Allan Puran—6512437
March 25, 2014
Chapter 7: The Question of Identity

− Canada is not the only society fraught with internal conflict and pressures towards change. Canadians lose patience with the constant negotiations, debate and uncertainties that pervade national life. − Canadian identity is its identity crisis.

o While most Canadians feel no sense of imminent to their society and leave most of this debate to politicians, most are indeed aware that Canada is in the midst of significant transitions, the end result that is still unclear. − People who think of Canadian society in terms of what it was 50 or even 20 years ago may truly be disconcerted by the changes they see around them. − Developments such as free trade, Quebec separatism and Aboriginal self-determination are constantly expanding out minds to consider new structural forms for Canadian society.

Issues in Assessing the Canadian Identity: Analyzing a Societal Identity − It is the commonalities of shared territory and polity that make this country’s residents Canadian. o Borders are real, the demarcate territory in which people transform simple space into places where they live and share relationships with others inhabiting that space. o Societal identity emerges as people engage in this type of place making. − A societal identity is the sum of the sentiments, cultural attributes and structural arrangements people share. It gives them a feeling of belonging together. Individuals and groups create and contribute to that identity, also internalize the national identity into their self-definition. − Societies are not fixed entities but are constantly changing and in the process owing to the existence of competing visions represented by conflicting groups o We must recognize that there are constant pressures, often difficult and painful towards the development of new structures and formulations. − The definition of Quebec as a distinct society is another new idea, which revels the pressure for changing but has provoked resistance and conflict. o Bilingualism because policy in spite of resistance.

− A third aspect involved in analyzing a societal identity is distinguishing a society and its interests from others. Members of Canadian society became most aware of their national identity though travel outside of the country and interactions with foreigners. o Canadians wave the flag when they are on vacation in Europe and don’t want to be mistaken for Americans. − A national identity can crystallize as a result of external relationships; a consequence of external dialogue, a society may become more away of its internal relationships and of the concerns its people share. − A fourth aspect to a national identity, a distinctive identity emerges from thing that they are. o For example, no society has quite the same relationship between Anglophones and francophone as Canada that helps give Canadian society its identity. − A descriptive focus is more likely to emphasize identity problems; whereas a perceptive focus shifts the emphasis form propping p the current fragmented identity to consolidating a new social identity.

Contradictions in the Analysis of Canadian Society
− Five key contradictions at the heart of debates about the nature and character of Canadian society. o Homogeneity vs. Heterogeneity
o Insularity vs. Openness
o Legitimacy vs. Illegitimacy
o Centralization vs. Decentralization
o Equality vs. Inequality

1. Homogeneity vs. Heterogeneity
− Should out goal be the developments of a society where everyone has similar traits and similar loyalties, or can we tolerate diversity? Should Canadian be defined in a uniform way or should differences be tolerated, encourages and even fiscally supported

2. Insularity vs. Openness
− In order to develop a national consciousness, to what extent should our national borders be sealed from foreign influence? − Should the government attempt to encourage national development by using its powers to minimize foreign influence?

3. Legitimacy vs. Illegitimacy
− Legitimacy has to do with being recognized as lawful and proper. Members of Canadian society accept the rule of their democratically elected governments as legitimate and worthy of support. − Challenges to national authority and objective have repeatedly been made by those who have alternate conceptions of what the society should be like o Quebec rejected the Supreme Court’s decision regarding Bill 101 it was challenging the legitimacy of the Canadian state to interfere with this aspect of Quebec life. − Other challenges to legitimacy of the central state have arisen over Native rights, resource ownership and even metrication − The central state’s actions have recurrently been accused of illegitimacy on the grounds that they represent specialized interests.

4. Centralization vs. Decentralization
− In order to build a strong Canadian society, a strong central government is needed to establish policies promoting societal uniformity and homogeneity; only though such strong social control, they claim that fragmentation of the society be prevented. o Meech Lake Accord and the Charlottetown Agreement were seen as unacceptable because they strengthen the provinces by decentralizing too much authority.

5. Equality vs. Inequality
− Inequalities are a feature of all societies, how much inequality should be tolerated? − These tensions remain major issues in Canadian society; they are never resolved but evoke a variety of sometimes-contradictory responses. − It can be argues that the Canadian identity is the product of struggles to cope with the tensions and conflicts that emerge within society. The Canadian identity is not a once and for all, carved in stone complex of traits, but an evolving entity. − While in one sense societal conflict may be problematic, it may also be viewed as a struggle in which conflicting parties participate together to find unique compromises, which may reshape Canadian society. − Diversity was to be encouraged rather that submerged, but with the goal of harmonious coexistence. − The most important nation-defining tensions have to do with the French-English clash over different conceptions of society, the contradictions between the federal center and the regions, and the differentiation of Canadian society from American society.

Conceptualizing the Contradictions: Two Perspectives
− There are two basic approaches to assessing Canadian identity: o Unitary approach
o Segmentalist Approach
− The unitary approach contends that society is made up of individuals who find their collective identity belong to the national society. In stressing the individualistic basis of society, this approach accentuates the role of the Canadian state in promoting the necessary feeling of belonging. − The segmentalist approach focuses on groups or communities, founded upon similarities. The segmentalist considers group commitments, the building blocks of Canadian society. o Anglophones prefer the Pan-Canada approach (unitary) rather than societal unity; francophone, Aboriginal people and some residents of hinterland regions prefer the segmentalist approach. − Both of these approaches are valid models of society.

Factors in Identity Formation
− Although national identity is not immutable and unchanging not even evolving towards a fixed form, it is important to identity the central features of the evolving Canadian Identity. There are six features: o Responding to the Colonialist Legacy

o Proximity to the United States
o Internal Cleavages
o National Debate in Social Issues
o The Evolution of Symbols is Societal Unity
o Globalizat...

Read more


-6 1 101 1759 1867 18th 1965 1982 2 2/3 20 2014 25 3 4 5 50 6 60 6512437 7 70 abandon aborigin abort absenc acceler accentu accept access accommod accomplish accord account accus acknowledg acquir across act action activ adapt adjust adopt advoc advocaci affect affili affin affirm age age-old agent ago agreement aid alien align allan allegi allianc allow also altern although alway amateur ambigu ambival america american amidst among amort amount analysi analyst analyz anglo anglo-canada anglo-conform anglophon animos annual anoth anti anti-american apart apathet appear approach argu aris arisen around arrang articul artist ask aspect assembl assess assimil assum attach attempt attitud attribut atwood author awar away backbon backlash balanc barrier base basi basic be becam becom beg begin behalf behavior belief belong better beyond biggest bilingu bill bind birth blind block blown board bodi border boundari break bridg bring britain british broad broader broken brought budget build busi buy came canada canadian capit capitalist carv categori caus celebr center central centralist centrifug centuri ceremoni certain chain challeng chang chapter charact characterist charlottetown charter child choos citizen citizenship civic claim clash class classroom clear cleavag client climat closer club coerciv coexist coher cohes collect coloni colonialist colour combin come comfort command commit common communic communitarian communiti compet competit complex compris compromis concept conceptu concern concert conclus condit confeder conflict conform congeni connect conquest conscious consequ consid consider consolid constant constinetlaist constitut contain contemporari contend context continent contint continu contour contract contradict contradictori contrast contribut control controversi converg convey convict cope core corpor correl correspond cost could counter counteract countri cours court coverag creat creation crisi critic crucial crystal cultiv cultivar cultur curious current cymbal daili daintiest dawn day deal debat decad decent decentr decis decreas defeat defens deficit defin defining-word definit degre deliber delud demand demarc demin democrat depend descent describ descript design destini determin devalu develop dialect dialogu dichotomi differ differenti difficult diffus dilemma disagr disconcert discuss disput dissatisfact dissimilar distanc distinct distinguish divers divid divis dollar domest domin dormant dynam ear earli earlier econom economi educ effect effort eg eh elect element elit eman embrac emerg emphas emphasi employe empower encourag end engag english enjoy entertain entir entiti entrepreneur environ ephemer equal especi espous essenti establish estrang ethnic ethno ethno-linguist ethnocentr europ even event eventu ever everyon evok evolut evolv exampl exchang exclud exclus exist expand expect experi explain explan exposur express extent extern eye f face face-to-fac facilit fact factor familiar far farmer favor fear featur feder feel fifth find first fiscal fisher five fix fixiti flag flexibl flow focus follow forc foreign form format formul foster fought found fourth fragil fragment franco francophon fraught free freedom french french-canadian french-english frequent frye full full-blown fund fundament futur gain gall gender general generat geograph geographi give given global glorifi glue go goal god gone good govern grant great greater ground group habit half hand happen hard harmon harmoni heart hegemon hegemoni held help heritag heterogen high high-incom hinterland histor histori hold holiday home homogen hope howev idea ideal ideat ident identif identifi ideolog ignor illegitimaci imag imagin immigr immigration/multiculturalism immin immut impact imperi imperman impli implic implicit import impos imprint inborn includ inclus incom incompar increas increment inculc inde indebted independ indic indigen individu individualist industri inequ inevit infanc infern influenc inform inhabit insignific institut insular integr intellectu intelligentsia intens intensifi inter interact interest interfer intermingl intern internation interpret intrigu intuit invest invok involv ion iron irrelev irrit issu jack job journalist jurisdict justic justif key keyston kind knowledg known labor lack lake lament languag language-us larg larger latter law leacock lead leaf learn least leav left legaci legisl legitim legitimaci leisur lend less lesson level liber life lifestyl like lingua linguist link linkag literari literati literatur littl live livelihood local locat long longer look lose lost love lower loyalti made mainten major make mani manifest manipul manufactur map mapl march margret mark market mass mass-elit materi materialist math matter may mean meant mediat meech member membership metamorphosi metric middl midst might migrat millennium mind miner minim minor mistaken model modern moistenist moment monarchi money mother motiv movement much multipl music must mute nation nation-build nation-defin nation-st nationalist nationhood nationwid nativ natur necessari necessarili need negat negoti neo neo-liber nervous netigon network never new news non non-i none normal north northrop note noth notion notwithstand number o object obliter observ occas occur offici often old one open oppos orbit order organ orient origin orphan other otherwis outsid overshadow overwhelm owe ownership p pain pan pan-canada pan-canadian paramet parliamentari part parti partial particip particular past patienc patriot patrist pattern peopl perceiv percept perform perhap period persist person perspect pertain pervad pervas phenomenon phrase pictur piec pivot place plastic play point polici polit politi politician pop popul popular porous posit possibl post post-modern post-nat poster poster-moistenist potenti pour power predic predilect prefer presenc present preserv preservationist pressur presum prevail prevent price pride primari primarili principl prior prioriti problem problemat proceed process produc product profession professor profil program programm promot prop propel proper propon propound protect provid provinc provinci provok proxim public pull punish puran purchas puzzl quebec quebecoi question quit rang rather react readili readjust real realiti recent recogn recognit reconstruct recurr reduct reelect refer reflect reformul regard region regul reinforc reject relat relationship relax remain remind remov repeat replac repres requir resembl resent reshap resid resist resolv resourc respond respons resriproc rest result revel revolut revolutionari revolutionsm right rigid role root rule sanctiti save scale school seal second see seek seem seen segment segmentalist self self-definit self-determin sell sens sensit sentiment separ separat serv set shape share shift show sieg sign signifi signific signpost similar simpl simultan sinc singl singular six skin small small-scal smaller snowbird soci282 social socialist societ societi socio socio-polit sociolog solitud someon sometim sometimes-contradictori song sort sourc space spanish speak special specif specifi spell spicier spine spite sponsor sponsorship sport stake state statehood station status stephen still stone strategi strengthen stress strong stronger strongest structur struggl student student-exchang studi style subgroup submerg subordin suborgnin subtitl suffer suggest sum supersed support suprem sure surpris surviv sustain symbol system take taken talk tangibl teach tear technolog televis tend tendenc tension term tern territori textbook theori thing think third though thought threat three thus thwart tie time togeth toler toll topic tor tot toward trade tradit tragic trait transcend transform transit translat trauma travel trend tri trip truli two two-nat type typic unaccept uncertainti unchang unclear undermin understand uneven unhappi unifi uniform union uniqu unit unitari uniti univers unstabl upon us use user usual utilitarian vacat valid valu valuabl variabl varieti various vast vehicl versa vest vestigi viabil vice victimhood view vigousour virtu vision visit vocifer volatil vs wane want warm warmer watch wave way weak weaken weather weld welfar well well-b wellb whatev whatsoev wherea whether whiter whole wholeheart wide wile with/resistance withdrawn within without word world worldview worthi would year yet young