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Immigrant Canadian new youth: Expressing and exploring youth identities in a multicultural context

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Abstract:

Canada self identifies as a multicultural nation, an identity performed through official policy, academic discourse, national philosophy and everyday practices (Kymlicka, 2007; Taylor, 1994). However this official and commonsense cohesive multicultural nation image text is contested, often by ‘minorities’ and immigrants (Bannerji, 2000; Thobani, 2007). Thus transnational, diasporic, religious, and cyber identities and identifications, compete with the nation-state for location of identity and primary allegiance. It is useful, therefore, to explore how new Canadians’ experiences and impressions of the nation, Canadian multiculturalism and multicultural identity. The ethnographic study (one on one and focus group interviews, participant observation) on which this presentation is based reports on the concrete example of how 12 first generation immigrant youth in Vancouver, Canada, articulate and perform notions of belonging/alienation in relation to Canada and Canadian multiculturalism, through both interviews and participant observation at a summer-long program that employed Theatre of the Oppressed (Boal, 2002) techniques. Findings include youths’ expression of (1) nuanced articulations of multiculturalism (2) ambivalence about both emigration and immigration and (3) complexity of identity and belonging in a multicultural context. Using a hybrid theoretical lens which draws on work on diaspora, transnationalism, hybridity, the nation and New Youth (Wright, 2009), the study indicates that Canada as a multicultural nation is, at best, an incomplete project and that immigrant youth as New Youth are ambivalent about the multicultural project and their positioning within it.
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Association:
Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
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http://www.cies.us


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492489_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Wright, Handel. and Nabavi, Maryam. "Immigrant Canadian new youth: Expressing and exploring youth identities in a multicultural context" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, May 01, 2011 <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492489_index.html>

APA Citation:

Wright, H. K. and Nabavi, M. , 2011-05-01 "Immigrant Canadian new youth: Expressing and exploring youth identities in a multicultural context" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492489_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Canada self identifies as a multicultural nation, an identity performed through official policy, academic discourse, national philosophy and everyday practices (Kymlicka, 2007; Taylor, 1994). However this official and commonsense cohesive multicultural nation image text is contested, often by ‘minorities’ and immigrants (Bannerji, 2000; Thobani, 2007). Thus transnational, diasporic, religious, and cyber identities and identifications, compete with the nation-state for location of identity and primary allegiance. It is useful, therefore, to explore how new Canadians’ experiences and impressions of the nation, Canadian multiculturalism and multicultural identity. The ethnographic study (one on one and focus group interviews, participant observation) on which this presentation is based reports on the concrete example of how 12 first generation immigrant youth in Vancouver, Canada, articulate and perform notions of belonging/alienation in relation to Canada and Canadian multiculturalism, through both interviews and participant observation at a summer-long program that employed Theatre of the Oppressed (Boal, 2002) techniques. Findings include youths’ expression of (1) nuanced articulations of multiculturalism (2) ambivalence about both emigration and immigration and (3) complexity of identity and belonging in a multicultural context. Using a hybrid theoretical lens which draws on work on diaspora, transnationalism, hybridity, the nation and New Youth (Wright, 2009), the study indicates that Canada as a multicultural nation is, at best, an incomplete project and that immigrant youth as New Youth are ambivalent about the multicultural project and their positioning within it.


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