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Canadian Anti-Racism Measures in Education: From Critical Theory to Critical Practice.

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Abstract:

Canadian Anti-Racism Measures in Education: From Critical Theory to Critical Practice.



Canada boasts of its multiculturalism and diversity in all forms of society even though this is only a recent perception because minority groups were excluded from Canada (until the late Sixties or early Seventies) on the basis of both gender and ethnicity. The links between these two groups of experiences of marginalization will be framed in the context of citizenship ad norms of bourgeois white society versus the positionality of the racialized ‘other, where multiple oppressions in intersecting patterns create different experiences of the rights and of justice, and inherently, of the meaning of citizenship. As Razack writes borders control is itself a much ‘racialized’ event. (Razack, 1998:88) Refugees, as she notes, are the powerless seeking to gain entry into Canada or other first world nations; with the assumption underlying this imbalance that of the white privileged allowing or excluding the ‘other’ marginalized displaced, judged. (Razack:88)
Canada is widely touted as a multicultural and multiethnic nation that fosters a society of inclusion and opportunity for her many immigrant populations. Yet the unfortunate equivocation is often made, conflating multicultural progress and explicit articulation of multiethnic needs with an utter lack of systemic racism (Dixson & Rousseau 2005, 11). In part this conflation occurs due to an antiquated understanding of the meaning of “racism” as exclusively in the domain of conscious interpersonal exchanges (Miles & Torres 1995, 25). In other words, due to the lack of embodied and explicitly bigoted activity by individuals, given that this is by far the most popularly portrayed stereotype of racist activities, one may reach the conclusion that racism is not longer an “issue” in a nation as open and inclusive as Canada (Jack-Davies 2010, 201). Yet statistics indicate that systemic racism still exists, as inequality in education, occupation, and other quantitative measures of social standing continue to find irregularities between native-born Canadians and immigrants, and between ethnic and linguistic social groups (Thompson 1997, 8). It is the responsibility of a multiethnic nation that seeks to promote true change to continue to inspect, interpret, and disrupt the products and causes of inequality within the institutions that are fundamental to Canadian society (Dei 2011a, 3). Given the centrality of education to individual success in conjunction with the fulcrum point education has between social and individual change, it seems an optimal focus for investigating the need, success, and failure of anti-racist critical theory and practice in Canada (Solomon 2002, 261). This essay argues that the institution of Canadian education must continually and actively interrogate and fine-tune its pedagogy in order to meet the current needs of students in an ever-changing dynamic of diversity. What this means is that much work is still necessary to promote educational inclusion, social change, and transformation. Development within the institution will always be necessary as long as systemic racism exists within society at large.
This argument shall be articulated via an investigation into the relationship held between aspects of anti-racism theory and the parallel results of anti-racist strategies in schools, with an emphasis on the lived experiences of Somali students in Canada because this group experiences the conjoined issues of visible ethnicity, radically different socio-cultural background, and language (Good 1999, 12). Somali students represent a group, which allows ingress into each of the theoretical areas of Canadian anti-racist strategies, while also grounding the investigation in tangible relationship between theory and practice. Furthermore, the grounding of this investigation in a specific group allows for the continued emphatic emphasis that the need for this investigation and social work on the behalf of Canadians is not a failure on the part of the nation’s institutions to attempt to inculcate anti-racist practices, but it itself an example of a campaign which simply is not complete yet. Anti-racism strategy in Canada is simply a movement, which is not over and still has many burrs to work out. Presented as such, it is the hope of this essay that such a message will not fall on deaf ears, nor exclusively “preach to the choir”, both necessary steps to overcome in the attempt to broaden the impact of anti-racist perspectives (Thompson 1997, 266). The utilization of Somali students’ example, while maintaining that it is not a homogenous source of concerns, will hopefully help to show the blind spots in the current Canadian anti-racist pedagogy while also humanizing the issues in such a way that combats systemically racialized readings of these issues (Dei 2011b, 21-22).
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Name: Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference
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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p709912_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Gahayr, Safia. "Canadian Anti-Racism Measures in Education: From Critical Theory to Critical Practice." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference, Sheraton Centre Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Mar 10, 2014 <Not Available>. 2014-12-10 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p709912_index.html>

APA Citation:

Gahayr, S. , 2014-03-10 "Canadian Anti-Racism Measures in Education: From Critical Theory to Critical Practice." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference, Sheraton Centre Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-12-10 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p709912_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Canadian Anti-Racism Measures in Education: From Critical Theory to Critical Practice.



Canada boasts of its multiculturalism and diversity in all forms of society even though this is only a recent perception because minority groups were excluded from Canada (until the late Sixties or early Seventies) on the basis of both gender and ethnicity. The links between these two groups of experiences of marginalization will be framed in the context of citizenship ad norms of bourgeois white society versus the positionality of the racialized ‘other, where multiple oppressions in intersecting patterns create different experiences of the rights and of justice, and inherently, of the meaning of citizenship. As Razack writes borders control is itself a much ‘racialized’ event. (Razack, 1998:88) Refugees, as she notes, are the powerless seeking to gain entry into Canada or other first world nations; with the assumption underlying this imbalance that of the white privileged allowing or excluding the ‘other’ marginalized displaced, judged. (Razack:88)
Canada is widely touted as a multicultural and multiethnic nation that fosters a society of inclusion and opportunity for her many immigrant populations. Yet the unfortunate equivocation is often made, conflating multicultural progress and explicit articulation of multiethnic needs with an utter lack of systemic racism (Dixson & Rousseau 2005, 11). In part this conflation occurs due to an antiquated understanding of the meaning of “racism” as exclusively in the domain of conscious interpersonal exchanges (Miles & Torres 1995, 25). In other words, due to the lack of embodied and explicitly bigoted activity by individuals, given that this is by far the most popularly portrayed stereotype of racist activities, one may reach the conclusion that racism is not longer an “issue” in a nation as open and inclusive as Canada (Jack-Davies 2010, 201). Yet statistics indicate that systemic racism still exists, as inequality in education, occupation, and other quantitative measures of social standing continue to find irregularities between native-born Canadians and immigrants, and between ethnic and linguistic social groups (Thompson 1997, 8). It is the responsibility of a multiethnic nation that seeks to promote true change to continue to inspect, interpret, and disrupt the products and causes of inequality within the institutions that are fundamental to Canadian society (Dei 2011a, 3). Given the centrality of education to individual success in conjunction with the fulcrum point education has between social and individual change, it seems an optimal focus for investigating the need, success, and failure of anti-racist critical theory and practice in Canada (Solomon 2002, 261). This essay argues that the institution of Canadian education must continually and actively interrogate and fine-tune its pedagogy in order to meet the current needs of students in an ever-changing dynamic of diversity. What this means is that much work is still necessary to promote educational inclusion, social change, and transformation. Development within the institution will always be necessary as long as systemic racism exists within society at large.
This argument shall be articulated via an investigation into the relationship held between aspects of anti-racism theory and the parallel results of anti-racist strategies in schools, with an emphasis on the lived experiences of Somali students in Canada because this group experiences the conjoined issues of visible ethnicity, radically different socio-cultural background, and language (Good 1999, 12). Somali students represent a group, which allows ingress into each of the theoretical areas of Canadian anti-racist strategies, while also grounding the investigation in tangible relationship between theory and practice. Furthermore, the grounding of this investigation in a specific group allows for the continued emphatic emphasis that the need for this investigation and social work on the behalf of Canadians is not a failure on the part of the nation’s institutions to attempt to inculcate anti-racist practices, but it itself an example of a campaign which simply is not complete yet. Anti-racism strategy in Canada is simply a movement, which is not over and still has many burrs to work out. Presented as such, it is the hope of this essay that such a message will not fall on deaf ears, nor exclusively “preach to the choir”, both necessary steps to overcome in the attempt to broaden the impact of anti-racist perspectives (Thompson 1997, 266). The utilization of Somali students’ example, while maintaining that it is not a homogenous source of concerns, will hopefully help to show the blind spots in the current Canadian anti-racist pedagogy while also humanizing the issues in such a way that combats systemically racialized readings of these issues (Dei 2011b, 21-22).


Similar Titles:
Critical Race Theory in Public Alternative Education: Unveiling the Practice of Whiteness as Property

Theory and Practice in the Proposal for an Anti-Racist Education: A Brazilian Case


 
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