Course Code: SOCI 257
Academic Year: 2021-2022
Many Canadians may not agree that their country is a powerful military and political force in the world of the 21st century. They do, however, find little to argue about when they are told that their country is economically strong in the 21st century and it attracts immigrants because of its great diversity, human rights and well managed economy. Do they agree that there is - or can be - a common Canadian identity within a very large geographical area that is part of one of the longest borders in the world? What are some of the different ways in which Canadians view themselves and their American neighbours? Are Canadians giving up their Canadian identity and becoming American? What does multiculturalism mean today, in a society so close to the United States whose legislators and administrators want the world to know about great dangers of terrorism to democracies? These are just some of the main questions to which we shall provide answers. We also wish to know: are regional cultures in Canada and the United States much stronger than national culture? What kinds of identities do new Canadians bring to Canada? Why do some observers believe so strongly that the values and identities of new Canadians pose great threats to "traditional" Canadian values? If Canada is such a great country, why are Canadians not telling the rest of the world about their greatness? All our replies shall come from examining the discourse of ordinary Canadian and American citizens, politicians, historians, journalists, and university teachers who have ideas about the importance of Canadian history, problems of traditional and changing identities within Canada and the United States, the meaning of Canadian unity, and assessing value of diversity in the two societies.