Himani Bannerji Quotes

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Himani Bannerji Quotes #561573
#1. If we consider this official or elite multiculturalism as an ideological state apparatus we can see it as a device for constructing and ascribing political subjectivities and agencies for those who are seen as legitimate and full citizens and others who are peripheral to this in many senses. There is in this process an element of racialized ethnicization, which whitens North Americans of European origins and blackens or darkens their 'others' by the same stroke. This is integral to Canadian class and cultural formation and distribution of political entitlement. The old and established colonial/racist discourses of tradition and modernity, civilization and savagery, are the conceptual devices of the construction and ascription of these racialized ethnicities. It is through these 'conceptual practices of power' (Smith, 1990) that South Asians living in Canada, for example, can be reified as hindu or muslim, in short as religious identities.....We need to repeat that there is nothing natural or primordial about cultural identities - religious or otherwise - and their projection as political agencies. In this multiculturalism serves as a collection of cultural categories for ruling or administering, claiming their representational status as direct emanations of social ontologies. This allows multiculturalism to serve as an ideology, both in the sense of a body of content, claiming that 'we' or 'they' are this or that kind of cultural identities, as well as an epistemological devi
Himani Bannerji Quotes #245858
#2. It is interesting that the rhetoric and some state initiatives of multiculturalism in the West are accompanied by the gathering strength of right wing politics....Everywhere in the West 'immigration,' a euphemistic expression for racist labor and citizenship policies, has become a major election platform....The media and some members of the Canadian intelligentsia speak in terms of the end of 'Canadian culture,' displaying signs of feeling threatened by these 'others,' who are portrayed as an invasive force. In the meantime, Western capital roves in a world without borders, with trade agreements such as GATT and NAFTA ensuring their legal predations, while labour from third world countries is both locked in their national spaces and locked out from Western countries, marked by a discourse of illegality and alienness.
Himani Bannerji Quotes #667972
#3. Canadian official multiculturalism has developed through the 1970s and '80s, and has become in the '90s a major part of Canadian political discourse in Canada rather than in the United States, which is also a multi-ethnic country, may be due to the lack of an assimilationist discourse so pervasive in the U.S. The melting pot thesis has not been popular in Canada, where the notion of a social and cultural mosaic has had a greater influence among liberal critics. This mosaic approach has not been compensated with an integrative politics of antiracism or of class struggle which is sensitive to the racialization involved in Canadian class formation. The organized labour movement in Canada has repeatedly displayed anti-immigrant sentiments. For any inspiration for an antiracist theorization and practice of class struggle Canadians have looked to the United States or the Caribbean.

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