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Multiculturalism, Market-Driven Immigration, and the Immigrant “Others”: Media Representations of Immigration and Refugee Policies in Canada

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dc.contributor.advisor Safdar, Saba Chuong, Kim Hoa 2015-09-18T16:23:17Z 2015-09-18T16:23:17Z 2015-09 2015-09-11 2015-09-18
dc.description.abstract The term “multiculturalism” has been deployed in public and political discourses with its meanings and ideological assumptions often not being explicitly stated or critically discussed. Furthermore, multiculturalism is intricately intertwined with immigration and ethnocultural diversity issues in Canada. The current Conservative federal government has implemented extensive overhaul to immigration policies since 2008. Based on a social constructionist framework, the aims of this dissertation are: 1) to present a critical discussion on Canadian multiculturalism, its meanings, and its connection to immigration and diversity issues historically and in recent years, and and 2) to examine empirically how recent immigration and refugee policy changes have been represented in the media, with an analytical emphasis on the portrayal of immigrants and refugees. The first aim is accomplished in the introduction. I first briefly review the historical context of immigration regulations and the institutionalisation of official multiculturalism. I then present multiculturalism as being situated in liberal democratic ideology, and as lived ideology or “a society’s way of life” and “common sense” (Billig et al., 1998). Finally, I conceptualise multiculturalism as a “contested space” (George, 2011) where political, academic, and public discourses intersect, and discuss some of the prevalent arguments and claims made about its societal impact. For the second aim, I employ a discursive analytical approach to examine media representations of the major immigration policy changes introduced in 2012 after the Conservative Party won its first majority government. I demonstrate how the ample coverage of immigration and refugee frauds constructs an immigration and refugee system in crisis, which enables policy changes for more restrictive immigration and refugee admission to be positioned as pragmatic, rational, and commonsensical interventions. Moreover, I argue that the prevailing immigration discourse is based on neoliberal ideology and market logic, which selects the “right” immigrants in economic terms and gives a primary role to the market in this selection. The national inclusion and belonging of immigrants is, thus, reduced to their economic contributions, while immigrants are simultaneously cast as the non-contributing internal “others.” Shifting representations of Canadian identity are variously mobilised to support or contest the emphasis on market-driven immigration. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship This thesis was partially funded by the Ontario Graduate Scholarship. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.rights Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada *
dc.rights.uri *
dc.subject multiculturalism en_US
dc.subject immigration en_US
dc.subject refugee en_US
dc.subject immigration policy en_US
dc.subject media representation en_US
dc.subject social constructionism en_US
dc.subject discourse analysis en_US
dc.subject critical discourse analysis en_US
dc.subject multicultural ideology en_US
dc.subject neoliberalism en_US
dc.subject national identity en_US
dc.subject social inclusion en_US
dc.title Multiculturalism, Market-Driven Immigration, and the Immigrant “Others”: Media Representations of Immigration and Refugee Policies in Canada en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US Psychology en_US Doctor of Philosophy en_US Department of Psychology en_US
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada