Xenoracism and the Crisis of Multiculturalism: Is Canada Exempt?

  • Author / Creator
    McCoy, John S.
  • “Multiculturalism” is in crisis, or so we are told by some of the world’s most powerful political leaders. According to the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, multiculturalism has “failed utterly”; for the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, the “doctrine of state multiculturalism” has not only failed as public policy but has also opened a space in which extremism can flourish among minority communities. Alana Lentin & Gavin Titley (2011) have described this narrative as the “crisis of multiculturalism”; Paul Ryan (2010) as “multicultiphobia”; Ben Pitcher (2009), Geoffrey Levey and Tariq Modood (2009) have carried out similar studies. According to Liz Fekete (2009) and her associate Ambalavaner Sivanandan of the London based Institute of Race Relations, such narratives are “shot through” with institutionalized racism – or, as they have conceptualized it - xenoracism. It is a form of racism situated in what is presented publically as concerns over public security and the social threat of non-integrated minorities. In this ideology newcomers and even long-standing residents are portrayed as “the enemy within”, under the re-imagined “monocultural” state.
    To date, a majority of the scholarly work in this area has taken place in the context of Europe. Recognizing the potential interconnection between xenoracism that targets Muslim communities and the crisis of multiculturalism narrative, this dissertation will seek to critically examine these trends in the state that first adopted state multiculturalism – Canada. The dissertation will explore the life experiences of the primary target of xenoracism - Muslims - and through doing so critically examine what has been portrayed as the relative success of the Canadian model of state multiculturalism. It will pose the following question: Is xenoracism that targets Muslims present in Canada, and what can the life experiences of Canadian Muslims tell us about the relative success of state multiculturalism in Canada?

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2014
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Castro-Rea, Julian, Department of Political Science
    • Knight, W. Andy Department of Political Science
    • Foster, Cecil, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Guelph
    • Haggerty, Kevin, Department of Sociology
    • Mahdavi, Mojtaba, Department of Political Science