Graduate Theses & Dissertations

Reconceptualizing Immigration in Canada
This thesis challenges the contemporary framework of immigration in Canada. Despite Canada’s effort to promote cultural diversity and multicultural citizenship, immigration policy in the last decade has moved towards a model of cultural assimilation. The recent Bill—Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act—devalues non-European cultures and hinders the successful integration for new immigrants. The problem of contemporary immigration in Canada lies in the narrow and exclusive understanding of immigration. That is, the current immigration framework is rooted in Eurocentrism, which draws exclusively from the economic and cultural values of the West. The Eurocentric understanding of migration not only hinders the successful integration for new immigrants, but it also hinders economic growth and weakens the social cohesion of Canada. For this reason, this thesis offers an alternative framework for understanding immigration. I focus on Chinese migration in Canada and take an interdisciplinary and a conceptual approach in order to present an inclusive understanding of Chinese migration. In particular, I apply the idea of "connected histories" to the context of immigration, and I demonstrate that immigration is a complex and interconnected phenomenon which cannot be reduced to the narratives of economics and ‘Canadian values.’ Instead, immigration should be understood as a process of transnational interactions because it not only allows us to understand benefits that transnational interactions would bring to immigrants, their country of origin and Canada, but it also recognizes different values and the agency of immigrants. Author Keywords: Bill C-24, Chinese Canadians, Eurocentrism, Immigration, Multicultrualism, Transnational

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