RETHINKING CULTURE AND CULTURAL: THE POLITICS OF MEANING-MAKING by RITA DHAMOON M.A., The University of Essex (UK), 1993 B.A., The University of Loughborough (UK), 1992 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Political Science THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA July 2005 © Rita Dhamoon, 2005 ABSTRACT In North American contemporary political thought, theorists have increasingly turned their attention to questions of identity/difference. In particular, liberal multiculturalism has emerged as the dominant public and normative site to address such questions, specifically those related to claims of culture. I explore two key aspects of the theoretical and historical lacuna in liberal multiculturalism: a) how (through processes of signification) and b) why (as a result of arrangements of power) members of dominant and subordinated social groups are differentially located within specific socio-historical contexts. Through multidisciplinary critical approaches, I analyze liberal multiculturalism both broadly and specifically; this encompasses a critique of two of the leading liberal multicultural theories in the discourse — namely those of Wil l Kymlicka and Charles Taylor — and an assessment of culture as a central organizing concept. Overall, I explore how and why liberal multiculturalism does not fully grasp the complex terrain of identity/difference politics. At best, I contend, it only partially captures the complexity of issues at stake, and at worst it misunderstands, obscures, and erases multiple dimensions of this politics. This is, however, more than simply a project of criticism; it also a re-conceptualization of the way in which identity/difference politics should be theorized. Chiefly, I argue that a conceptual shift from culture to cultural has the potential to open up theoretical and political considerations closed off by liberal multiculturalism, especially those related to the constitution of identities, difference, non-difference and power. As such, in political theory what distinguishes this project from other critical analyses is not a revision of the culture concept but a shift to an alternate concept. The central contribution of this shift lies in radically repositioning the analytical focus away from the object of culture to the processes of meaning-making that constitute identities and relations. To illuminate the theoretical insights of the shift to cultural I explore a number of case studies. These focus on the processes that signify Deaf, transsexual, immigrant, and Indigenous women's identities. The cases demonstrate that the conceptual shift to cultural has the potential tp expand, interrogate, and complicate the study of identity/difference politics. The final chapter concludes by considering the political implications of the shift to cultural for liberal-democratic principles and practices. ii TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract ii Table of Contents i i i Preface v Acknowledgments viii Chapter I Introduction 1 1.1 Critical Theorizing of Identity/Difference Politics 1 1.2 The Canadian Context of Liberal Multiculturalism 2 1.3 Identity/Difference Politics 10 1.4 Approaches 16 1.5 Chapter Outline 28 Chapter II W i l l Kymlicka and the Politics of Multicultural Citizenship 32 2.1 Introductory Remarks 32 2.2 Kymlicka's Theory of Multicultural Citizenship 33 2.3 Classifying Identity and Rights 35 2.4 The Liberal Framework 50 2.5 Concluding Remarks 63 Chapter III Charles Taylor and the Politics of Recognition 65 3.1 Introductory Remarks 65 3.2 Taylor's Politics of Recognition 65 3.3 Comparing Taylor and Kymlicka 69 3.4 The Character and Context of Recognition 76 3.5 Concluding Remarks 98 Chapter IV The Conceptual Shift from Culture to Cultural: A n Alternative to Liberal Multiculturalism 100 4.1 Introductory Remarks 100 4.2 The Concept of Culture in Liberal Multiculturalism 101 4.3 Turning to Anthropology and Cultural Studies 114 4.4 Cultural: The Politics of Meaning-Making 123 4.5 Concluding Remarks 128 Chapter V The Theoretical Implications of the Shift to Cultural 130 5.1 Introductory Remarks 130 5.2 Power 130 5.3 Making and Marking Identities 132 5.4 The Multiple Faces of'Cultural' 135 5.5 Interactive Systems of Meaning-Making 139 5.6 Hybrid and In-Between Significations 142 5.7 Strategic Essentialist Meanings 146 5.8 Authenticity and Agency in Meaning-Making 150 5.9 Theorizing Communities 152 5.10 Concluding Remarks 156 Chapter V I Expanding Identity/Difference Politics: Significations of Deaf and Transsexual Identities 157 6.1 Introductory Remarks 157 6.2 Deaf Identities 158 6.3 Transsexual Identities 170 6.4 Concluding Remarks 184 Chapter VII Rethinking Subjects of Identity/Difference Politics: (Re)Signifying Immigrants 185 7.1 Introductory Remarks 185 7.2 Disability and 'The Immigrant' 188 7.3 Sexual Orientation and Immigration 198 7.4 Concluding Remarks 207 Chapter VIII Complicating Identity/Difference Politics: Meaning-Making and Indigenous Women 209 8.1 Introductory Remarks 209 8.2 The Aboriginal Women's Roundtable Report on Gender Equality. 209 8.3 Challenging Dominant Frameworks of Meaning-Making 211 8.4 Interactive Systems of Signification 214 8.5 Locating Power in Multiple Systems of Meaning-Making 216 8.6 'Cultural'/Cultural Contestation 222 8.7 Concluding Remarks 228 Chapter IX The Political Implications of the Conceptual Shift to Cultural: A Politics of Signification and Resignification 230 9.1 Introductory Remarks 230 9.2 Politics Beyond Liberalism 231 9.3 Rights as Tools of Meaning-Making 240 9.4 The Activity of Meaning-Making and Citizenship 245 9.5 Democratic Meaning-Making: The Contested and Contestable.... 250 9.6 Emotional and Experiential Signs 261 9.7 Conclusion 264 Bibliography 266 iv PREFACE My journey with liberal multiculturalism in Canada began when my family and I emigrated from London, U.K. in 1993. Immigrating to Canada was understood by my parents as another move for a better life; they had left Punjab, India to find the roads of 'progress' that had been embedded in their imaginations through the capillaries of colonialism. The idea was that the further we moved 'west' from India the more likely we were to live a richer life, both materially and emotionally. Moreover, the prospects of immigrating to Canada were motivated by the racism we had all experienced in London. As teenagers, my brothers had both been racially attacked and physically (and emotionally) assaulted, one of them twice; as a young girl I had watched my mother's skull bleeding after she had been verbally abused and brutally hit by a white skinhead; at university I had watched white professors give preference to white students; as woman of colour I walked fearfully through 'white neighborhoods,' even in the daytime; and despite the hard work he did, my father never got promoted at his job. The promised land did not deliver. Canada pledged more - more jobs, liberal education, and multicultural tolerance. But my mother couldn't go to a swimming pool without being told to get out of Canada and go back to her own country; my brother couldn't get a job in a bar because they did not hire Indians (later, he understood that this reference was to Indigenous people as well as people of colour); a white senior professor told me that I was naive and stupid for not realizing that the British needed to go to India to civilize the Indians; my mother and father feared for their physical safety after the attacks on Muslims and Sikhs following the events of 9-11; whilst working for Air Canada (a large commercial corporation) I was physically threatened, verbally abused, and deliberately isolated by work colleagues after speaking up against white privilege and the racism in the working conditions of Hindi, Punjabi, Cantonese, and Mandarin speaking employees, most of whom are people of colour; and I sat on the front steps of my home while a white teenage boy and his family walked by me and called me Osama, as i f this was somehow a threat to them and an insult to me. In amongst the racism is liberal multiculturalism, the celebration of diverse cultures and their festivals, clothes, food and music. The symbol of mosaic multiculturalism serves to distinguish Canadians from Americans. It is a marker of tolerance and accommodation, one that attempts to make Canadians feel good about Canada. This model of multiculturalism is v widely appealing in which there are good multicultural television programs; an exchange of knowledge and art forms and food; there are more ethnic 'minorities' hired by state institutions (such as the police) in the name of multiculturalism; and there is a growing dialogue about institutionalizing culture-based practices (e.g. days off school for religious holidays, such as Eid, Chinese New Year, and Guru Nanak's birthday). And yet the histories of oppression experienced by people of colour and Indigenous peoples are virtually absent in celebrations of multiculturalism; there is little talk of colonialism, racism, white privilege, sexism, patriarchy or capitalism, as i f multiculturalism now makes up for the past. It is all about diversity, not anti-racism, decolonization, or power. Multiculturalism does not name the oppressors but focuses on softening the edges that mark Otherness. And it does not acknowledge the ways in which people of colour and Indigenous people resist white hegemony. M y subjective experience of Canadian liberal multiculturalism has not been as physically violent as it was in the U K (which is not to negate the ways in which Canadian history and experience has been violent against Chinese male workers who worked on the railways, Japanese people during WWII, Muslims in a post-911 world, and Indigenous people through the denial and attempted eradication of Indigenous knowledge and bodies). At the same time, for me the violence is somehow more dangerous in Canada than the U K . In the U K I lived with direct racism, with white people calling me a 'paki' to my face and directly threatening my existence. In Canada, the violence is not usually direct but more subtle, more insidious, and therefore more difficult to name and resist. A l l of this has characterized my journey with Canadian liberal multiculturalism, leaving me with a number of questions. Do I really want to be tolerated and accommodated without considering what I am being included into? Why is there a growing discourse of multiculturalism at this particular time in Canadian politics? Is the state effective in dismantling oppressive relations of power? Who else in society disrupts power, why and how? Can claims of culture be understood outside the scope of liberal multiculturalism, and should they be? In a post-911 world, is it dangerous to challenge the discourse of culture, which seems to be the only way to get racial issues on the political agenda? Where is the anti-racism in multicultural politics? Why is there so much talk about culture and not race? Do all women, sexual minorities, the disabled, and the poor benefit from multiculturalism? vi Why is culture-talk the basis of framing the concerns of 'multicultural groups,' and how does this affect an understanding of other aspects of identity such as my gender? What is the effect of coupling liberalism with multiculturalism? What conceptual tools would bring to light my own lived experiences as well the experiences of o/Others who are increasingly becoming the subjects of Political Theory but who are usually examined through a hegemonic gaze? In Political Theory, many of the answers to these questions seemed incomplete or simply unsatisfactory. Though there is a burgeoning literature on radicalizing inclusion, responding to issues of individual and collective identities, and analyzing the role of the state in managing diversity, liberal multiculturalism has almost exclusively focused on culture, ethnicity, and language and not racism or colonialism. This diminishes analysis of power, which has been significant in determining my social and political relations, contexts, and positions. This approach has also served to erase other aspects of my identity, including my gender, class, and sexual orientation. Other bodies of literature, in particular some feminist and gender theory, post-colonial and anti-racist thought, anthropology, and cultural studies, have been better equipped to answer many of my questions. These fields of study encompass writings from many more Othered peoples, including women of colour, and tend to directly problematize the existing order, practically and discursively. As such, my central goal is to engage in conversations across disciplines in order to explore what lessons political theorists can learn. This project thus begins with my interjection into identity/difference politics. vi i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank my committee members, Barbara Arneil, Laura Janara, and Leonora Angeles for their time, insights, kindness, support, and thought-provoking comments. Each exposed me to new literatures and ideas, opened up intellectual possibilities, helped me to clarify my thoughts, and always enabled me to take my own thoughts further. M y heartfelt gratitude goes especially goes to Barbara Arneil, my supervisor, who has provided incredible care, stimulation and guidance during my entire Ph.D. program. You have encouraged me to find my own intellectual voice in ways that will always stay with me. This work has been enriched with conversations and comments from numerous wonderful people. M y deep appreciation goes to Amal Rana for her love and wisdom, Nomi Mandell for reminding me how deep friendship can go, Bruce Baum for challenging me and helping me to clarify the turning point of this work, Helena Kajlich for reading and commenting on early drafts, Sarah Pemberton for her encouragement and insights, James Tully for his stimulating and helpful comments, Olena Hankivsky for support and great conversation, Maria Pia Lara for believing in me, Audrey Ackah for sharing, Matt James for his comments and humor, Emily Moore for proof reading and inspiring energy, Vanita Sabharwal for listening and caring, Kathy Ghag for always willing to talk about anything, and my brilliant friend Carlos/Charlie Martell for questioning my ideas, making me laugh, and pushing me further. There are countless others who have made this thesis an actuality. A special thanks to the many women in my life, especially my sister Rupa and my mother. My deepest thanks go to my husband, William. You listened, talked, read, and supported me with love and generosity. Vlll Chapter I Introduction 1.1 Critical Theorizing of Identity/Difference Politics In contemporary North American political thought, theorists have increasingly turned their attention to questions of identity/difference politics. In particular, liberal multiculturalism has become the discourse of choice, both publicly and normatively, to consider identity/difference; it is presented as the expression and medium of culture-based identity difference, and as such is enormously significant to contemporary theorizing. It is precisely because of the contributions of liberal multiculturalism that it deserves critical attention in terms of how well it serves the study of identity/difference politics. Specifically, it is the purpose of this research to address two key aspects of the theoretical and historical lacuna in liberal multiculturalism: a) how (through processes of signification) and b) why (as a result o f arrangements of power) members of dominant and subordinated social groups are differentially located within specific socio-historical contexts. To illustrate the limits of liberal multiculturalism I begin with a broad critique, and then narrow my analysis to a specific critique of culture as a central organizing concept. Overall, I explore how and why liberal multiculturalism does not fully grasp the complex terrain of identity/difference politics. A t best, I contend, it only partially captures the complexity of issues at stake, and at worst it misunderstands, obscures, and erases multiple dimensions of this politics. This research, however, is more than simply a project of criticism; it also a re-conceptualization of the way in identity/difference politics should be theorized; A s Sneja Gunew states, "[i]f we have a specific role as intellectuals it is precisely that of scrutinising and, i f need be redefining the conceptual terms of these debates" (1993: 1). Chiefly I redefine the terms of identity/difference theorizing offered by liberal multiculturalism by making a conceptual shift from culture to cultural. This shift, I argue, has the potential to open up theoretical and political considerations closed off by liberal multiculturalism. Through a number of case studies, I illustrate that the conceptual move to cultural fundamentally repositions the analytical focus away from the object of culture to the processes that constitute identities and relations. A s such, in political theory what 1 distinguishes my project from other critical analyses is not a revision or rewriting of the culture concept but a paradigmatic shift to an alternate concept. Underlying this task is not so much a comprehensive theory as a set of new tools by which to theorize identity/difference politics. This is not to say that normative political preferences are absent in the development of an alternate set of conceptual tools. But rather than offering a meta-narrative of justice, equality, inclusion etc. or grounding my analysis on principles of constitutional democracy, freedom, equality, respect for diversity, due process, the rule of law, federalism, dignity, authenticity, autonomy, consent, or rights1 1 argue that there are enormous political and analytical gains in questioning and disrupting the processes by which identities and socio-political arrangements of power are signified. As such, instead of presenting an all-inclusive prescription of how to achieve emancipation, my purpose is to alter the space in which the politics of identity/difference operates. M y intent is to expose, raise consciousness, and respond to issues of identity/difference in contexts of power, but without assuming that power can be entirely eradicated or that significant emancipatory transformations cannot be made. 1.2 The Canadian Context of Liberal Multiculturalism An exploration of multiculturalism in Canada requires an understanding of the historical processes of power, in which the nation-state grew out of the attempted eradication, assimilation and oppression of Indigenous knowledge and bodies, and the appropriation of Indigenous land and resources. As such, the production of 'multicultural Canada' is enmeshed in a colonial legacy. As Himani Bannerji rightly states, "the construction of visible minorities as a social imaginary and the architecture of the 'nation' built with a 'multicultural mosaic' can only be read together with the engraving of conquest, wars and exclusions" (2000: 92-3). Canada, in other words, is not only shaped by those marked as the subjects of multiculturalism, but also by the tensions between two ex-colonial (and neo-colonial) powers and Indigenous colonization. As such, to uncritically accept the idea of Canada is to under-estimate the significance of history. This is specifically important 1 This list of principles is drawn from James Tully's essay 'Reimagining Belonging in Circumstances of Cultural Diversity: A Citizen Approach' (2002). As he states, such principles are appealed to by both sides in identity/difference politics, either to "condemn the imposed identity and to justify the recognition of an identity-related difference, on one side, and to defend the established norms of citizen identity on the other" (2002: 161-162). As such, they are not universally interpreted. 2 because notions of the Canadian nation-state are contested by those Indigenous people who name this territory (as well as the land now called the United States) Turtle Island. This is not to say that Canada does not exist; rather, it has to be understood through historical and contemporary forms of colonialism, racism and racialization. I focus on Canadian liberal multiculturalism because Canada brings a unique perspective to discourses of identity/difference. This is especially true because two leading architects of liberal multiculturalism are Canadian, namely Wil l Kymlicka (1995; 1998; 2001) and Charles Taylor (1994b; 1994c). Each draws heavily on Canadian examples to elucidate their respective theories of multicultural citizenship and recognition. Whilst there is disagreement between these two thinkers and there are marked differences between Kymlicka's framework of liberal individualism and Taylor's framework of liberal-communitarianism, both are fundamental to the construction of liberal multiculturalism.2 Indeed, each finds the other's theory an important contribution to current political theory: Kymlicka (1995: 191) draws upon Taylor's notion of'deep diversity', and Taylor states that Multicultural Citizenship Taylor "is an immensely rich, informative and above all clarifying work" (June 1996). I am specifically interested in exploring the similar trends and effects of their theories. Both argue that the equal treatment of ethnic, national and linguistic groups requires public institutions to acknowledge, rather than ignore or downplay, diverse cultures. They also share a specific concern for the self-determination of the Quebecois and Indigenous peoples of Canada;3 they value language as a central signifier of difference; they 2 For examples of the normative disagreements between the two thinkers see Kymlicka's Liberalism, Community and Culture (1989) and his essay on 'Individual and Group Rights' (1994). Also see Taylor's 'Can Liberalism Be Communitarianism' (1994a), 'The Politics of Recognition' (1994b), and his book review of Kymlicka's Multicultural Citizenship (June 1996). 3 There are two important notes in my use of 'Indigenous'. First, whilst the term 'Aboriginal' commonly refers to a terminology adopted from the legal construction of the First Nations, the Metis and Inuit peoples, as Mohawk scholar Taiaiake Alfred (2005) argues there is a difference between the terms 'Aboriginal' and 'Indigenous'. Alfred contends that the label of'Aboriginal' "is a legal and social construction of the state and it is disciplined by racialized violence and economic oppression to serve an agenda of silent surrender.... Within the framework of politics and social life, Onkwehonwe [original people] who accept the label and identity of an aboriginal are bound up in a logic that is becoming increasingly evident even to them as one of outright assimilation - the abandonment of any meaningful notion of being Indigenous" (Alfred, 2005: 6-7). With acknowledgment that this view is not necessarily shared by all First Peoples, I respectfully employ the term 'Aboriginal' only when I am citing/quoting other sources. At all other times, I use 'Indigenous'. I thank Taiaiake Alfred for granting permission to quote him from his soon to be published book. Second, the multiplicity of identities within the Indigenous population is significant, partly because of the way in which the state has differentiated between these groups, and partly because of the specificity of each group. Indigenous peoples and nations resemble a 'family' because they were violently displaced by European settlers and their descendents. First Nations or 'Indians' were 3 pay attention to the demographic fact of multicultural Canada; and they share a deep concern for the unity of Canada. Both attempt to reconceptualize and modify tenets of liberalism in order to respond to diversity in a democratic context in this period of late or post modernity. I also concentrate on Canadian liberal multiculturalism because Canada is often cited as an ideal example of a multicultural society (both by Canadians and non-Canadians). It is with significance that Canada was the first country to adopt a multicultural policy in 1971, a policy that explicitly moved away from a monocultural understanding of society. The stated purpose of this policy was to assist minority cultures in promoting and supporting their distinctiveness; overcome barriers to full participation; enhance national unity through exchanges between cultures; and enable immigrants to learn one official language in order to become full participants in society. The policy "served to reconfigure expressions of 'Canadian identity' in a way that was inclusive of ethnocultural and racial minorities" (Abu-Laban & Gabriel, 2002: 105). Further, Canada was the first country to pass a national multiculturalism law, the 1988 Multiculturalism Act. The goals of this act were to enable the maintenance of marginalized cultures, as well as social integration, within a framework of equal opportunity; recognize and promote the diversity of Canadian society and acknowledge the freedom of all members of Canadian society to preserve, enhance and share their heritage; and to recognize and promote the understanding that multiculturalism is a fundamental characteristic of the Canadian heritage and identity and that it provides an invaluable resource in shaping Canada's future.4 Both the 1971 policy and the 1988 Act refer to multiculturalism in the context of race, national or ethnic origin, colour and religion.5 subject to explicit and highly formalized regulation and control, such as through reserves and through exclusion from citizenship. The Inuit peoples were subject to less displacement but suffered exploitation as a result of European pursuit of minerals and other natural resources. Metis people are descendents of mainly French trappers and Indigenous women, and were subject to formal and informal domination and discrimination. The Metis people were only formally recognized with the adoption of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 4 See the Government of Canada Heritage (2005a) website for further details about the Multiculturalism Act. 5 In response to criticisms and pressures from a number of ethnic groups about the efficacy of its multicultural policies and laws, the federal government has attempted to respond to issues of racism within the context of multiculturalism (the success of these responses has been criticized by people of colour). Most recently (spring 2005), in a policy document titled ' A Canada for A l l : Canada's Action Plan against Racism' the Canadian government announced "the first-ever horizontal, coordinated approach across the federal government to combat racism" (Heritage, 2005: iii). The government's commitment to the action plan is evident in the $56 million investment made (over five years) to support implementation of the action 4 Angie Fleras and Jean Leonard Elliot (1999) provide some definitions of multiculturalism that help to elucidate its many uses in Canadian discourses of tolerance and accommodation. First, the ethnic demography of multicultural Canada as an empirical and observable reality is heavily cited in Canadian government documents such as immigration and citizenship information material. Second, the Canadian state acknowledges and promotes the idea of multicultural diversity as part of a formal doctrine of national identity and the symbolic infrastructure, as is evident in section 27 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms which affirms a commitment to Canada's multicultural heritage. Third, the state employs multicultural ideology as an evaluative and prescriptive tool that is used normatively to refer to a set of ideals where differences between cultures are celebrated for personal and social enrichment. Finally, multiculturalism is adopted as a pragmatic response to practical and legal problems, where for example the accommodation made for Sikhs who were turbans in the R C M P is seen as symbol of respect for Canadian diversity. Over recent years, liberal multiculturalism has been increasingly employed to reinforce representations of Canadian diversity more broadly. Not only is Canada depicted as ethnically, nationally, racially, linguistically and religiously multicultural but it also accommodates other 'minorities'. Entrenched constitutional and legal protections of minority rights based on enumerated grounds of sex, sexual orientation, age or mental and physical disability (in human rights legislation and the Charter) are cited to highlight Canadian respect for diversity. Scholarly research bolsters this depiction of Canadian respect for diversity. The Centre for Research and Information on Canada, for example, produces empirical data to illustrate that "tolerance is no longer a dream or policy; it is a fait accompli for a rising generation that has never known a Canada that did not celebrate multiculturalism or constitutionally guaranteed equality rights" (Parkin & Mendelson, 2003: 18). Hence multiculturalism is revered as a primary Canadian symbol of diversity. Yet though the discourse of diversity is a useful descriptive category that describes a multiplicity of cultures and articulates well-intentioned moralist polemics against prejudice, it ultimately downplays difference and power. The language of power difference, rather than plan. Preliminary observations of the plan suggest that it is driven by an agenda of inclusion rather than a commitment to radically restructuring racialized and racist relations. Notably it has taken the government over thirty years since the introduction of its multicultural policy to bring forward a plan to fight racism against 'multicultural' subjects. 5 diversity, would shift the terrain of identity/difference so that, for instance, there would be more talk about Canada as a multiracial society rather than a multicultural society.6 This is especially important because of historical relationships between colonized Indigenous peoples, white settler societies, and immigrants. As postcolonial critic Homi Bhabha states: Cultural diversity is an epistemological object - culture as an object of empirical knowledge - whereas cultural difference is the process of the enunciation of culture as 'knowledgeable', authoritative, adequate to the construction of systems of cultural identification. If cultural diversity is a category of comparative ethics, aesthetics or ethnology, cultural difference is a process of signification through which statements of culture and on culture differentiate, discriminate and authorize the production of fields of force, reference, applicability and capacity. (1994: 34) In the name of plurality, 'diversity' has become an uncritical, dematerialized and depoliticized discourse. Specifically, I contend that behind the veil of diversity the assumptions underlying liberal multicultural theories lead to the management, regulation and containment of culture-based differences. This is not to suggest that liberalism multiculturalism does not stand apart from other versions of liberalism; in contrast to other versions of liberalism, it takes culture-based differences seriously. It describes, explains and justifies why the state should value and accommodate culture-based pluralism. Further, it boldly challenges monocultural approaches which overtly defend assimilationist and conformist principles.7 Moreover, liberal multiculturalists accept that goods and resources should be distributed according to identity categories. This is in contrast to neutralist liberals such as Chandran Kukathas (1988; 1995) and Brian Barry (2001), liberal feminists such as Susan Moller Okin (1999), 6 I use the terms racial and race as constructed categories that distribute power and privilege, rather than terms that denote a criteria into which human groups can be biologically classified. As a political concept, I will align race closely with racialization (the process of race-making) where "social relations have been structured by the signification of human biological... (and cultural) characteristics in such a way as to define and construct differentiated social collectivities" (Miles, 1989: 75). Whilst I take the position that race, class, sexual orientation, gender and ability/disability are all contested terms I do not employ quotation marks around some concepts and not others. Specifically, as Sherene Razack (1998: 165) and George Dei (1998: 299) have pointed out, the concept and idea of race is often in inverted commas to remind the reader that it does not have scientific validity. Since all social concepts are subject to deconstruction, I do not wish to specifically bracket the idea race. As Razack states, "One wonders what, or more to the point, who, is really being bracketed by inverted commas? Is the assumption that race is not really a significant determinant of status, whereas gender or sexual orientation is?" (1998: 165). At the same time, whilst such concepts are constructed, there are material-structural realities embedded in these ideas, which is especially evident in the structure of class. 7 For a good overview of the history of monoculturalism in the west, see David Theo Goldberg's introduction in Multiculturalism: A Critical Reader (1995: 3-6). 6 and those that lament that multiculturalism fragments and divides those living within a nation-state such as Richard Gwyn (1995) and Neil Bissoondath (1994). I will set aside the theories of those who argue that liberalism must transcend pluralism. Whilst it is important to respond to these thinkers and their perspectives I undertake the more difficult task of engaging with liberal multiculturalists who start from the premise that culture-based differences should be affirmed. I explore the degree to which liberalism, in its multicultural form, offers an emancipatory conceptual framework. Hence I follow the tradition of political theorists who start with the premise that identity differences matter and that social location produces certain collective identities. This includes the work of not only Kymlicka and Taylor but also Shane Phelan (1989; 1994), Joseph Carens (1997; 2000), Iris Marion Young (1990; 2000), Seyla Benhabib (1999b; 2002), Amy Gutmann (2003), Nancy Fraser (1997), Monique Deveaux (2000a; 2000b), James Tully (1995; 2000; 2001; 2002), and Bhiku Parekh (1999; 2000). In considering liberal multiculturalism, let me differentiate it from more radical brands of multiculturalism. Liberal multiculturalism advocates that it is possible to create equality by modifying or reforming the existing order. Broadly speaking, the Canadian government subscribes to this coupling of liberalism and multiculturalism, in which the goal is inclusion: Canadian multiculturalism is fundamental to our belief that all citizens are equal. Multiculturalism ensures that all citizens can keep their identities, can take pride in their ancestry and have a sense of belonging. Acceptance gives Canadians a feeling of security and self-confidence, making them more open to, and accepting of, diverse cultures. The Canadian experience has shown that multiculturalism encourages racial and ethnic harmony and cross-cultural understanding, and discourages ghettoization, hatred, discrimination and violence. (Canada, 2005b) This view of liberal multiculturalism emphasizes a mosaic model in which despite diversity there can be agreement and unity. The mosaic allows "several bounded, nameable, individually homogeneous and unmeltable minority uni-cultures" to be "pinned onto a backdrop of a similarly characterised majority uni-culture" (Vertovec, 1996: 5). Liberal multiculturalism has increasingly merged with corporate multiculturalism, which manages the diversity of cultures for broad economic purposes and not for societal change. According to Peter McLaren (1994) corporate multiculturalism produces policies 7 that emphasize the containment and restraint of minorities. In these conservative/corporate strands, he claims, whiteness is refused as a form of ethnicity and diversity is employed to cover up market-based goals. This view of multiculturalism understands the presence of multiple cultures as a commodity for profit and is employed instrumentally by corporations o and governments to meet labour needs. Yasmeen Abu-Laban and Christina Gabriel contend that since 1993 Canadian governments have increasingly "addressed the relevance of multiculturalism in the context of domestic and international trade" (2002: 111). They note that in 1996, for example, the Secretary of State for Multiculturalism, Hedy Fry emphasized the cost-effectiveness of ethnic diversity in terms of corporate business strategies (Abu-Laban & Gabriel, 2002: 116). Fry favorably states that [fjollowing the federal government's leadership in promoting the value of diversity, Canadian businesses are seeing the dollars-and-cents value of managing diversity effectively. Many companies have improved their profitability and competitiveness by linking diversity to corporate strategies, especially in marketing and international business. (Heritage, 1995: 3) ' Abu-Laban and Gabriel rightly conclude that there has been a deeper link fostered between business, trade and multiculturalism (2002: 112-117). These liberal and corporate versions of multiculturalism are distinct from critical multiculturalism in that they do not emphasize the need to challenge established norms and the links between identity, difference and resistance; alternatively, the critical multicultural lens focuses on unsettling the forces of power, in part to create particular (radical) understandings of equality, justice and inclusion but, moreover, to dismantle power dynamics and structures that have oppressive implications for those constructed as Others. Even though all forms of multiculturalism share a desire to rethink political norms in the context of heterogeneous societies, critical multiculturalism resists the idea that a cohesive and unified society is desirable or necessary. Moreover, critical multiculturalism starts from Katharyne Mitchell also traces the subtle but intense ways that multicultural education across Canada, England and the United States has moved away from person-centred education for all to "a more individuated, mobile and highly tracked, skills-based education" (2003b: 387). She dubs this the creation of a strategic cosmopolitan multicultural identity, which is "motivated not by ideals of national unity in diversity, but by understandings of global competitiveness, and the necessity to strategically adapt as an individual to rapidly changing personal and national contexts" (2003b: 388). She argues that multicultural education has been increasingly linked to state formation and economic change through the processes of globalization and neo-liberalism. 8 the premise that representations of culture are integrally linked to other modes of identification including race, gender, sexual orientation and class.9 Further, this brand contends that multicultural approaches need not act as a band aid to the aftermath of historical oppression; rather, transformation of socio-political relations needs to be radical because identity-based differences are constructed through history, location, and power. This is in tune with the work of Edward Said, who self-described as a radical multiculturalist, and who embraced the idea of resisting knowledge that is constructed as i f Europe was the monocultural source of civilization (Said, 2002: 393). My analysis fits in with this critical/resistance multicultural framework not only because of the challenge to euro-centrism, but also because of an understanding that power constructs modes of difference and non-difference. Yet I do not comfortably sit in this classification partly because the discourse of multiculturalism itself continues to privilege culture as the primary dimension of identity-based difference and, as I will argue, it also masks racism. As Jon Cruz argues, multiculturalism is "an overloaded term, a symbolic container that is not capable of containing the range of investments that it attempts to carry" (1996: 33). It is also a term that homogenizes "more than a 100 different cultural and linguistic groups and this to some extent defeats the larger purpose of setting up much-needed precise research into differences and specificities" (Gunew, 1993: 5). To add to this, the logic of multiculturalism has been disparately adopted so that it is far from clear whether a commitment to multiculturalism is about critical democracy or about more subtle forms of regulation. As the Chicago Cultural Studies Group puts it Multiculturalism may therefore prove a poor slogan. Those who use it as a slogan seem to think that it intrinsically challenges established cultural norms. But multiculturalism is proving to be fluid enough to describe very different styles of cultural relations...We could call this the Benetton effect. (1994: 115) As such, even though I appraise liberal multiculturalism through a critical/resistance lens I do not presuppose that the lens of multiculturalism is satisfactory. In this I am challenging 9 Salaam, a Muslim queer organization based in Toronto adopts (in part, at least) this critical multicultural approach. Salaam maintains the position that sexual orientation and religion are not necessarily oppositional, especially within a critical multicultural framework. 9 the status of multiculturalism as the hegemonic and mainstream public and normative discourse to articulate issues of identity/difference. 1.3 Identity/Difference Politics I define 'identity/difference politics' as the umbrella term that encompasses recent political claims articulated through identity-based differences.10 Let me state, first, what my conception of identity/difference politics is not. It is not a new phenomenon, contrary to some popular portrayals; as Himani Bannerji points out, Aime Cesaire, Franz Fanon, Edward Said, and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak drew attention to the violence of naming, mis-naming, non-naming different racialized peoples much earlier than the recent theoretical turn to identity politics (Bannerji, 1995: 23). Identity/difference politics does not assume that self-designated group identities emerge only through injury, or in Wendy Brown's (1995) terminology "wounded attachments," but rather such identities also develop through interactions, resistance, and expressions of sharing/belonging." It is not simply a site to study those subjugated groups who generate self-designated identities because it also encompasses analysis of the relationship between dominance and subjugation. As such, it does not focus exclusively on those identities that are marked by injury, but rather encompasses those who perpetrate and perpetuate injury/victimization, both explicitly and complicity. Nor is identity/difference politics merely a challenge to modern interpretations of national citizenship as a group identifier; it goes beyond concerns of citizenship and unity whilst also addressing the ways in which formations of identity affect civic identities and belonging. It is also not a framework to articulate and justify naturalized identities and difference/non-difference since identities are understood as constructed. Further, identity/difference politics is not a politics of visibility; as Mairian Scott-Hill rightly argues in her analysis of Deaf and disabled identities, some aspects of identity (such as impairment) 1 0 Whilst the notions of identity politics, difference politics, and identity/difference politics are common amongst North American thinkers, it has not reached the same heights of fashion elsewhere; in British approaches to analyzing disability, for example, the preferred terminology is 'new social movement' or specific terms such as 'a politics of disability' (Scott-Hill, 2003: 99). Whilst I support distinguishing politics through the lens of particular modes of identity, this needs not to be an opposing project to making general claims of identity (rather than universal claims). 1 ' In States of Injury: Power and Freedom in Late Modernity (1995), Wendy Brown argues that politicized identities are structured through ressentiment. In Brown's view, claims of identity become invested in maintaining their own suffering even though paradoxically they attempt to relieve their wounds. For a more detailed discussion of Brown's notion of "wounded attachments," see chapter nine. 10 are not always visible and thus recognizing others through observable identity markers is not always possible (2003: 99). This is not to suggest that at other times visible markers, such as skin colour, are not highly poignant to identity/difference politics. M y use of 'identity/difference politics' is a shorthand way of saying a) that the signification of identities through modes of difference and non-difference is central to politics and b) that relations and contexts of power are constitutive of identities, difference, and non-difference. I adopt the term 'identity/difference' from Seyla Benhabib (2002) but employ it in a broader sense to move away from assumptions that identity-based differences are produced simply through claims of culture. Reducing identity/difference politics to claims of culture simply reproduces the hegemony of the liberal multicultural mantra that the presence of diverse cultures can lead to disunity. Further, the focus on culture not only has the unintended effect of constituting identity/difference politics as a site to gaze upon the Othered, but it also reasserts the primacy of particular modes of identity at the neglect of systems organized along the lines of gender, class, sexual orientation, race, and ability. In this regard I agree with Iris Marion Young that "most group-based claims of justice, including many of those made by bona fide cultural groups, are protests against the way ruling social and political norms exclude and disadvantage them" rather than reduced group-based movements based in culture (1999: 420). As Young rightly points out in her critique of Benhabib, "a politics of difference is broader than a politics of cultural recognition; it is primarily critical, moreover, as opposed to self-assertive" (Young, 1999: 416). Despite my agreement with Young's larger point that identity/difference is not simply about the affirmation of cultures, it is not entirely clear what Young means by 'critical'. M y understanding of being critical is to disrupt, challenge and dismantle all systems of privilege and oppression. The underlying premise here is that all processes of subjugation and privilege are interlinked; for example, racism and white privilege are experienced not only by a person of colour, Indigenous person or white person, but by a person who is gendered, able-bodied, disabled, Deaf, rich, poor or middle class, and lesbian, gay, heterosexual, bisexual, transgendered or queer. As such, it is not possible to undertake a critical and radical project without considering the connections between various identifications. The project of identity/difference theorizing is to understand these interrelated relations and consider ways to critically rethink subjugating and privileging 11 systems. This is not to conflate the specific and particular ways that these systems of power interact with each other, or even to say that these are the same kinds of identity, but it is to acknowledge the interconnections between dynamics of power. In this regard, interaction between modes of identification is elemental to the discursive production of identities. Young has suggested that analysis of this relational aspect should mean that political theorists should "disengage social group difference from a logic of identity" (2000: 82). For Young, "In a relational conceptualization, what makes a group a group is less some set of attributes its members share than the relations in which they stand to others" (2000: 90). As such, Young rightly points out that "we [as theorists] should affirm that groups do not have identities as such" because identities are not substantive but relational (2000: 82, 89). Furthermore, she makes a compelling argument in Intersecting Voices to "reject the concept of group identity and argue that identity making is a project that individuals take up in relation to the collective social structures and histories in which they are situated" (I. M . Young, 1997a: 6). Young is concerned that identity-talk leads to essentialist definitions of social groups; presumes attachment to others who also share the same identity; feigns a shared political agenda; and denies differentiation within and across groups (2000: 86-9). Yet, I do not think that these are adequate reasons to negate the rubric of identity altogether. Even when essentialized meanings of identity are substantially introduced into political analysis it is necessary to examine the ways in which an essentialist meaning arises through contexts of power. Experientially, I want to take the position that I can legitimately identify and differentiate myself as a woman of colour to white academics in a relational sense without de-legitimizing all of the differences amongst women of colour. For those of us who face insecurity and intolerance for what our identities represent, the essentialist tendencies inherent in claiming to be a woman of colour are critical in locating racism and white privilege. In other words, naming or identifying is not simply about the individual but 1 2 To say that there are differing modes of identification is not to say that all facets of identity are the same. Although all identities have discursive, structural, symbolic, structural and material implications some identities emerge from, and are embedded in, different issues. In particular, class identities have some sense of objective material-social structural reality that is unique from other modes of identification such as race which is entirely socially and historically constructed. This, however, is not to say that class (or for that matter any) identities are independently reducible, or that racialization (as opposed to race) does not have material dimensions. See David Roediger's The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class (1999) for further discussion of the of the relationship between race and class, where he explores how, when and why whiteness became a fundamental feature of the ways in which white workers differentiated themselves from workers of colour. 12 rather it is a historical and collective endeavor, one that involves not just the identities of oppressed people but also those of dominant individuals and groups within a local and global context. Young is right to be cautious of essentialism in identity politics, but at the same time, anti-essentialist arguments are sometimes over-simplified and overstated by those who have less at stake than those of us who are socially positioned as the Other because of our identities. Thus rather than arguing, as Young does, that group difference should be disengaged from identity because "social groups do not themselves have substantive unified identities" but are instead "constituted through differentiated relations" (Young, 2000: 99), I argue that group difference should be engaged with identity politics. This is precisely because identities are constituted through differentiated relations in both positive and negative ways, and because as carriers of identity, social groups are producers of differentiated arrangements. This is despite my agreement with Young that social groups do not have essences or unified identities. This may seem contradictory, but I think Young confuses the impact of politics on identity with the impact of identity on politics. In other words, identities are inherently political whereas politics is not necessarily pr explicitly about identities. I utilize the concept of identity as self-directed as well as other-directed. This is akin to Susan Bickford's understanding of'identity' which she claims is thick with meaning: It [identity] can indicate my sense of self, who I think I am; this is often bound up with group membership, those people with whom I identify or am identified. There is, further, the linguistic or conceptual sense of identity as a category that designates the "self-same entity," defined by unity, fixity, and the expulsion of difference. (1997: 111-112) In situating self-directed identities I am disrupting the common assumption that identity/difference politics is concerned only with the ways identity is directed by others. Put differently, I am emphasizing that perceptions of the self and lived experiences are critical to an analysis of identity formation. At the same time, I acknowledge that self-directed identities do not always correspond with other-directed identities, although this is not always conflictual. Young rightly points out that although "we do not choose the conditions under which we form our identities, and we have no choice but to become ourselves under the conditions that position us in determinate relation to others" this does not determine individual identities (2000: 101). According to Young, individual identities are also shaped 13 by our own agency. I would add that whilst agency is present and central in formations and articulations of identity, agency is itself shaped (although not determined) by our social positioning in contexts of power. The concept of difference can be particularly useful because it provides a way to address the relations of power at play in formulating comparisons. As legal scholar Nitya Iyer (1993-1994) elucidates, difference is used to make distinctions between our selves and o/Others and between people, both consciously and unconsciously depending on the stereotypes we all carry. In making comparative distinctions, difference has come to signify the Othered through modes of power. To be the one making comparisons is to exercise power since "doing the categorizing allows you to draw comparisons between yourself and others on the basis of your choice of characteristics" (Iyer, 1993-1994: 185). According to Iyer, the comparator can make themselves invisible by creating "one side of the comparison as 'a difference' inherent in the person or group labeled by that difference, while constituting my particular constellation of attributes as the invisible background norm" (Iyer, 1993-1994: 186). Assignments of difference, or categorizations, are thus also assertions of power. Iyer goes on to argue that even enumerated (identity) grounds listed in the Charter are categorizations of difference rather than neutral signifiers of discrimination: Thus, we can ascertain the social characteristics of the dominant social identity by contemplating what we do not imagine when we think about the superficially neutral characteristics listed in anti-discrimination laws: race is 'not white', sex is 'not male', sexual orientation is 'not heterosexual', disability is not 'able-bodied', and so on. It is those characteristics that which we tend not to perceive as noteworthy or 'different' about ourselves that we share with dominant social identity. (Iyer, 1993-1994: 191) Iyer rightly points to the silent production of normalcy in the articulation of difference; difference only makes sense when there is non-difference. As such, it is crucial to locate and make explicit the normalized or non-different identity. I largely agree with Iyer's characterization of difference and non-difference, although I do not employ the concepts of difference and non-difference to refer to complete identities or even only to the body of a person. By this I mean that it is not that people are 1 3 It is also important to acknowledge that difference-based comparison is also practiced by subordinated identities; when subordinated we are not without agency in producing our own comparisons. 14 either different or not different, but rather, inscriptions of identity produce positions and representations of difference and non-difference. This is not to say that the body is not endowed with markers of privilege and subjugation, but a person can simultaneously take on markers of difference and non-difference without being definitively different or alternatively non-different. Further, even though difference has largely been understood as a way to name the Othered or to make dissimilar identities more palatable by minimizing the 'strangeness' of Others, as Angela Davis contends, the notion of difference can be used to focus not on the object of the Othered but the object of knowledge that produces distinctions (1996: 46-47). Put differently, difference can denote experiences, subjectivities, and social relationships. This view of difference and non-difference also boomerangs to shape identities so that the relationship between identity and difference, as well as identity and non-difference, is reciprocal and circular. In particular, calcified views of Otherness, normality, and in-betweeness14 are produced through markers of identity, difference and non-difference. Identities that are Othered are both differentiated and also subjugated in the Foucauldian sense: they are "buried or masked in functional coherences or formal systematizations" and they have been/are epistemologically disqualified, and constructed as naive and hierarchically inferior (Foucault, 2003: 7). Othered identities are not simply those marked by ambiguity (as is the case for mixed race identities on census forms); rather, they are constituted and subjugated through processes of power. Feminist Susan Wendell states that the production of Othered identities involves two key processes: "When we make people 'Other', we group them together as the objects of our experience instead of regarding them as subjects of experience with whom we might identify, and we see them primarily as symbolic of something else - usually, but not always, something we reject and fear and project onto them" (1996: 60). Whilst Othered spaces and identities tend to be largely understood as subjugated, I will explore the ways in which being Othered serves to disrupt the normalized centre of the non-Othered. In other words, being Othered does not erase agency or the politics of resistance. This is especially true because, as queer theorist Steven Seidman expresses, "Otherness is never truly excluded or silenced; it is present in identity and haunts it as its limit or impossibility" (1997: 152). As such, even 1 4 Here I use the word 'in-betweeness' specifically to indicate that it is possible to be Othered in some ways (such as through racism) and at the same time be normalized in other ways (such as through hetero-normativity). 15 when an identity is Othered, the specter of non-identity or Otherness continues to be relevant to social relations. Through this understanding of identity/difference politics, I will argue that the overarching goal of theorists engaged with identity/difference politics should not simply be to offer theories that describe, explain, assert and justify the accommodation or inclusion of groups, but it should also disrupt and dismantle relations of power that constitute difference and Otherness, as well as non-difference. I will demonstrate that the hegemony of liberal multiculturalism undermines this latter objective; this is especially because political theorists such as Kymlicka and Taylor fail to fully appreciate the vast and complex realm that they embark upon when theorizing identity/difference politics. 1.4 Approaches This research adopts a broad range of critical theoretical approaches to the study of identity/difference, in which I combine various epistemological and methodological perspectives. Though it is possible to distinguish between these approaches there is a great deal of overlap and movement between them. In utilizing these approaches in the study of identity/difference, I intend to not only add texture to the analytical framework of identity/difference but to also expand the boundaries of political theory. These critical theory approaches are multi-disciplinary so that I can engage in conversations with thinkers outside of political science that are also theorizing identity/difference politics. I draw from feminists of colour who take a multidimensional approach to the formation of identities and difference; neo-Marxism, which conceptualizes identities and power relations through an ideological lens; social constructivist theory, including hermeneutics and deconstruction, to explore the complex networks of power relations; and critical realism to consider ways to resist and alter oppressive power. These critical theoretical approaches reflect my own implication and investment in the study of identity/difference. As a woman of colour who experiences identity-based difference as a consequence of racism, colonialism, white privilege, sexism, patriarchy and capitalism I am invested in theorizing ways to resist and disrupt the hegemonic order. In particular, a central feature of my anti-racist feminist approach includes doing work on disablism, homophobia, and class relations (amongst other forms of oppression); by this I mean that my own personal struggle against gendered-racism 16 includes responding to other kinds of oppression because there are many people of colour who are disabled, Deaf, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer, and living in or near poverty. If gendered-racism is to be challenged, it needs to be done so through its many formations. At the same time, I am implicated through identity-based non-difference as a privileged able-bodied woman marked by hetero-normativity, middle-class status, and a British education and accent. I therefore carry a responsibility to speak to (and not for) those identities that are subordinated by my privilege. I attempt to situate subjugated identities and knowledge in identity/difference discourse, conscious that I am marked by hetero-normativity and able-bodied privilege. At the same time, as postcolonial feminist Chilla Bulbeck reminds us, it is critical to speak to the experiences of Othered people (including LGBT, queer, disabled and Deaf people) by analyzing and explaining the relations of power that produce Otherness without speaking for these people through appropriation (1998: 217). I would add that this also involves speaking of the experiences of Othered peoples in empirical and descriptive ways. I am particularly mindful of the dangers of bringing multiple and multidimensional oppressions and privilege under one umbrella (of identity/difference); such an approach can collapse particularized experiences in a framework of universality where the Other and the Norm become dichotomized. This can lead to precisely the kind of homogeneity and appropriation of voice that I critique. In this regard, I am cautious and aware that I am participating in a tradition of western intellectualism that does not let the subaltern speak for herself.15 1 5 This is a lesson I have learned from reading Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak's essay 'Can the Subaltern Speak?' (1988). Spivak uses the term 'subaltern' to refer not to any group that is oppressed, but specifically to those who sit on "the other side of the international division of labor from socialized capital, inside and outside the circuit of the epistemic violence of imperialist law and education, supplementing an earlier economic text..." (Spivak, 1995: 25). Spivak argues that the post-colonial critic is unknowingly complicit in the task of imperialism; rather than letting the subaltern speak, the radical western intellectual paradoxically silences the subaltern by claiming to represent and speak for their experiences, experiences that are homogenized in the process. Spivak contends that when some intellectuals (she specifically names Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze) claim to step aside to let the subaltern speak, they are merely perpetuating the idea that they are conduits for the Othered. Her critique suggests a crisis in western knowledge and theory, where the voices, lives and struggles of the subaltern (especially the gendered location of subaltern women) are silenced and contained within the vocabulary of western critical theory. For Spivak, it is not that disempowered people are without agency but rather she illustrates that their speech acts are not heard or recognized within dominant political systems of representations. 17 Mindful of these dangers and limitations, my contribution to the literature on identity/difference attempts to disrupt liberal multiculturalism not only by situating multidimensionality and subjugated knowledge's/identities but also by examining identities and relations of dominance and privilege. In this way, my work follows the traditions of scholar's who theorize dominant ideologies including those related to whiteness (Dominguez, 1986; Frankenburg, 1993; Omi & Winant, 1986), hetero-normativity (Archer, 1999; Phelan, 2001; Sharpe, 1998), ableism (Ladd, 2003; Scott-Hill, 2003; Stiker, 1999; Titchkosky, 2002), as well as those who examine intersections of dominance and privilege (Bannerji, 1993; Bannerji, Mojab, & Whitehead, 2001; Castagna & Dei, 2000; Collins, 2000; Hawley, 2001; Phelan, 1997; Razack, 1998). Though this research is anchored in political theory, I draw upon critical race and anti-colonial theory, Indigenous studies, gender and feminist studies, queer theory, disability studies, anthropology and cultural studies. M y approach is not simply to appropriate concepts or theories from these disciplines and perspectives, but rather to consider how such concepts and theories can expand the boundaries of political theory. Whilst disciplinary permeability has become a feature of other disciplines concerned with issues of culture, identity and difference — such as anthropology, sociology, women's studies, cultural studies, geography — this has largely not been the case for political theory (although as I will illustrate later there are exceptions to this). Yet, as the work of political theorists such as Barbara Arneil (2004; forthcoming), James Tully (1995) and Seyla Benhabib (2002) illustrates, political theory can benefit from engaging with other disciplinary knowledge and approaches. This is not to say that theories, ideas, concepts and approaches can be simply transported from one discipline to another, for even when there is a multi and cross-disciplinary interest in a topic (such as culture) often the research questions are different. At the same time, the influences and lessons of other disciplines open up stimulating possibilities for political theory. I expressly draw on disciplines/approaches outside the traditional scope of political theory in order to broaden the realm of identity/difference politics so that it encompasses a wider understanding of the ways in which processes and structures of power interact through multidimensional axes. Purposely, I want to counter the discursive marginalization of disabled, Deaf, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, and queer identities by drawing on 18 lesbian and gay studies, queer theory, and disability studies. Whilst liberal multiculturalists seemingly promote diversity, they negate some already subjugated modes of identity/difference. As such, liberal multiculturalists have privileged some aspects of identity/difference, consequently ignoring or neglecting others. It is crucial that the discourse of difference itself does not generalize theoretically about particular cases and does not silence difference claims that have been and are marginalized. This is particularly important when analyzing ideological processes of ablism, disablism, Oralism,16 hetero-normativity and homophobia (and how these processes intersect with other processes) because there has been a clear neglect of these dimensions in liberal multicultural discourses of diversity. To situate disablism, ablism, and Oralism I draw from the social model of disability employed by thinkers such as Rene Gadacz (1994), Susan Wendell (1989), Rosemarie Garland-Thompson (2002), Mairian Corker and Tom Shakespeare (2002). I use the term 'disability' as "a loose rubric and as an amalgam of dissimilar physical and cognitive traits that often have little in common other than the social stigma of limitation, deviance and inability" (Mitchell & Snyder, 1997: 7). Historically, analysis of disability has predominantly taken place in the biological, social and cognitive sciences. It is only recently that the humanities have broken their silence on disability and Deafness; the literature increasingly demonstrates that disability and Deafness should be understood as an axis of social discrimination and institutional exclusion. David Mitchell's and Sharon Snyder's The Body and Physical Difference: Discourses of Disability (1997), and Paddy Ladd's Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood (2003) are examples of this shift. The social theoretical model adopted in these kinds of analysis has led to a change from viewing disabilities and Deafness as private or medical matters to locating such signifiers in the social arena. The social model has enormous critical power in exploring issues of identity/difference for those marked by disability and Deafness. It enables a movement from examining the needs of those signified as disabled to the social structures and processes that construct disability as problematically different, and cognitive and physical ability as normal 1 6 In his analysis of Deaf culture, Paddy Ladd defines Oralism as the "all-encompassing set of policies and discourses aimed at preventing them [Deaf children and their parents] from learning or using sign languages to communicate" (2003: 7). 19 (Corker & Shakespeare, 2002: xiii). The privileging of able-bodiedness in liberal discourses of difference has not been adequately challenged and dismantled, and indeed silence on disability/ability reinforces this privilege. In other words, liberal multicultural maps of diversity do not conceptualize where, how and why disability is located in identity/difference politics. For this reason, I turn to the scholars of disability and Deafness. Analysis of hetero-normativity and homophobia are also theoretically displaced and silenced in liberal multicultural discourses of diversity. Despite acknowledging lesbian and gay struggles, liberal multiculturalists tend not to explore the implications of sexual orientation for their theories. Queer theory has a particular contribution to make to difference/identity politics because it stems from the movement in theory towards 17 postmodernism and post-structuralism. Specifically, it "leads to the rejection of all categorizations as limiting and labeled by dominant power structures" (Kirsch, 2000: 33). It challenges both essentialist and dualistic tendencies in gender studies because it recognises that gays and lesbians may or may not have much in common, potentially disrupting or realigning notions of solidarity. The insight of queer analysis illustrates that domination and oppression is experienced in varied ways. Queer theory reinforces the notion that power exists between and within L G B T and queer identity-based groups, power that is constituted through other markers of identity such as those inscribed through capitalism, gendering, racialization, nationalism, and ablism. Queer theory is ...an articulating principle functioning in, across, between, and among Various social domains and political experiences, and it is therefore consciously provisional, dynamic, strategic and mobilizing, rather than prescriptive or doctrinal. As such, it neither displaces nor makes redundant notions of gay, bisexual and lesbian experience, but instead queries the field of identity politics into which these notions necessarily intervene, precisely by challenging what Phillip Brian Harper calls the "identic fixity." (Harper, McClintock, Munoz, & Rosen, 1997: 1). At the same time, what distinguishes queer theory from its postmodernist and post-structuralist foundations is its goal to place questions of sexuality and gendering as the 1 7 Examples of such work come from Judith Butler (1990), who examines heterosexuality as a regulatory regime; Peter Dickinson (1999), who provides an analysis of Canadian literature in the context of nationalism and sexuality; Stacey Young (1997) who considers the displacement of bisexuality in queer thought; and Shane Phelan (1997) who explores oppression through the intersections of race and sexuality. 20 centre of concern and as the key categories through which other socio-political phenomena are understood (Kirsch, 2000: 33). This does not, however, mean that there are bounded categories of identity (such as heterosexual/homosexual), but rather as Annamarie Jagose states in her much cited text Queer Theory, queer assumes "a zone of possibilities" (1996: 2). It enables a rethinking of identities as processes of becoming, rather than something that can be known (Phelan, 1994: 41). In order to analyze interactions between multiple inter-subjectivities, I draw from feminist women of colour who theorize the multidimensionality of identities through interlocking systems of power (Collins, 2000; Crenshaw, 1994; Mohanty, 2003; Monture-Angus, 1995, 2002; Narayan, 2000; Razack, 1998). Patricia Hil l Collins, for instance, presents what she calls the 'matrix of domination' (1990: 221-238). Although Collins focuses on the experiences of African-American women, her model is a useful framework for analyzing the interactions between aspects of identity. Collins provides a radical analysis of oppression that urges us to see race, class and gender as interlocking systems of oppression. She reconceptualises the social relations of domination and resistance to locate the knowledge of subordinated groups. She argues that instead of starting with gender and adding in other 'variables', such as sexual orientation, race and class, analysis must be expanded from simply describing the similarities and differences that distinguish systems of oppression and focus instead on how they interconnect. She states, "Assuming that each system needs the others in order to function creates a distinct theoretical stance that stimulates the rethinking of basic social science concepts" (1990: 222). Collin's may be over-stating the idea that various systems need each other to function — for ideologies of racism do not require ideologies of sexism to function — but her larger point that systems cannot be reduced to one dimension and are closely inter-linked is nonetheless significant. Maxine Baca Zirm and Bonnie Thornton Dil l summarize the theoretical value of the matrix of domination: The idea of a matrix is that several fundamental systems work with and through each other. People experience 'race', class, gender, sexuality [and disability] differently depending upon their social location in the structures of 'race', class, gender, sexuality [and disability]. For example, people of the same 'race' will experience 'race' differently depending upon their location in the call structure as working class, professional managerial class, or unemployed; in the gender structure as female or male; and in the 21 structures of sexuality as heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual. (1996: 321) The 'matrix of domination' offers a framework in which the primacy of any one aspect of identity is rejected, but where it remains possible to analyse any of these 'variables' as an axes of oppression and privilege; where all forms of oppression have domination as the foundation; and where multiple levels of domination are recognized, at a personal level, the group level, and a systemic level of social institutions. At the same time as I am committed to drawing out both of Collin's themes (interlocking identities and power), my constructivist theoretical approach underlines the necessity to be conscious and cautious of emphasizing identity categories at the expense of identification processes. Drawing from sociological neo-Marxist analysis in Cultural Studies I approach the study of interlocking identities and power through ideological processes such as racialization, racism, gendering, sexism, homophobia, heterosexism, patriarchy and capitalism rather than descriptive and analytical categories of race, gender, and class etc. This is in the tradition of neo-Marxist sociologist Robert Miles (1980; 1984; 2000), who critiques the meaning of race in contemporary Marxist thought. Miles argues that even those thinkers that are committed to the notion that race is socially constructed — such as Stuart Hall (2002), Paul Gilroy (1987), O.C. Cox (1970) - fall into the trap of differentiating groups by biological characteristics, treating race "as a thing in itself, and representing races as "really existing collectivities" (Miles, 2000: 134-5). As Miles rightly points out, in conceiving of race as a descriptive term or even an analytical category, race ends up referring to "a real, identifiable phenomenon which can have (autonomous) effects on those processes" (2000: 135). The category of race, in other words, only makes sense i f there are features and characteristics that give shape to it; these features and characteristics inevitably (and problematically) revert to an undesirable dependence on biology. This has the effect of distracting from the position that race is socially constructed, that it does not exist. Citing French materialist thinker, Colette Guillaumin (1980), Miles states, "any analytical use of the idea of 'race' disguises the fact that it is an idea created by human beings in certain historical and material conditions, and used to represent and structure the world in certain ways, under certain historical conditions and for certain political interests. The idea of 'race' 22 is therefore essentially ideological" (2000: 137). It is especially ideological in that it is a rationalization for dominance. Let me be clear, I am not arguing that racialization and racism do not exist; these are real experiences that I encounter on a daily basis and have consequences in the material-social structures, discursive power, and symbolic practices of society. As such, social constructivism should not be used as a tool to deny experiences such as racism. Rather, in approaching the study of identity/difference as the study of the production of identities in contexts of power, it is not the race or gender or class or sexual orientation itself that matters but what matters is the ways in which ideologies such of racism, colonialism, capitalism, gendering, ableism and hetero-normativity categorize identities and determine arrangements of power. As Miles says about race, the social processes of signifying race through phenotypical characteristics in naturalizing ways in order to define and explain identity-based differences is "an important ideological moment in a process of domination" (2000: 137). By utilizing the idea of race as an analytical concept, Miles warns that social scientists "deny the historicity of this social process, freezing it with the idea that the naturalness of somatic difference ineluctably constitutes eternal human collectivities" (2000: 137). If, as scholars of identity/difference, we are to take seriously the task of deconstructing and historicizing the ideas of race, gender, class, sexual orientation, and disability it is necessary to examine the ideological processes that signify identities and relations in specific subordinating and privileging ways. This means that it is critical to avoid reasserting categories that reinforce notions that fixed and natural races, genders, classes, sexual orientations, abilities exist as real entities. Employing Miles approach to identities as ideological constructions, I attempt to dislodge the ontological status of identity categories such as race (and conventional understandings derived from such categories) and emphasize the processes by which identities come to be created, interpreted, maintained and re-signified. It is by now evident that postmodernist and post-structuralist approaches guide this research. In contrast to a modern view of identities, postmodernism and post-structuralism provide a view of the subject as "embedded in a complex network of social relations" rather than as "autonomous creators of themselves or their social worlds" (Corker & Shakespeare, 23 2002: 3).' 8 Whilst some modernist thinkers — including socialists, Marxists, communitarians, and more recently some liberal pluralists (such Kymlicka and Taylor) and radical liberals (such as Seyla Benhabib (1996; 1999b; 2002) and Duncan Ivison (2002)) --share this view of the world, the various approaches towards postmodernism and post-structuralism emphasize the centrality of power. This is significant because the organizing principle premise is not class, or community, or the individual or particular groups, or even democracy, but it is the overarching production, operation and effects of power. I am especially concerned with exploring the connections between power and meanings. In this regard, this research is very much a Foucauldian project, although Michel Foucault was especially interested in power and discourse.19 In particular, I adopt two central features of Foucault's conception of power. First, power is more than a repressive force (in that it is also productive), and is not simply exercised through juridical processes; it is not "something that percolates downwards pyramid fashion from institutions at the apex like royalty of the state" (Moore-Gilbert, 1997: 36). Through a series of studies on sexuality and prisons, Foucault (1975a; 1990;  1995) demonstrates that power operates through a multiplicity of sites and capillaries, making subjects conform to their location in various social systems of power. Second, discourse "produces reality; it produces domains of objects and rituals of truth" (Foucault, 1975b: 194). Put differently, discourse is the medium through which power is constituted and exercised. Through discourse analysis, Foucault urges a rejection of the idea that there are truthful identities. He argues that knowledge (about identities for instance) is not prior to politics, but constituted through and in specific relations of power. The strategy for revealing the assumptions of knowledge is called deconstruction. The exercise is to decentre the self and politics through language and 1 8 Postmodernism is not a unified intellectual movement (Seidman, 1997: 203-4). There are significant differences between thinkers such as Jean Bauldrillard who offers a radical postmodernism, Richard Rorty who presents a liberal social vision; Michel Foucault and Jean Francois Lyotard who follow a democratic pluralistic vision. Postmodernists are skeptical of objective knowledge, they valorize flux and mobility, and are suspicious (and even hostile) to universalist claims. Poststrucruralism is a philosophical movement that critiques phenomenology and structuralism. It is characterized by an opposition to structuralist principles, as well the necessity to textualize the social world and challenge grand narratives and general truth claims. It is primarily associated with theorists like Derrida, Kristeva, Lacan, and Foucault (Moya, 2000: 5-6). 1 9 By this I am referring to Michel Foucault's project of exploring the intricate links between knowledge and power which he discusses in a number of works, including Power/Knowledge (1980), a series of lectures (Foucault, 2003), and The History of Sexuality (Foucault, 1990). It is important to note that although Foucault did not identify as a postmodern writer, his work is significant for its post-structuralist analyses of madness, criminality, and sexuality. 24 discourse (Corker & Shakespeare, 2002: 5). A deconstructive approach enables me to expose the philosophical and linguistic assumptions implicit in inscriptions ascribed to specific identities (textually, symbolically and behaviorally). In exposing these assumptions, I intend not to empty identities of meaning but rather I want to draw attention to the production of identities. As such, his legacy directs analysis to the ways in which discourse is temporally and spatially relative, historically contingent, and embedded in and reproduced by a range of technologies (Carter, 2000: 35). In the tradition of Foucault, I examine the ways in which human beings are made into subjectivities rather than essences; in this Foucauldian way, identity differences are not objects of social knowledge but signifiers that shape the practices of knowing. This is directly applicable to a study of contemporary identity/difference politics because Foucault presents a corrective alternative to an intellectual tradition that essentializes identities. I explore the ways in which varied power relationships are created, established, maintained, and reconstituted through the production and diffusion of particular significations of identities; I conceive of power and signification as a circular relationship, with one forming the other; I challenge the knowledge produced through the discourse of liberal multiculturalism; and I attempt to situate subjugated knowledge within a larger framework and at the same time disrupt dominant knowledge. Even i f this research is not genealogical in method — in that I am not tracing the history of power that generated knowledge about culture or identity/difference — I stress the importance of dissecting the processes that signify identities within contexts of power At the same time, although I adopt Foucault's approach to power, I am wary of the ways in which post-modernism and post-structuralism can potentially deflate power relations and constitute social contradictions into forms of ambiguity. Thus whilst adopting a postmodern approach I am also watchful of the entrenched ways that modern power is exercised. This is in the same manner that legal scholar Sherene Razack relies on postmodern theories for understanding the construction of subjectivity but with "a modernist eye on domination" (1998: 161). In this sense, I follow the approach developed by critical realists in which it is possible to theorize ways to create anti-subordinating relations in order This endeavor is not new and is already widely employed by social and political thinkers. As one example of this understanding of deconstruction see Steven Seidman's Difference Troubles (1997). 25 to create more reliable claims of knowledge that are grounded in lived experiences and local as well as global contexts of power. These claims of knowledge are not necessarily any more complete, but this does not invalidate them. Specifically, interlinking identity and difference can allow theorists to "analyze the epistemic status and political salience of any given identity" and "ascertain and evaluate the possibilities and limits of different identities" (Moya, 2000: 7). In this sense, analysis of identity and social group difference and non-difference through experiential knowledge can help theorists explain the ways in which people understand, experience and know the world. This approach to identity is critically realist in the tradition of literary theorist Satya P. Mohanty. In an essay entitled 'Epistemic Status of Cultural Identity: On Beloved and the Postcolonial Condition,' Mohanty (2000) argues that postmodernist understandings of identity as arbitrary and essentialist conceptions of identity as deterministic are both false and unhelpful. He offers what he calls a postpositivist realist theory of identity, which shifts from a position of either dismissing or celebrating identities to enabling explanations of where and why identities are problematic and empowering. Mohanty states that "our identities are ways of making sense of our experiences. Identities are theoretical constructions that enable us to read the world in specific ways...In them, and through them, we learn to define and reshape our values and our commitments, we give texture and form to our collective futures" (2000: 43). Mohanty hence conceptualizes identities as "politically and epistemologically significant because of their correlation with experience" (Alcoff, 2000: 344). In this sense, Mohanty argues that a postpositivist account of identity explains the ways in which, within a given location, identities can be both constructed and 'real' (2000: 55). This reality "consists in their referring outward, to causally significant features of the social world" (Mohanty, 2000: 55). These causally significant features of identity are enmeshed in social groups precisely because the identities of social groups are (partly) deduced from experiences of difference and non-difference. In theorizing identity/difference I am hence exploring not what identities are composed of, but the normative and epistemological implications of identity difference and non-difference. This kind of critical realist approach — which contains echoes of Foucault ~ has been welcomed by a number of scholars including anti-colonial thinkers such as Edward Said. In his pivotal text Orientalism (1978), Said examines the production of knowledge of the 26 Orient by Europeans. To Said, the Orient was not only a place of Europe's richest and oldest colonies, but it also "helped to define Europe (or the West) as its contrasting image, idea, personality, experience" ( 1995: 87). In tracing how the Orient was imagined in particular ways as an integral mirror image of European material civilization and culture, Said reveals the ways in which the "'Orient ' and 'Occident' are man-made" through "a relationship of power, of domination, of varying degrees of a complex hegemony" ( 1995: 89). In Foucauldian fashion, Said argues that through aesthetic, scholarly, economic, sociological historical, and philological texts, the Occidental elaborates geopolitical distinctions and interests in order to produce itself as superior and regulate those that disturb its authority ( 1995: 90). In particular, Orientalism follows Foucault's conception of what power is and how it operates through various channels and discourse. 2 1 Yet, as Said contends in an interview entitled 'Language, History and the Production of Knowledge' (2001) — in which he critiques Foucault — he is "very interested not only in talking about the formation of imperialism, but also of resistances to it, and the fact that imperialism could be overthrown and was - as a result of resistance and decolonization and nationalism" (2001: 268). Said argues that though Foucault links power and resistance, he does not fully consider the ways in which power arrangements can be changed and not 22 merely resisted. Said spells out the possibilities (as well as historical realities) of changing oppressive power so that more reliable knowledge claims can be made. Thus whilst Said starts by critically examining orthodox epistemologies and resituating subjugated knowledge through a social constructivist view (as Foucault does), he takes the approach that alternate knowledge can be produced through political action (Viswanathan, 2001: xix). In Power, Politics and Culture: Interviews with Edward W. Said (Viswanathan, 2001), for example, Said speaks directly to actively changing existing arrangements of power, through intertwined projects of intellectual criticism and calls for action (explicitly in the context of Palestinian, Arab, Jewish and American relations). For Said, it is not simply that the past and present need to be understood genealogically and historically, but it is also that 2 1 For a more in-depth examination of the Said's relationship with the work of Foucault see Bart Moore-Gilbert's Postcolonial Theory (1997: 36-8, 48-9, 51-2, 62-3). 2 2 There is a fascinating debate amongst feminists whether Foucault really provides a theory of resistance at all, particularly because he does not explicitly suggest a way to judge between subjugated forms of experience that are truly resistance to hegemonic power and those that are not. For a good analysis of this discussion that addresses both sides of the argument see Jana Sawicki's essay 'Foucault and Feminism: A Critical Appraisal' (1994). 27 acknowledgment and familiarity with the past can alter future power arrangements, both discursively and materially. Related to this, Said wants to identify the authors of power who are not, for him, driven by an anonymous network of relations but who consciously, purposely, and actually govern with the intent to subjugate; so for example, governments are not simply agents that function within networks of power, but they can also be creators of power structures. As such, for Said, knowledge is produced by subjects and not only by discourse. Drawing from this critical realist approach, I explore the ways in which power can be transformative (and therefore not just repressive). From the work of thinkers whose projects emphasize the perspectives of subjugated identities in institutional contexts (Markell, 2003; Tully, 1995, 2000; Williams, 1995; Young, 1990, 2000), critique hegemonic practices (Brown, 1995; M . Smith, 1999), and offer strategies of resistance and transformation (Alfred, 1999, 2005; Razack, 1998), I consider ways to not only deconstruct and resist difference/non-difference identity signifiers but to also transform the oppressive and privileging meanings these significations hold. As such, I hover between Foucault's premise that domination is inevitable and Said's more modernist vision that emancipation is possible. Specifically, my concern is driven not by desire to move towards a particular emancipatory ideal' vision of society, but away from the subjugating historical and contemporary expressions of power that constitute identities and relations. 1.5 Chapter Outline In chapters two and three, I engage with the two leading architects of liberal multiculturalism. In critically theorizing identity/difference politics, I take seriously the necessity of engaging with dominant discourses in order to understand and challenge them. In chapter two, 'Wi l l Kymlicka and the Politics of Multicultural Citizenship'^ and chapter three, 'Charles Taylor and the Politics of Recognition', I provide a broad textual analysis. The two main critiques of both thinkers are that a) neither adequately theorizes the sources of power, or more specifically the relationship between culture and power, b) both interpret identity/difference narrowly, focusing only on some aspects of identity and without adequate 2 3 Though Said draws heavily on Foucault, Bart Moore-Gilbert (1997: 40) points out that Said shows signals of dissatisfaction with Foucault even in some of his early writings, notably his essay on 'The Problem of Textuality' (Said, 1980). 28 analysis of dominant identities. M y analysis of Taylor is more appreciatively and sympathetically critical, since he provides a compelling theory that is directly concerned with the production of (recognized) identities. Chapter four, 'The Conceptual Shift from Culture to Cultural: An Alternative to Liberal Multiculturalism', presents the key turning point in this research. Drawing from my broad critique of Kymlicka and Taylor I first elucidate the specific limitations of the culture concept in liberal multiculturalism. I then explore the possibility of making a critical shift from culture to cultural. In spite of the fact that the term 'multiculturalism' suggests that liberals examine both culture and the cultural, I contest that this is not the case and that the distinction between these two concepts is critical. Drawing specifically from Cultural Studies and Anthropology I argue that it is critical to make an analytical and linguistic shift to cultural, a concept that I revise from its liberal multicultural orientations. This endeavor is distinguishable from political theorists such as Tully and Benhabib in that rather than revising the culture concept I argue for a linguistic and analytical shift to the concept of cultural. Overall, I contend that this repositions analysis from the entity of Othered cultures to the processes that signify identities and relations. In chapter five, 'The Theoretical Implications of the Shift to Cultural', I explore the theoretical inferences of the shift to cultural for the study of identity/difference politics. In particular, I draw out the ways in which the concept of cultural provides theoretical insights into power relations; the production and signification of identities; the interactive processes of signifying identities; the utilization of strategic essentialist meanings; the place of hybridity theory; the relationship between nature and culture; and an understanding of authenticity and agency. In chapters six, seven and eight, I apply the conceptual shift to several case studies. Through these case studies, I hope to illustrate that analysis of the processes that signify and resignify identities and relations simultaneously expands, interrogates, and complicates identity/difference politics. Specifically, I analyze how the concepts of culture and cultural are at play in various areas of Canadian public policy and law that are of particular importance for sexual minorities, the disabled, the Deaf, and Indigenous women.2 4 These Whilst the goal is to expand, deconstruct and complicate analysis by addressing a more complex range of issues related to identity and difference, because all modes of identification are not the same it is 29 case studies are not arbitrarily chosen but rather they reflect points of difference that illustrate important socio-political power arrangements. I specifically analyze these identities in order to a) theorize identities that are virtually ignored in liberal multiculturalism, and b) to illustrate the ways in which the conceptual shift to cultural 25 challenges traditional (political theory) understandings of identity/difference politics. Though at first it appears that the subjects of these case studies are all marked by injury, I analyze these subjects in relation to dominant socio-political positions, norms, practices and identities. In other words, my understanding of the constitution of identity, difference and non-difference is grounded in analyzing the interaction and production of subordination and dominance. My approach to the case studies is akin to that of Joseph Carens' in Culture, Citizenship and Community (2000), in which he moves back and forth between theory and context, or theory and experiential knowledge. As Carens rightly states, there is much "we learn as theorists by confronting the abstract with the concrete and by inquiring into the relationship between the theoretical views we espouse and actual problems, practices, and debates in political life" (2000: 2). As such, the case studies provide a contextual approach in which it becomes possible to "clarify the meaning of abstract formulations...provide access to normative insights that may be obscured by the theoretical accounts that remain at the level of general principle... [and] make us more conscious of the blinkers that constrain 26 our theoretical visions when are they informed only by what is familiar" (Carens, 2000: 2). In chapter six, 'Expanding Identity/Difference Politics: Significations of Deaf and Transsexual Identities', I consider the role of culture in the construction of Deaf and transsexual identities. Whereas the concepts of culture and cultural tend to be conflated in political theory, the purpose of this chapter is to make a distinction. I explore what enormously difficult to address all issues of identity. As such, 1 am not claiming that this research provides an absolute examination of all forms of identity. Indeed, my wariness towards modernist approaches stems from a rejection of the idea that the individual can fully understand the human condition, which consists of multiple subjects and their epistemologies. 2 5 Though this research does not provide an in-depth analysis of the relationship of religion and culture, I do consider significations attached to religion. I intend to explore questions of the relationship between religions, culture and politics in future work, specifically in reference to the application of Shariah law in family law cases in Ontario. 2 6 Although Carens does not explicitly say so, it is notable that his approach to contextualizing abstract ideas echoes that of theorists outside the discipline of political science who rely upon empirical knowledge to make normative claims. 30 constitutes a 'cultural identity' in order to expand the narrow definition of culture presented by liberal multiculturalists. Through sociological analysis and critical legal analysis I briefly examine media coverage of a Deaf couple's hope to have a Deaf child, and the British Columbia Supreme Court decision in Nixon v. Vancouver Rape Relief Society. The first case study examines Deafness and the second transsexuality. Both are employed to illustrate the ways in which the analysis of the processes of meaning-making widens the scope of analysis. In chapter seven, 'Rethinking Subjects of Identity/Difference Politics: (Re)Signifying Immigrants', my goal is to examine one of the most significant categories in liberal multicultural thought: immigrants. By drawing on the experiences of some immigrants, I consider 'the immigrant' not through the usual lens of culture but through systems of disability and sexual orientation. Through critical legal analysis of aspects of immigration law and practice, I challenge the ways in which immigrants are not simply members of a culture in the liberal multicultural sense but how they are also produced through processes related to ablism/disablism, gendering, homophobia and hetero-normativity. In chapter eight, 'Complicating Identity/Difference Politics: Meaning-Making and Indigenous Women', through a discourse analysis of the Aboriginal Women's Roundtable Report on Gender Equality (2000), I complicate analysis of another core signified group in liberal multiculturalism: Indigenous nations. Through an interlocking analysis of multiple systems of power, I consider some of the processes that signify and resignify the identities of Indigenous women. Through these cases, I investigate ways in which the static and bounded notion of culture in liberal multiculturalism is simply not up to the task of analyzing evolving meanings of identity or the processes that position identities in particular contexts of power. In the final chapter, 'The Political Implications of the Conceptual Shift to Cultural: A Politics of Signification and Resignification', I broadly explore the implications of the paradigmatic shift to cultural for liberal-democratic politics. Specifically, I consider the issues related to liberalism, rights, citizenship, and democracy that arise through my analysis of liberalism multiculturalism and the case studies. 31 Chapter II W i l l Kymlicka and the Politics of Multicultural Citizenship 2.1 Introductory remarks Wil l Kymlicka's theory of multicultural citizenship spans across a number of essays and books but the core of his argument is found in Multicultural Citizenship. Kymlicka builds upon in his earlier work in Liberalism, Community and Culture (1989), 'Individual and Group Rights' (1994), and also later develops his theory in 'Do We Need a Liberal Theory of Rights?' (1997a), Finding Our Way: Rethinking Ethnocultural Relations in Canada (1998), and Politics in the Vernacular: Nationalism, Multiculturalism, and Citizenship (2001). Though I focus primarily on Multicultural Citizenship, I draw upon these and other writings by Kymlicka in order to consider his liberal account of how and why the state should respond to the plurality of cultures, particularly in the context of Canada (Kymlicka, 1998: 3). Kymlicka opens Multicultural Citizenship by stating that "Most countries today are culturally diverse...This diversity gives rise to a series of important and potentially divisive questions" (1995: 1). This diversity, Kymlicka argues, requires the redistribution of (some) group-differentiated rights in the polity. According to Kymlicka, securing group-differentiated rights in a liberal democratic framework will advance the individual's context of choice. Specifically, group differentiated rights are needed to ensure that all citizens are treated with genuine equality, to honor historical agreements and because of a moral commitment to diversity (Kymlicka, 1995: 108-123). Whilst Kymlicka's defence of multicultural differentiated rights has been challenged and critiqued by other liberals such as Brian Barry (2001), Susan Moller Okin (1994; 1999) and Chandran Kukathas (1988) who argue that his theory goes too far in accommodating diversity, I explore the ways in which his theory does not go far enough, even on his own terms. Ultimately, Kymlicka is limited by his own categorization of identity, and by the liberal framework in which he operates. In this, his theory both confines and obscures the relationship between identity, difference, non-difference and power. 32 2.2 Kymlicka's Theory of Multicultural Citizenship Kymlicka's theory has been enormously significant not only because he provides a pragmatic and practical response to diversity, but also because he reformulates liberal views of justice to accommodate minority cultures in a manner consistent with fundamental liberal commitments. As Kymlicka himself notes, he has been a key architect in the development of the discourse of minority rights (1997b; 2001: 17-38). Though in the early stages of this discourse, communitarians defended minority groups rights against the encroachment of liberalism, the second stage of this discourse included his own work in Liberalism, Community and Culture (1989) as well as the work of Joseph Raz (1994), Yael Tamir (1993) and Jeff Spinner (1994). His revision of liberalism departed from liberal notions of neutrality in order to defend culture and identity concerns. More recently, Kymlicka has been pivotal in developing what he calls the third stage of minority rights discourse in which a 'liberal culturalist' view involves viewing minority rights as a response to nation-building. Kymlicka argues that "[mjinority rights were an important part of liberal theory and practice in the nineteenth century and between the world wars" (1995: 50). He claims that he wants to now recover this 'tradition' of liberalism. Kymlicka begins the project of revising the liberal visions of John Rawls and Ronald Dworkin by refuting citizenship theories that are based on identical rights. Liberal theories, he contends, need to respond to the fact that many members of a nation-state still feel marginalized because of their socio-economic position and their different socio-cultural identity, despite being assigned common individual rights. As such, Kymlicka starts from the premise that the recent liberal response to group identity differences has been inadequate not only because few "contemporary theorists have explicitly discussed the rights of ethnic and national minorities, or developed any principles for evaluating claims to language rights, for example, or federal autonomy" (1995: 50), but also because of assumptions about liberal neutrality. As Melissa Williams notes, "[o]ne of Kymlicka's central insights is that prevailing understandings of justice fail to satisfy the ideal of impartiality because of hidden assumptions that those who are to be regulated by a conception of justice belong to a single, homogenous culture" (1995: 76). See Kymlicka's discussion in Politics in the Vernacular: Nationalism, Multiculturalism and Citizenship (2001: 22). 33 Rather than requiring the state to be impartial, the normative framework guiding the more complete version of liberalism that Kymlicka offers is shaped by conceptualizing membership in a culture as a primary good in the Rawlsian sense (an essential component of individual moral agency). Kymlicka defines societal culture as "a culture which provides its members with meaningful ways of life across the full range of human activities, including social, educational, religious, recreational, and economic life, encompassing both public and private spheres" (1995: 76). In defending the importance of a common societal culture, Kymlicka acknowledges that there is some level of exchange and interaction between cultures but maintains that societal cultures are essentially distinguishable from each other.. He posits that the "works of other cultures may become available to us through translation, or through the influx of immigrants who bring certain cultural narratives with them as they integrate. That we learn from other cultures, or that we borrow words from other languages, does not mean that we do not still belong to separate societal cultures, or speak different languages" (1995: 103). Kymlicka argues that liberalism has the capacity to refute communitarians, such as Charles Taylor, who argue that liberalism cannot respond to collective rights or minority cultures (1989; 1995: 49-74). Kymlicka states that contrary to communitarian criticisms that the liberal view of the self is empty, the liberal defence of freedom rests on the individual being able to revise and reject tasks and projects within the context of society. Rather than being understood as morally transcultural and ahistorical, liberals can situate the individual within their specific contexts. Furthermore, the liberal self does not ignore the need for social confirmation of individual judgements because internal (within the self) and external (outside the self) confirmations are both necessary. In this sense Kymlicka claims that some communitarian concerns are also liberal concerns. This reformulation of liberalism presents an insightful and appealing account of diversity; it appears to have the capacity to rescue liberalism from communitarian criticisms and to reassert a liberal tradition of tolerance. Yet, despite this reorganization of liberalism, I contend that Kymlicka fails to provide a In contrast to Williams, Joseph Carens has argued that Kymlicka's concept of societal culture stems from an implicit commitment to the norm of neutrality. I consider the inconsistencies of Kymlicka's notion of societal culture in this chapter that suggests a monocultural conception of neutrality, but for further discussion on the specific relationship between societal culture and neutrality see Carens' discussion of Kymlicka in Culture, Citizenship and Community (2000: 56-73) 34 satisfactory theory of identity/difference both on his own terms and in terms of larger questions about identity/difference. 2.3 Classifying Identity and Rights The Distinction between National and Polyethnic Minorities Kymlicka's defence of collective rights for minority cultures begins with a distinction between political communities and cultural communities. Political communities are defined by territory and a regulative conception of liberal justice; they define the (public) sphere within which individuals exercise rights and responsibilities (Williams, 1995: 75). According to Kymlicka, cultural communities are defined by (privately) shared history and language and provide the context "within which individuals form and revise their aims and ambitions" (1989: 135). Kymlicka argues that the use of the term 'multiculturalism' has been confused; it refers both to those who have voluntarily integrated into a 'host' country and to people who are forcibly colonised. To clarify this confusion, Kymlicka. offers a distinction between national minorities and polyethnic minorities. These two groups, he illustrates, form multinational societies and polyethnic societies, and sometimes these two kinds of societies can be found in one nation-state, as in the Canadian case. According to Kymlicka, a national minority is a historical community, more or less institutionally complete, occupying a given territory or homeland, sharing a distinct language and culture. In a book published in 1992 that surveys contemporary political philosophy, Kymlicka subdivides national minorities into two categories: substate nations such as the Quebecois (as well as the Catalans, Basques, Flemish, Scots, Welsh, Corsicans and Puerto Ricans) and indigenous peoples (2002: 349). Substate nations do not currently It is interesting to note that in Multicultural Citizenship although Kymlicka makes the distinction between French-Canadians and Franco-phones, he continues to refer to Franco-phones interchangeably as French-Canadians, the people of Quebec, and the Quebecois. This makes it unclear whether he is referring to a group of people based on linguistic, nationalistic, or territorial demarcations. In Finding Our Way, which was published three years later, he states that he will use the term "'Quebecois' in the cultural sense, to refer to any-one who participates in the French-language society in Quebec, regardless of ethnic descent" (1998: 96). I largely accept this understanding of Quebecois. At the same time, I will use the term Franco-phone to signify French speakers who live across Canada and not only Quebec, and who may not necessarily be descendents of the original French settlers; this includes racialized immigrants from Africa, the Caribbean and Middle East. These groups may or may not share the goals of French nationalism. Although many definitions of 'French-Canadian' refer to those Canadians whose ancestry is French Canadian heritage, I will avoid using this term as it has been used both by nationalists and federalists alike, and therefore carries conflicting significations. 35 have a state in which they are a majority but may have sought such a state. Whereas sub-state nations may have been conquered or annexed by a larger state or empire in the past, been ceded from one empire to another, or may have voluntarily agreed to form a federation with one or more other national groups, Indigenous national minorities have through/by force and treaties been incorporated into states run by colonizers (Kymlicka, 2002: 349). Although Kymlicka does not describe or explain the history of state control over national minorities, he highlights that the Canadian government acquired authority over the Quebecois and Metis through historical agreements (1995: 116-7). According to Kymlicka, both substate nations and indigenous national minorities tend to seek self-government rights in order to gain autonomy and territorial jurisdictional control. Self government rights are practiced through the establishment of multinational states or federations (1998: 33), or through secession (1995: 27). Kymlicka declares that he does not define national minorities by their race or descent, but by their culture which is defined in large part by language (1995: 22, 199; 1998: 96). In contrast to national minorities, according to Kymlicka polyethnic minorities, or immigrants, can maintain some ethnic plurality but do not require self-government rights (2001: 2). Kymlicka specifies that he defines immigrants as those newcomers who are legally admitted and who have the right to gain citizenship. He suggests that these immigrants prefer to integrate into the new state rather than hold on to Old World values (Kymlicka, 1998: 7-8). According to Kymlicka, polyethnic minorities are entitled to polyethnic rights, in which they can challenge Anglo-conformity, use public funding for their practices, and be exempt from some laws based on their differentiated status. Such rights are intended to help ethnocultural minorities' express their specificity without hampering the economic or political success of a state (Kymlicka, 1995: 31). Both self-government and polyethnic rights can overlap with what Kymlicka calls special representation rights. Special representation rights are, at the same time distinct for Kymlicka because they can be assigned by the state to those under-represented groups (e.g. women) who do not have national or polyethnic status. These rights allow guaranteed group representation in political institutions. These kinds of rights already have (limited) applicability in Canada, where for example, three Supreme Court justices must come from Quebec. These special representation rights tend to be placed on the periphery by Kymlicka 36 because of the importance he places on national minorities and polyethnic groups, although conceivably these rights are also applicable to national and polyethnic minorities. Though the distinction between national minorities and polyethnic minorities is helpful in differentiating histories and social locations, Kymlicka's theory has the effect of creating a hierarchy of entitlement that neglects and obscures analysis of identity/difference politics. Through an overly simplistic distinction between national minorities and polyethnic minorities Kymlicka constructs a dichotomous relationship. As Iris Young says, "he sets up two categories which are opposing and mutually exclusive in their characteristics. A l l cultural minorities are supposed to fall on one side or the other of this dichotomy, even though Kymlicka points out that some groups do not fit the classification" (1997b: 50). 3 0 In particular, while at first Kymlicka's distinction between national and polyethnic minorities appears to be a descriptive one, it has enormous theoretical and political consequences. In the following analyses, I critically consider the implications of the distinction for theorizing issues of identity and difference. Privileging Some Ethnic, National and Linguistic Identities First, contrary to his claim that his theory is about a plurality of minority cultures, Kymlicka's theory is actually about specific ethnic, national, and linguistic groups. As Kymlicka himself notes, there are some group identities that do not fit comfortably into his categories of national and polyethnic minorities (1995: 21). For example, established religious communities, such as the Amish, Hutterites and Mennonites can enjoy differentiated rights, but not to the same extent as those forcibly moved (such as ex-slaves31). These religious communities are, nonetheless, entitled to more rights (especially regarding the maintenance of internal restrictions) than newly arriving immigrants because of historical commitments (Kymlicka, 1995: 24-5, 170). Whilst Kymlicka points to these Young (1997b: 50-1) suggests that rather than conceptualizing groups into exclusive categories, they could be thought of existing along a continuum, in which rights are seen as a matter of degree and not a matter of kind. 31 Kymlicka examines groups that were forcibly removed from their country of origin, such as African Americans who were enslaved (2002: 360-2). He argues that they should be accorded substantial differential rights as a result of historical injustices. Kymlicka is unclear whether the descendants of those that were forcibly moved are also entitled to rights more substantial than polyethnic minorities. 37 'hard cases', as he calls them, his analysis focuses largely on the "many clear cases of voluntary immigrants and national minorities" (1995: 25). Young notes that in Multicultural Citizenship, "transported forced labour, political and economic refugees, guest workers, colonial subjects are all anomalies on Kymlicka's classification, but together they account for a large portion of the fore bearers of contemporary multicultural minorities" (I. M . Young, 1997b: 50). Young is mostly right in her critique, but Kymlicka does address refugees, who he thinks "can realistically be treated as immigrants, with the corresponding polyethnic rights, and hope to return to their homeland as quickly as possible" (Kymlicka, 1995: 99). He also develops his position on metics (a term he takes from Michael Walzer to refer to residents who are permanently excluded from citizenship) in later work, in which he argues that 'irregular' migrants or 'illegal' immigrants and 'temporary' migrants or guest workers/refugees should be protected because we (the 'west') are partly responsible for their circumstances and because otherwise they become marginalized long term residents (Kymlicka, 1995: 99; 2002: 357-359). It is still, however, unclear what kind of rights these groups would be assigned as minorities -polyethnic or special representation rights, or a distinct set of rights because their status as residents is precarious? Although Kymlicka acknowledges that his aim is not to resolve all of the hard cases, ultimately, he presents a hierarchy of rights with a limited understanding of the relationship between many kinds of social groups, emphasizing instead the duality of national and polyethnic minorities. Historical Injustice: The Specificities of Experience Kymlicka states that one of the premises for defending group differentiated rights lies in the significance of historical agreements (1995: 116). According to Kymlicka, "we match the rights to the kinds of disadvantage being compensated for" (1992a: 141). The distinction between self-government rights for national minorities and polyethnic rights for immigrants is indicative of this criterion of historical injustice. Kymlicka asserts that unlike polyethnic groups, national minorities have historically grounded claims, linked to territory, that give them an inherent right to self-government. This is true, he continues, for Indigenous peoples who experienced an attempt of eradication by the French and then later by the British, and for French settlers who were conquered by the British. Because 38 immigrants have not had their territory threatened in the same way as national minorities, they are, according to Kymlicka, entitled to fewer rights. I agree with Kymlicka that Indigenous peoples and the Quebecois have nationhood claims that are different from those claims of polyethnic minorities, but at the same time he underestimates the differentiated impact of historical domination between Indigenous peoples and French settlers, assigning them both self-government rights. In doing so, Kymlicka downplays the different kinds of historical injustices experienced between French settlers and Indigenous peoples. Kymlicka notes that Indigenous peoples were marginalized in the process of European state formation, whereas the Quebecois, as a substate nation, was a serious contender in the formation of Canada as a colony, but he assigns them both the same self-government rights (2002: 349). In fact Kymlicka continues to theorize Indigenous nations within the discourse of multiculturalism when in fact, as Indigenous scholars such as Taiaiake Alfred (1999) and Joyce Green (2000) have argued, many do not see themselves as one of many multicultural groups, even as a national minority, but rather identify as distinct nations. It is not that Kymlicka suggests that self-government rights should be practiced in the same way by different national minority groups, but he does not always differentiate the ways in which Indigenous peoples faced eradication and oppression through colonialism in ways that French settlers did not. Although he claims that group-differentiated self-government rights compensate for unequal circumstances he does not adequately explore how these unequal circumstances differ for different national minorities. He acknowledges that in North America, "indigenous groups are more vulnerable to majority decisions than the Quebecois" (1995: 110), but he does not take his historical defence to its logical conclusion. Specifically, Kymlicka fails to adequately analyze the vigor of colonialism on Indigenous cultures, where people were forcibly removed from their own cultures and, under duress, assimilated into the dominant culture for colonial reasons. Kymlicka recognises that Indigenous cultures "have been decimated in size, denied the right to maintain their own institutions, and progressively demoralized" (1995: 100) but he continues to assume that Indigenous societal cultures "can regain and enhance their richness, i f given the appropriate conditions" (1995: 100). Indeed, attempts by the Canadian government and churches to erase Indigenous memory and culture through the residential 39 system has left many Indigenous people feeling that their culture is fragmented, unstable, and under constant threat (Cairns, 2000: 87, 121). A l l of this is not to say that from the 1700's French settlers did not face pressures and colonial tactics to assimilate with the English. The historical rivalry between these two peoples was reflected in the struggle for control and ownership for parts of the North American continent. After years of fighting, in 1759, Quebec fell under English control. Following this, the English authorities attempted to assimilate French settlers. The 1838 Durham Report is particularly notable; in one passage it states: It will be acknowledged by every one who has observed the progress of Anglo-Saxon colonization in America, that sooner or later the English race was sure to predominate even numerically in Lower Canada, as they predominate already by their superior knowledge, energy, enterprise, and wealth. The error, therefore, to which the present contest must be attributed, is the vain endeavor to preserve a French Canadian nationality in the midst of Anglo-American colonies and states...I believe that tranquility can only be restored by subjecting the province [of Lower Canada] to the vigorous rule of an English majority; and that the only efficacious government would be that formed by a legislative union. (Durham, 1838) Though the Durham Report also forecasted a union amongst the English and French (i.e. the 1840 Act of Union), the idea was not based on a partnership but on a need to encourage the assimilation of the 'troublesome Canadiens'. At the same time, long after Quebec ceased to be a French colony it endured elements of distinctiveness that first emerged within the framework of the French Empire. Thus the Catholic Church gained a privileged position with the regime of formal institutions; the seigniorial system was re-established under the Quebec Act of 1774; the Civil Code was entrenched within the legal structures; along with other provincial governments Quebec was granted jurisdiction over matters central to survival of its culture, such as education, health and the solemnization of marriage. This was in contrast to the ways in which Indigenous structures, practices, and bodies were destroyed through disease, the reorganization of nations through the reservation system, the banning of the potlatch, the residential school system, and control of band membership through the Indian Act. Though the French observed distinct practices (e.g. through the Catholic Church) and resisted attempts of English assimilation, in relation to Indigenous peoples the French also shared similar 40 philosophies and norms with the English and were able to maintain many of their distinctive institutions and practices. As such, Indigenous nations faced annihilation in ways that French settlers did not. Does this then mean that i f a criterion of historical injustice is employed it should, by necessity, speak to the differing histories of colonialism? If so, should self-government rights for these two groups be differentially assigned? If compensatory rights are based on loss of land what kind of rights should be assigned to those Indigenous people who are territorially dispersed or who are living in urban areas away from territorially based nations, and to Francophones not living in Quebec but who have historical longevity on this land (such as the Acadians)? Does the allocation of self-government rights to Indigenous nations not require the containment of Indigenous peoples precisely because self-government rights are linked to identifying a group of people who live together? And does this not simply repeat the colonial response to Indigenous peoples? The intrinsic link formulated by Kymlicka between the category of national minority and historical agreements fails to address these concerns because he wants to reduce history to claims of integration and separation. Interestingly, Kymlicka is concerned with historical or past injustices, rather than the present injustices that groups such as Indigenous people continue to experience (especially in relation to Francophones). If Kymlicka could take present-day discrimination and oppression into account, his theory would not simply be driven by the allocation of minority rights, but rather it would be driven by a need to respond to power and injustice. The factor of time is also significant on another level. As Seyla Benhabib notes, the category of national minority wrongly suggests that groups always understood themselves as nations; arguably, she states, the Quebecois were regarded and saw themselves as an ethnic group and have only more recently aspired to the status of distinct nation. She concludes by arguing that the "distinction then between multinations and ethnocultural groups is not static but dynamic, and it alone cannot suffice for us to differentiate between the recognition claims and aspirations of distinct human groupings" (2002: 63-4). Similar arguments can be made in relation to the way in which Kymlicka theorizes historical injustices faced by polyethnic groups. If the rights of minorities are supposedly based on compensating wronged groups, why does Kymlicka not specify compensatory 41 rights for different immigrant groups, within the larger context of domination? Rather than providing a blanket of rights that fails to address the specific histories of exclusion, eradication, and assimilation, Kymlicka needs to be clear and explicit in how immigrant groups have experienced systematic and legal discrimination throughout Canadian history up to the present time. If history is the basis on which to assign differentiated rights, does this not logically lead Kymlicka to make distinctions between different polyethnic experiences? How should we compare the rights of Chinese immigrants and Japanese immigrants in light of a history than involved the Chinese Head Tax and Japanese internment during the Second World War? And if this historical injustice requirement is logically followed, what method should be used to quantify injustice? It is unclear in Kymlicka's theory how the state should address specific historical experiences within Canada. It is also unclear whether (and how) the state should respond to historical injustices faced by immigrants outside of Canada i f such systemic wrongs frame and structures social relations in Canada. In the end, Kymlicka's historical injustice criterion is oversimplified and produces more questions than it solves. A Hierarchy of Societal Culture Second, Kymlicka takes the position that "national minorities have societal cultures, and immigrant groups do not" (1995: 101). But, as Benhabib says " i f culture is valuable from the standpoint of political liberalism because it enables a meaningful range of choices...then objectively, there is no basis for a theorist to privilege national cultures over immigrant cultures" (Benhabib, 2002: 66). Kymlicka makes this claim on the premise that immigrants "have left behind the set of institutionalized practices, conducted in their mother tongue, which actually provided culturally significant ways of life to people in their original homelands. They bring with them a 'shared vocabulary of tradition and convention', but they have uprooted themselves from the social practices which this vocabulary originally referred to and made sense o f (1995: 77). He goes on to say that "some immigrants might hope to recreate these practices in their entirety in their new country. But this is effectively impossible without significant government support" (1995: 78). Kymlicka believes that it is not only the dominant group who expects immigrants to give up some of their societal culture, but immigrants themselves want to give up some of their societal culture (1995: 95). 42 He says that this is because immigrants know that they do not have the institutional cement to form a distinct societal culture in Canada and because immigrants want access to the same life socio-economic opportunities as dominant groups. In other words, Kymlicka argues that immigrants do not have the desire or capacity to undertake the kind of nation-building that the Quebecois does (Carens, 2000: 63). Even the defence of immigrant language rights in the private sphere is considered temporary for Kymlicka, necessary only until integration into the dominant culture takes place (Kymlicka, 2001: 162). Though, to a large extent, I agree with Kymlicka that immigrants do not have a desire or capacity to build nations within Canadian borders, immigrants can and do carry nationalist or patriotic sentiments about their 'home' countries, as well nationalist or patriotic sentiments about Canada. Moreover, Kymlicka's conclusion that immigrants do not have societal cultures seems odd in light of the fact that many immigrant groups have institutions such as Muslim or Sikh schools, that cover both public and private life, with a common language, and which provides people with a wide range of choices about how to lead their lives. The one exception to Kymlicka's criteria is that such institutions have only recently developed and do not have historical attachments to a given territory. Rightly, there are important distinctions to be made about territory; immigrants, after all, do not have an inherent right to land in Canada in the way that Indigenous nations do. But does this really mean that immigrants are without societal cultures or perhaps even the right to societal culture? And is it really accurate of peoples lived experiences to argue that the polity can be reorganized based on the character of culture? What defines institutional completeness? How does this criterion of societal culture fit with other criteria that Kymlicka employs? As Bhiku Parekh states: It is difficult to see what general principles inform this hierarchy of rights. Kymlicka appeals to such disparate principles of territorial concentration, institutional completeness, past commitments, consent, the level of poverty in the migrants' country, and the receiving country's degree of responsibility for it. These and related principles do not all point in the same direction, and Kymlicka offers no coherent way of resolving their conflicts. (1997: 62) 3 2 As Deveaux (2000b: 133-4) notes, Kymlicka would object to Muslim or Sikh schools on the grounds that illiberal minority leaders of such schools would seek "the legal power to restrict the liberty of [their] own members, so as to preserve traditional religious practices" (Kymlicka, 1992b: 39). In this regard, Deveaux argues, Kymlicka ranks the ideal of personal autonomy over possible (collective) goods without adequate defense. 43 Kymlicka moves between these dimensions depending on his argument, but never fully addresses the tensions between them. Moreover, paradoxically, whilst Kymlicka works hard at justifying why culture should be accommodated, by privileging national minority societal cultures he undermines his own defence of culture. As Carens posits, The central problem with Kymlicka's line of argument is that drawing such a sharp distinction between immigrants and national minorities and by grounding his moral argument for group-differentiated rights on the concept of societal culture as a context of choice, he has fatally undermined the principle case for group-differentiated rights for immigrants (and their descendants), despite his efforts to defend them. (1997:44) In suggesting that immigrants simply waive their original societal culture when they emigrate, Kymlicka is putting in doubt the significance of culture. Indeed, it is unclear why immigrants are entitled to any special culture-based rights at all i f they are deemed not to have societal cultures. What about Non National, Ethnic or Linguistic Dimensions of Identity? Third, in addition to the hierarchical relations in Kymlicka's theory, the duality of national and polyethnic minorities also results in a neglect of non-ethnic aspects of identity. Kymlicka is quite explicit in defining multiculturalism solely through the lens of nationality, ethnicity and language. In Multicultural Citizenship, Kymlicka claims that although a culture "refers to the distinct customs, perspectives, or ethos of a group of association" (1995: 18), he will use the term multicultural to refer only to national and ethnic differences because otherwise the term becomes too large and confusing (1998: 103). He reasserts this in later writings, including in Finding Our Way where he states that "multiculturalism in Canada has, to date, provided a more or less coherent framework for debate over the fair terms of integration for immigrant groups. Extending this debate to include all issues of diversity and pluralism might simply invite misunderstandings and false analogies" (1998: 103). As a result, Kymlicka makes sharp distinctions between groups defined by multiculturalism and those defined by other claims of identity while also trying to compare these different groups. He asserts, for instance, that gay and lesbian groups are more similar 44 to polyethnic minorities than national minorities because their claims are concerned with "societal integration and acceptance" (1998: 98), and that the Deaf are more like national minorities than polyethnic minorities in that they have "cultural nationalist aspirations" (1998: 102). In this, Kymlicka is imposing his dual categories of national and polyethnic minorities on other minorities; through this lens he assumes that groups either have the choice to separate or integrate. Even though Kymlicka accepts that sometimes this is not always clear, as in the case of the Deaf, he assumes that these are the only two options available.33 In the case of the Deaf and gays/lesbians he concludes that because these groups lack a shared territory, a historic homeland and institutional completeness, they are not 'multicultural'. Thus whilst Kymlicka recognises that "the marginalization of women, gays and lesbians, and the disabled cuts across ethnic and national lines" and that an "adequate theory of the rights of cultural minorities must...be compatible with the just demands of disadvantaged social groups" (1995: 19), he justifies the predominance of nationhood, ethnic and linguistic identity by arguing that officially multiculturalism has focused exclusively on a narrow realm of groups. Although he suggests that the justice claims of national minorities and immigrant groups should be linked with the demands of other disadvantaged social groups he then proceeds to ignore this in the rest of his theory. This is not to say that he is not concerned with other aspects of identity; for example, he addresses gender rights especially in terms of affirmative action and representation in public bodies such as Parliament, and he takes seriously the legitimacy of recognition claims made by Deaf cultures and gays/lesbians (Kymlicka, 1998: 42, 113, 90-103). But in the end he clearly prioritizes those dimensions that are relevant to his understanding of multiculturalism i.e. national, ethnic and some linguistic identities. Consequently, only the groups most threatening to social unity are allocated differentiated rights, and those Others who also face oppression and powerlessness through systems of racism, colonialism, white supremacy, patriarchy, sexism, capitalism, and disablism are relegated to the margins. As such, Kymlicka is explicitly developing a theory of culture-based minority rights in the context of See in particular Kymlicka's discussion of Deaf identity and culture In Finding Our Way (1998: 91, 97-8). 45 state-society relations, which he can then test to consider whether it is compatible with non-ethnocultural claims. The Missing Dominant Groups Finally, by emphasizing national and polyethnic minorities, Kymlicka under-theorizes dominant identities. He is relatively silent on the groups that dominate any given liberal-democratic polity, and how these dominant groups constantly adjust themselves in order to maintain hegemony. Although he acknowledges that dominant groups have historically oppressed various polyethnic and national minorities and that these minorities should be assigned rights, he only invokes a dominant identity when it is useful to explicitly differentiate non-Anglo cultures. In other words, the 'Anglo' identity only seems to matter when it is useful to differentiate the Other and not because dominant identities should be addressed in discussions of identity, difference and multiculturalism. Put another way, Kymlicka presents an image of dominant identities as i f they were without culture.34 In doing so, he leaves the reader with the sense that only marginalized ethno-national groups are endowed with culture, thereby reinforcing the notion that culture is a concern of, and for, 35 the Othered. Consequently, Kymlicka does not fully consider the ways in which the rights of dominant groups also need to be redistributed. He is aware that minority rights are a response to majority nation building (Kymlicka, 2001: 23). He also touches upon some effects group differentiated rights will have on members of a majority; for example, when members of the larger society move into the territory of the minority there may be costs such as longer residency requirements and fewer government services in their language (Kymlicka, 1995: 109). Yet he continues to assume the backdrop of dominant identities without adequately exploring the relationship between dominant and minority identities, or the changing character of dominance. Anne Phillips also makes this argument in 'What is Culture?' a paper presented at a conference on Sexual Justice/Cultural Justice at the University of Vancouver, British Columbia Canada in 2004. This paper will appear in a volume edited by Barbara Arneil, Avigail Eisenberg, Monique Deveaux and Rita Dhamoon (to be published in 2005/6) which follows the same name as the conference. 3 5 Analysis of the dominant ethno-cultural group has been explored in some depth within the bourgeoning literature around whiteness in America. See, for instance Maria Castagna and George Dei (2000), Virginia Dominguez (1986), Ruth Frankenburg (1993), Aido Hurtado (1989), Toni Morrison (1992), and Michael Omi and Howard Winant (1986). 46 This may be the product of the way in which Kymlicka disassociates culture from race. He states, "[i]t is important to note that national groups, as 1 am using the term, are not defined by race or descent" (1995: 22). Whilst he acknowledges that there is a "majority anglophone society in both the United States and Canada" (Kymlicka, 1995: 22), and he is right to analytically distinguish between race and culture, the sharp demarcation of race and culture means that he does not examine the ways in which racialization determines the social position of different dominant and subordinated cultures. In any theory of difference/identity the ethnocultural and racialized dimension of dominant groups also needs to be analyzed and problematized. This is because naming and situating the dominant groups (including the ways in which they are racialized) relocates them from an unmarked and invisible status that has normalized and silenced their role in identity/difference politics. Specifically, such an examination enables theorists to explore how the dominant group sustains ascendancy. Kymlicka, however, does not destabilize the existing paradigm in which the obvious and significant current economic, political and social advantages of being racialized as white and a French-speaker in Quebec, and white, English-speaking and European in the rest of the country remain intact. In Canada, the problem of the dominant group is now not only about the dominance of British Canadians, a group that is assumed to be homogeneous to Kymlicka, but it has extended to include other people of European origin. In other words, the racialized and western36 dominance of some groups has expanded to include immigrant groups who most easily fit into a racialized and ideological Euro-liberal image of Canada. As such, the character of dominant cultures has changed over time. This is an aspect of identity/difference politics that Kymlicka fails to adequately consider. The hierarchy that privileges Euro-liberal values and whiteness can be traced throughout Canadian immigration and nation-building history. Although some Europeans were historically treated as internal Others they were clearly seen as more likely to assimilate with Anglo-Saxon and French settlers than those with 'semi-white,' 'yellow,' 37 'black' and 'red' skin. Many groups were welcomed because they belonged to particular Terms such as 'western' and 'non-western' are fraught with difficulties but can be utilized for ease of reference to a scholarly tradition that emerges out of Euro-American modern thought. 3 7 Richard Day provides an excellent in-depth analysis of government policy since the 1870's that reflects this hierarchy of otherness in his book Multiculturalism and the History of Canadian Diversity (2000). He traces the construction of British and white Canada by examining the displacement, containment, extermination and assimilation of the growing numbers of 'problematic others'. 47 racialized white groups that imitated the English and French. This includes the Scots, Irish, (some) Americans, Germans, Scandinavians, Belgians, Mennonites and Icelandic people. Nation-building processes favoured these ethnocultural groups both in terms of skin colour and how closely they could assimilate Euro-liberal values. Though some of these peoples faced differing modes of discrimination and exclusion at different points of their presence in Canada, they also have adapted and been reproduced through processes of Euro-Canadianisation.38 As such, the English and French created an 'imagined community' which hinged on the notion of a white man's country (Dua, 2000: 57). Meanwhile non-European immigrants and Indigenous peoples who attempted/attempt to conform to Euro-liberal TO norms were/are differentiated because of racism. As well as being Othered through these processes, immigrants of colour and Indigenous people have also been constructed through hierarchies of preference in which some have been deemed more ideal than others. An indication of this is evident in the 2005 federal government policy document ' A Canada for A l l : Canada's Action Plan against Racism.' The action plan states that the Ethnic Diversity Survey "found that, in the past five years, nearly 50 percent of Blacks reported discrimination or unfair treatment. By contrast, This varied (and continues to vary) during the course of history, where for example, as Vic Satzewich (2000) and David Roediger (2002) both illustrate, groups who are now racialized as dominant because of their whiteness were not necessarily always racialized this way. Satzewich traces the ways in which Ukrainians in North America were 'peripheral Europeans' throughout the 1800's right up until the 1920's. He argues that Ukrainians did not express an early desire to attach themselves to dominant English and French groups who were racialized as white, but rather identified according to their countries of origin (Austria, Hungary, and Russia); as such, Satzewich concludes that Ukrainians did not initially seek inclusion in the larger white society even though they are now members of this racialized group. This, as Roediger traces, was not the same for Irish and Italian immigrants in the U.S. who were considered 'not-yet-white ethnics' in the early stages of their immigration but who worked to resist discrimination by resignifying their identities through whiteness (2002: 328-332). Though more analysis is required of the contemporary Canadian context, Ukrainians, the Irish and Italians are now racialized as white, therefore marking their place in dominance. This kind of analysis would illuminate the changing character of racialized identifications, emphasize the constructed production of privileged and Othered identities, and add an understanding of the terms and conditions of membership in dominant groups. 3 9 The Euro-liberal model also extends to construct dominant relations based on heterosexual and patriarchal practices. This was also evident, for example, in the ways in which particular groups of non-European immigrant women were treated. Patriarchal relations between white men and women in Canada had already constructed the Anglo-Saxon woman as 'mothers of the race' in Canadian nation building through their reproductive role. Non-European women were, however, seen as a menace to the same nation because of fears that they would produce the kinds of communities that undermined the more desirable imagined community, and as such non-European female immigration was severely limited even for those women whose husbands were already in Canada. Enakshi Dua (2000: 62-68) illustrates that whilst some women racialized as white supported the right of South Asian men to have their wives and families, this was not because of any equality based argument. Rather the absence of wives and children threatened the centrality of patriarchal and heterosexual relations in a Euro-liberal Canada. 48 33 percent of South Asians and 33 percent of Chinese respondents reported experiencing discrimination or unfair treatment" (Heritage, 2005: 8). Even though the racial categories can be challenged on essentializing grounds, such data suggests that some racialized immigrant groups are preferred over others. This is important because although notions of the 'ideal immigrant' may change over time — for instance, anecdotal evidence suggests that since 9-11 the status of Muslims as 'ideal immigrants' has shifted, even though as members of the South Asian category they are still preferred over Blacks — the racialized preference of some groups over others continues.40 Kymlicka fails to analyze these dimensions of his liberal paradigm.41 If he is to seriously redistribute rights, then it is simply not enough to say that minorities should have rights that protect them from discrimination by the dominant group through external protections. It is also necessary for Kymlicka to explore what rights dominant groups should have in a theory of difference and how to dismantle rights assigned to dominant groups that privilege them over subordinated groups. Kymlicka, however, does not question why the dominant societal culture should remain dominant; how the character of dominant cultures has expanded to include those who, over time, have become racialized as white; how Euro-liberal standards have been imposed and embedded through colonization and nation-Before the events of 9-11, which has affected the status of Muslims across the world., Vijay Prashard published a book called The Karma of Brown Folk (2001), which examines the idea that, in the U.S. context, South Asian immigrants are 'model minorities'. He turns around W.E. B Du Bois's question of 'how does it feel to be the problem?' by asking 'how does it feel to be the solution?' Prashard argues that through American immigration policy and American Orientalism the construction of South Asians as 'model minorities' has been consistently deployed as a weapon in the war against Black liberation. In particular he attacks the two pillars of the 'model minority,' namely that South Asians are inherently successful and pliant. His analysis is a reminder that the dynamics between various racialized groups are in part shaped by white dominance, and that the relationship between marginalized groups constructs a hierarchy of Otherness. 4 1 Analysis undertaken by Barbara Arneil (1996) and Bhiku Parekh (1995) is particularly relevant in illustrating how liberalism, as advanced by John Locke and J.S. M i l l respectively, has historically and theoretically been antithetical to the aspirations of particular ethno-cultural and racialized groups. Both Ameil and Parekh reveal that the liberal value of equal respect is a contingent value. Colonialism has been justified by liberals like Locke and M i l l because only those societies that follow liberal conceptions of autonomy, individualism, choice, self-determination, secularism, ambition and the pursuit of wealth are worthy of liberal equality and freedom. In Canada, liberalism has been used to defend oppressive practices and structures. Attempts to eradicate different identities (as has been the experience of Indigenous people through the residential school system), or exclude 'them' (such as through denial of the franchise for some ethno-cultural groups), or more recently attempts to assimilate those who are different (Trudeau's 1969 White Paper on Indigenous peoples is an example of this) have been justified by liberal notions of who is worthy of liberal rights and who is not. Since liberalism is deeply implicated in colonialism and imperialism, it is imperative for Kymlicka to be aware of the ways in which liberalism has been employed to justify oppression. 49 building strategies as well as hegemonic norms and value systems; and how although all immigrants of colour are subject to racism, some are preferred over others, depending on how well they meet the standards set by dominant groups. 2.4 The Liberal Framework The Superiority of Liberalism Liberalism is central to Kymlicka's framing of minority rights, and within this framework he wants to claim the discourse of culture in the hope of liberalizing it. Yet in attempting to liberalize culture, Kymlicka reveals that he is only willing to take tolerance and accommodation so far. Despite the fact that he claims that he wants to establish "distinct and institutionally complete societal cultures [i.e. national minorities] alongside the anglophone society" (1995: 78) he also suggests that European liberal commitments are superior; in particular his is referring to liberal interpretations of rights, individualism, secularism, autonomy, choice, self-determination, self-development, ambition and the pursuit of wealth. Thus even though he is careful to "defend the right of national minorities to maintain themselves as culturally distinct societies", he also claims that this is true only "in so far as they themselves are governed by liberal principles" (1995: 153). Even when he acknowledges that "Liberals have no automatic right to impose their views on non-liberal national minorities", he claims that liberals have the right (and responsibility) to spell "out the implications of the liberal principles of freedom and equality" (1995: 171). According to Kymlicka, this is not interference but "the first step in starting a dialogue" (1995: 171). Kymlicka has no qualms about the superiority of liberalism. He posits that "I do not think that it is wrong for liberal states to insist that immigration entails accepting the legitimacy of state enforcement of liberal principles, so long as immigrants know this in advance, and nonetheless voluntarily come" (1995: 170). But how is it possible to start a dialogue with the assumption of the superiority of liberalism? As Parekh argues, "although Kymlicka does not explicitly say so, he implies that, other things being equal, a culture that encourages autonomy and choice is better and richer, and in that sense superior to, one that does not" (1997:56). Notions of the superiority of liberalism are further evident in Kymlicka's discussion of non-liberal or illiberal cultures. Although he states that "the liberality of a culture is a 50 matter of degree" and that " A l l cultures have illiberal strands" (1995: 94) it is unclear from his discussion whether non-liberal cultures can be more easily persuaded to adopt liberal values than illiberal cultures.42 Interestingly, he does not entirely reject the idea that some non-liberal and illiberal groups should be entitled to external protections or specific differentiated rights (Kymlicka, 1995: 155). For instance, he recognizes that isolationist ethno-religious groups, such as the Hutterites can be organized in illiberal ways; despite this he assigns the Hutterites self-government rights, even though his classification would render them polyethnic (Kymlicka, 2002: 356). He justifies this by stating that long established isolationist groups should be left alone so long as they do not impose their views on others and so long as members are free to leave. But at the same time as declaring his tolerance, Kymlicka emphasizes that the "aim of liberals should not be to dissolve non-liberal nations, but rather to see to liberalize them" (1995: 94). As such, he asserts the primacy of liberal normative values, erasing the ways in which these tenets are not universally accepted. Seductively Integrating into Liberal Norms A recurring theme in Kymlicka's theory is that of integration. He argues, in various ways, that although the terms of integration can be negotiated "the logic of multiculturalism involves accepting the principle of state-prescribed integration" (2001: 169). Whilst Kymlicka's objective is in part to develop ways for minority cultures to resist Anglo-conformity because this requires that "they should abandon all aspects of their ethnic heritage and assimilate to existing cultural norms and customs" (1995: 30), in effect, he allows only degrees of non-conformity.43 Even though he argues that "the decision about At one point Kymlicka suggests that liberals should be more tolerant of non-liberal rather than illiberal groups, but he then collapses the distinction between illiberal and non-liberal cultures in his discussion of tolerance (Kymlicka, 1995: 154-168). 4 3 When referring to Anglo-conformity, it is implied that Kymlicka is referring to Canada outside of Quebec. It is important to note that within Quebec, Kymlicka's hierarchy of rights would look slightly different. Kymlicka's theory suggests that those racialized as white Francophones (including descendents of the original French settlers) would be at the top, as this would reflect the national status of the Quebecois. His theory also indicates that Indigenous peoples would be identified as a national minority and although it is unclear, it appears that they would hold a somewhat lower status than the Quebecois; this presumably would include Metis Francophones. Those French-speakers who are immigrants and racialized as non-white would be hierarchically positioned as polyethnic minorities. Kymlicka is also unclear what rights the Anglo-phone minority have within Quebec, but it is consistent with Kymlicka's theory that they would be situated either above or alongside Indigenous peoples as they are a national minority in Quebec. Since Kymlicka does not speak directly to group differentiated rights within Quebec itself, I will focus on the hierarchy of group rights that he constructs for the rest of Canada. 51 whether to integrate must be up to the members of the minority themselves" (1995: 100), he also thinks that liberals should not stand by and do nothing when a national minority is illiberal. For national minorities, liberal values should not be forcibly imposed on them because such action is aggressive and paternalistically colonial (Kymlicka, 1995: 167). Instead he proposes that liberals should attempt to create incentives to adopt practices and institutions that are liberal, incentives he provides through the allocation of differentiated rights. Building from the distinction between national and polyethnic minorities, Kymlicka argues that immigrants want to integrate into liberal societal cultures. Although he acknowledges that integration of immigrants is "rarely easy" and "a costly process" (1995: 85), he articulates that it is an expectation that immigrants and dominant groups share. He states: The reality, it seems to me, is that this differential treatment reflects different aspirations, and a different sense of legitimate expectations. Immigrants and national minorities have different beliefs about what is desirable and about what they are rightfully entitled to, and to some degree differential treatment is widely accepted by both groups. This differential treatment has also come to be seen by the dominant group as acceptable to the basic norms and institutions of a liberal democracy. (1997a: 74) As Patchen Markell (2003: 164-5) notes, Kymlicka claims to know exactly what all immigrants want: they "want to participate within the mainstream of society"; "the overwhelming majority of immigrants want to integrate... moreover, they care deeply about the unity of their country"; and "The desire for such polyethnic rights is a desire for inclusion which is consistent with participation in, and commitment to, the mainstream institutions that underlie social unity" (Kymlicka, 1995: 177-180; 1998: 40-59). Whilst Kymlicka is right that "there is little evidence that immigrants are seeking national rights, rather than polyethnic rights" (1995: 97-8), he conflates the desire of immigrants to economically and politically integrate with the desire to integrate into the dominant societal culture. Empirically it is true that immigrants emigrate, but there is no empirical evidence to show that immigrants consent to rejecting their own societal culture in favour of the dominant societal culture. Kymlicka assumes that voluntary immigration is tantamount to consenting to the loss of 'native' culture. Even i f we put aside the idea that historically refugees and slaves did not choose to voluntarily immigrate to Canada, those 52 that did 'voluntarily' come to Canada may have done so because of economic pressures for security rather than a desire to become like dominant Canadians (Policy, 2000: 6). In a globalised world of growing economic inequality, it is important to question the extent to which economically marginalized people should be seen as 'voluntarily' coming to Canada (or any other wealthy 'western' liberal democratic country). The decision of many immigrants is arguably not voluntary at all but the result of coercive powers of international economics and the resulting and widespread poverty.44 Indeed, as Arjun Appadurai suggests, migrants come from three different diasporas: hope, despair and terror.45 Kymlicka only addresses immigrants in the context of the first, namely hope. The desire for integration that frames Kymlicka's theory presumably extends to those who do not already fit into some version of dominant societal culture that he does not fully explicate. In other words, when he speaks of polyethnic minorities he is really addressing those who do not easily fit into a particular image of Canada; for those immigrants racialized as white 'westerners' (and, presumably, by extension also familiar with liberal norms and values), polyethnic rights are not as critical for 'integration' as they might be to non-white 'non-western' (read: not North American or European) immigrants. Although he does not explicitly address this assumption, it underlies his theory of integration particularly with regards to polyethnic minorities. Integration is principally expected of immigrants, Kymlicka claims, because they have limited options when confronted by a state that is committed to nation-building (2001: 1). Moreover, Kymlicka implies that Canada is somehow better .than the homeland of immigrants, and that is why immigrants move to Canada. That is why, for Kymlicka, it is less problematic for immigrants to integrate than it is for national minorities, for immigrants must also believe that Canadian society is more advantageous otherwise why else would they come to Canada. In an article published in 2003, entitled 'Being Canadian' (2003), Kymlicka continues to imply that as a secular, constitutional liberal-democracy (with a market economy and a welfare state), Canada is an exceptional country. The distinctiveness of Canada, he claims, lies in the symbolic and constitutional accommodation of diversity. He declares that "this model of economics and politics should be adopted is completely 4 4 That is not to suggest that all immigrants are economically disadvantaged, but this argument certainly applies to those who are. 4 5 Cited by Sutama Ghosh and Lu Wang in their discussion of transnationalism and identity (2003: 279). 53 undisputed in Canada. Few Canadians doubt that this model is the recipe for a successful country, and most would applaud the adoption of this model elsewhere" (2003: 361). He continues by acknowledging that there is not always a strong sense of one unified Canadian identity, but even here he claims that "[e]ven people who lack a feeling of Canadian identity can see the international benefits that flow from being recognized as Canadian" (2003: 380). I am sensitive to Kymlicka's pride in Canada, but he constructs an image of Canada that bolsters the accommodative side without adequately dealing with the ways in which liberal citizenship in Canada has also been shaped by ideologies of racism, colonialism, and imperialism. Kymlicka moves between a position that suggests that liberals cannot "impose their principles on groups that do not share them" (1995: 165) and a position that compels immigrant groups to respect liberal principles (Kymlicka, 1995: 170). By this I mean that he wants individuals to internalize liberal values, for members to feel they themselves have chosen liberalism because it is the ideal. He states: Immigrants are no longer expected to assimilate entirely to the norms and customs of the dominant culture, and indeed are encouraged to maintain some aspects of their ethnic particularity. But this commitment to 'multiculturalism' or 'polyethnicity' is a shift in how immigrants integrate into the dominant culture. (1995: 78) In stating that immigrants do not have to entirely assimilate into mainstream culture, Kymlicka insinuates that they do have to partially assimilate to some degree. Indeed, there is no question for Kymlicka about whether immigrants 'integrate' but rather how this should be done and how the state can appeal to immigrants to non-coercively integrate into liberal norms. As he says, "there is an important difference between coercively imposing liberalism and offering various incentives for liberal reforms" (1995: 168). His theory of multicultural citizenship provides the framework for these 'incentives'. This is an example of what Richard Day calls seductive integration or soft assimilation (2000: 9). Day uses the term 'seductive integration' to refer to the ways that dominant groups create a society in which minorities aim to be integrated into the norm or the dominant group because it improves their chances of political, economic and social success. So, for instance, as Kymlicka suggests, immigrants learn the official languages of Canada because it enhances their opportunities to succeed in the job market, not because 54 they are forced to adopt a majority culture. It is striking to note the liberal commitment to capitalist structures in Kymlicka's theory, in which the economic choices and well-being of the immigrant are dependent on integrating. He makes clear that he does not think that governments should adopt policies that pressure individuals to assimilate, but he does think that "individuals should be free to assimilate, i f they so choose" (Kymlicka & Norman, 2000: 16, footnote 16). Kymlicka is in this sense couching the desire for assimilation, always implying to the Othered that the benefits of 'integration' are really not that burdensome; infact he frames the discourse of integration to suggest that it is for the minority's own good. Liberal Unity Kymlicka ties the goal of integration to the satisfactory exercise of citizenship, which in his theory should promote unity. He states that "institutional integration makes possible the kind of civic engagement that supports democratic citizenship" (2001: 168). It is not entirely clear whether Kymlicka is referring to the need for shared procedures and practices in civic engagements or to the shared content of civic identity, although both seem to enter into his theory. For Kymlicka liberalism requires a commitment to "the long-term requirements of a stable liberal democracy" (1995: 173) as well as the principles of freedom and justice. This is an old theme within liberalism, reminiscent of Lockean social contract theory, where there is a deep normative commitment to the liberal individual and a corresponding commitment to the unity of the nation-state. The requirements for ties that bind are fundamental to liberal individualism and are usually framed in discourses of citizenship (rather than community or fraternity) in which the goal of citizenship is to achieve a unified and peaceful (i.e. non-violent) state. It is not that securing a peaceful nation-state is not a significant concern for identity/difference politics, but Kymlicka views difference as a potentially threatening and divisive fact to the nation-state; his response is to claim the domain of diversity in order to liberalize it. Even when he acknowledges that the sources of unity are not always clear or obvious, he emphasizes the importance of enabling the inclusion of 'them' into 'us'. Whilst he suggests that polyethnic rights enable immigrants to be included into mainstream institutions and develop a thick sense of citizenship, and that self-government rights of 55 national minorities pose a serious challenge to the integrative function of citizenship but provide an opportunity to develop a thin sense of citizenship, he nonetheless expects and desires social unity.4 6 Even with this thin sense of citizenship for national minorities, his theory is premised on the most "viable way to promote a sense of solidarity and common purpose in a multination state" (Kymlicka, 1995: 188). As such, the purpose of his theory of differentiated rights is as much about nation-state unity as it is about individual freedom. He himself acknowledges that the reason why citizens will care at all about other people's cultures and respect a notion of 'deep diversity' is because citizens will want to keep a multination state together (Kymlicka, 1995: 191). Though he is right to consider the ties that bind Canadians, he repeatedly reassures the reader that multicultural groups will not lead to disunity. In this regard, Kymlicka's theory of multicultural citizenship speaks to the way in which the nation-state can live with diversity. He couches the role of the state as the police and manager of diversity through an argument that emphasizes the ways in which the state promotes freedom and tolerance. He asserts that Adopting multiculturalism is a way for Canadians to say that never again will we view Canada as a 'white' country (and hence deny entry to Asians or Africans, as both Canada and Australia did earlier this century); never again will we view Canada as a 'British' country (and hence compel non-British immigrants to relinquish or hide their ethnic identity, as both Canada and Australia used to do). (1995: 50) At first reading this seems admirable; Kymlicka is reminding the reader of the magic of multiculturalism. In proposing a differentiated model that reveres heterogeneity Kymlicka is producing an image of Canada in which diverse cultures become redefined as integral to the definition of Canada itself. He is claiming multiculturalism as a marker of liberal citizenship, but in doing so, he masks the ways in which the state continues to gaze upon the multicultural Othered.47 Multiculturalism becomes constructed as a core Canadian value; 'we' become unified as citizens who value multicultural diversity. Kymlicka propagates this image of Canada with an approach to diversity that makes sense only i f we all want to secure unity by 4 6 See in particular his essay 'Social Unity in a Liberal State' (Kymlicka, 1996). 4 7 In her essay, 'Gender, Class, Multiculturalism: Rethinking "Race" Polities', Angels Y . Davis refers to the term 'multivulturalism' which is sometimes employed by activists in Toronto to name the ways in which those racialized as white gaze upon and devour minority cultures like vultures (1996: 43). 56 adopting a common culture committed to his multicultural vision. Those Others who refuse the 'reward' of this tolerance and accommodation are constructed as contrary to the Canadian way. As such, the discourse of multicultural citizenship obscures the ways in which the state regulates diversity and claims the discourse of diversity as a liberal celebration of difference. As Markell argues Even when, in the moment, multicultural recognition does provide some concrete gains for particular people or groups, it also leaves its beneficiaries subject, as emancipated Jews were, to the perpetually needy and often suspicious gaze of the state and its normative citizens, dependent on their continued good will, and vulnerable to sudden swings in the national mood that can provoke transformations in the organization of social and political privilege. (2003: 173) As a contemporary liberal committed to the value of tolerance, Kymlicka cannot argue that the strangers have to be kept out; rather he appeals to the strangers within the borders of the nation-state to take note of multicultural tolerance and accommodation, all the while defining the limits of multiculturalism by requiring a commitment to liberal unity. Liberal Choice Kymlicka's theory of rights presents a narrow form of distributive justice, one based on liberal individual freedom and equality, where freedom to access cultures as contexts of choice enables personal agency and development, and equality can only exist when individuals have the equal opportunities to make these choices (Kymlicka, 1989: 208). The significance of 'choice' is paramount because the individual is ideally constituted when she/he has choices. As Kymlicka avers, "it's only through having a rich and secure cultural structure that people can become aware, in a vivid way, of the options available to them, and intelligently examine their value" (1989: 155). The emphasis on liberal choice has profound implications for people who are not always able to exercise their perceived independence by making choices in the liberal sense. This includes some mentally and physically disabled people, who are dependent on others for providing care. As Hans Reinders argues, The prevalent idea in contemporary culture that creating meaning is an individual activity has serious implications for human beings to whom the notion of agency does not apply. It is this very ideal that makes their lives appear deficient. Where there is no agent, there must be a deficit in meaning...The centrality of agency and all that it stands for - 'choice', 57 'decision, 'freedom', 'self-determination', and so on - is the default position of liberal culture. It makes us blind to other dimensions of our existence, such as our lack of control, our vulnerability, and our dependence on other people. (2000: 205-6) Drawing from Reinders, I am not suggesting that disabled people are without agency, but rather, in valorizing choice (as independence and freedom) Kymlicka makes societal culture valuable only to those that can access it in a narrow way. He assumes that it is possible to make choices when in reality choices are determined by the social context. Most importantly, for Kymlicka culture is largely instrumental, providing the individual with options; as such, culture itself has no intrinsic value (Parekh, 1997: 56). Kymlicka makes this point explicitly by arguing that it is a mistake to put too much weight on the diversity of cultures simply because it contributes to what he calls intracultural diversity; the value, he declares, of "diversity of culture is that it creates more options for each individual, and expands her range of choices" (1995: 121). It is a primary good only because it enables choices. This is problematic for groups of people who promote their cultures not because they provide a context of choice but on other grounds, such as ancestral inheritance, psychological security, and emotional stability. Indeed as pluralist thinkers such as Monique Deveaux have argued some members of ethnocultural minority groups "may well also reject the neutral liberal belief that a valuable life consists in forming, revising, and pursuing one's own conception of the good" (2000b: 135).48 Part of the problem is that Kymlicka requires that all individuals relate to their culture in a liberal way. As Parekh states, "for him [Kymlicka], individuals should freely and self-consciously affirm their membership in their cultural communities. They should reflect on it critically, locate it within a range of options, and decide freely whether they wish to subscribe to it" (1997: 59). As such, not only does "Kymlicka presents societal culture as i f it were the sole and comprehensive determinant of one's context of choice" (Carens, 2000: 69), but he also valorizes individual liberal choice. Further, by emphasizing culture as a context of choice for individuals, Kymlicka only tells us why societal culture is important to that individual/group and not why societal culture matters to those from other Liberals such have Geoffrey Brahm Levey (1997) contend that it is not autonomy itself that is the problem in Kymlicka's theory, but rather it is that Kymlicka reduces the priority of autonomy to mean the context of autonomy. 58 cultures especially dominant ones. As Richard Day argues, Kymlicka tries "to show that liberals should recognise the importance of people's membership in their own societal culture, because of the role it plays in enabling meaningful individual choice and in supporting self-identity" [emphasis mine] (Day, 2000: 212). However, "he emphasises the value of culture but not of cultural diversity, of our culture but not of a plurality of interacting cultures" (Parekh, 1997: 61). Thus he fails to consider that interaction and exchange between cultures has benefits beyond providing expanded choices. Liberal Tolerance In articulating his theory of multicultural citizenship, Kymlicka asserts that "liberal democracies can accommodate and embrace many forms of cultural diversity, but not all" (1995: 152); there are limits to liberal tolerance. He openly states that as a liberal he has conditions and qualifications for endorsing certain group differentiated rights (Kymlicka, 1995: 154). There are, according to Kymlicka, two fundamental limitations on minority rights. First, liberal rights will (mostly) not accept internal restrictions; and second, liberal justice cannot accept rights that enable one group to oppress or exploit another group. The first limitation involves internal restrictions, which are rights exercised within a group and enable the group to limit its own members. The purpose of internal restrictions is to protect the group from the destabilizing impact of internal dissent; as such internal restrictions respond to intra group relations. According to Kymlicka, these rights cannot be morally justified because they allow a group to oppress individual members. The second kind of collective right involves that of external protections, in which the minority can limit the economic and political power exercised by the dominant group in order to protect itself. External protections respond to inter-group relations. Kymlicka contends that liberals should "endorse certain external protections, where they promote fairness between groups" (1995: 37). Not every external protection is justifiable, says Kymlicka, but they can be morally defensible in most contexts unlike internal restrictions. These two collective rights define Kymlicka's theory of toleration; as he states, "a liberal view requires freedom within the minority group, and equality between the minority and majority groups" (1995: 152). This is an insightful theory of toleration; it speaks to the relationship between dominant groups and marginalized groups, and between members of marginalized groups. 59 But it also reveals a tension within liberal theory, namely that individual members of a marginalized group are sometimes put in a position of having to declare a choice between one kind of right over another. As an example, Kymlicka advocates the need for external protections to promote the self-government rights of Indigenous nations, and he also argues that there is a liberal standard by which to prevent the internal restrictions of members of an Indigenous nation (Kymlicka, 1995: 39). Based on this logic, he would likely limit the rights .of the group to discriminate against members in order to protect the rights of an individual member of that group. But what kind of choice does really it present? For Indigenous women, as an example, what kind of choice is it to choose between their right to self-determination in a neo-colonial context and their right to sex equality in a sexist context?49 This is especially true because gendered (as well as class) hierarchies were introduced to Indigenous peoples through historical colonial practices (Bannerji et al., 2001: 13). The 1869 Indian Act, for instance, introduced a number of patriarchal practices, most notably the removal of women's Indian status as a penalty for marrying non-Indian status men. The choice between seemingly conflicting and irreconcilable identity claims is extremely problematic for subordinated Others. Whatever choice is made (in this instance) by Indigenous women, the combined specific experiences of being Indigenous and female are ignored, which in turn has enormous implications for any remedy to injustice.50 Liberal Rights Kymlicka presents minority rights as the fundamental tool to recognize differentiated citizenship. Yet for all of his talk about diversity, he assumes that rights discourse and law This was a choice that some Indigenous women felt they had to make during the 1992 Charlottetown Accord. The Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC) and other Indigenous women's groups argued that the self-government rights of Indigenous nations should be restricted because many of practices of band councils were sexist and patriarchal. They voiced fear that Indigenous governments could suspend those sections of the constitution designed to protect women's equality in order to override Bi l l C-31 (which had overturned the discriminatory provision in the Indian Act that had disenfranchised Indian women i f they married non-status Indian men). N W A C specifically made a case be protected by Charter legislation rather than only self-government laws (Green, 1993). If, however, Aboriginal constitutions contained effective sex equality protection N W A C would have supported it. There were also some prominent Indigenous women, such as Chief Wendy Grant who favoured a model of Indigenous self-government that was free from the constraints of Canadian law (Deveaux, 2000a: 530). 5 0 For further discussion about the relationship between sexual and cultural justice see Monique Deveaux (2000a), Avigail Eisenberg (2001; 2003), Marilyn Friedman (2003), Joyce Green (1993; 2000), Patricia Monture-Angus (1995), Martha Nussbaum (2000), Susan Moller Okin (1999) and Ayelat Shachar (2000). 60 will provide the singular framework in which all differences are negotiated.51 Although Kymlicka is invested in this tradition of liberal rights, however differentiated, there is good reason to be suspicious of liberal rights discourse. This is especially because liberals employ rights to draw boundaries that determine who is a good liberal citizen and who is not. Certainly, liberal rights are tools for emancipation for marginalized identities, especially for some women, racial minorities, disabled people, gays and lesbians, and workers. At the same time, the liberal discourse of rights determines and regulates the identities of citizens. As the following analysis of the history of voting in British Columbia illustrates, liberal rights have long been used to distinguish between desirable and undesirable citizen. Historically, in Europe and North America gaining entitlement to the vote has been a benchmark of success for previously disenfranchised groups, especially in the women's movements of Canada, Britain and the United States. The vote symbolizes a right to citizenship, decision making, and democracy in a way that other political activities do not. As such the vote is considered to be a fundamental icon of liberal emancipation. However, the history of the vote in British Columbia (B.C.), as in other parts of Canada, also reflects the on-going exclusion of peoples, where some people were eligible to vote and others were denied the vote. By design, liberalism is hence a contradiction in that it can be both egalitarian and inegalitarian (Parekh, 1995). Libera
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UBC Theses and Dissertations
Rethinking culture and cultural : the politics of meaning-making Dhamoon, Rita 2005
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