UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Resisting the war in "little brother country" : Vietnam War exiles, identity crisis and Canadianization John, Henry Richard Lawrence


The object of this research project is to analyze the cultural, political and social integration of draft resisters and deserters living in Vancouver within the Canadian radical protest scene of the 1960s. In particular, it will investigate how refugees’ national and cultural identity, their own preconceptions of Canadian life and their own emotional response to their new environment either helped or hindered their attempts to engage in radical politics. War evaders involved the groups The Vancouver American Deserters Committee and Vancouver Yippie! showed divergent degrees of willingness to adapt their national and political identity to their new surroundings, and this had a direct impact on their ability to interact with the various political scenes springing up around the city. Using sociological theory and primary material (including letters, pamphlets, audio-visual material, newspaper articles and interviews) this study will prove that the maintenance of a solely American draft exile identity was in fact detrimental to an individual’s ability to engage in radical protest, and that a process of Canadianization was crucial to retaining some semblance of political relevance.

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