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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An inquiry into the contextual specificity of Canadian literature on anti-racist education Sivak, Alisa Marie


This study focuses on Canadian literature on anti-racist education and, in particular, the body of literature which acknowledges a sense of conflict between the theories, goals, and strategies of anti-racism and multiculturalism. The purpose of the study is to investigate the ways in which this body of literature addresses the Canadian context, particularly in reference to the prevalence of multiculturalism in Canada's official policies and popular ideology. The study reveals the existence of two different conceptions of the conflict between anti-racist and multicultural education: irreconcilable conflict and inevitable compromise. Each of these conceptions fails to provide practical guidance in terms of what those visions look like or how they can be resolved. Closer analysis reveals that this literature as a whole seems to rely on a standard critique of multiculturalism, failing to substantiate it with illustrations from the Canadian context. In fact, the literature fails to engage with Canadian multiculturalism with the kind of complexity it warrants, addressing it, instead, as if it is a monolithic and static entity that can be dismissed superficially. Addressing that complexity in the future can only strengthen Canadian anti-racist research.

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