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’Pork wars and Greek fire’ : regulating multicultural Vancouver Storey, Andrew Iain

Abstract

'Multiculturalism' has become a commonplace in modern Canadian political parlance as the social geography of Canadian cities changes to reflect an increasingly more diverse immigrant profile. But as several critical interpretations of it contend, multiculturalism signifies more than pure diversity itself—multiculturalism is also an ideological framework that tries to contain and defuse political-economic crises among racialised immigrant communities. In this thesis I explore the circumstances surrounding two interventions by the city of Vancouver to police the production of 'ethnicised' commodities during the 1970s and 1980s. I argue this intervention was a problematic one which provoked tension between the state and a cadre of small capitalists, a struggle which was then promptly displaced onto the ideological field and mediated through the ideological framework of multiculturalism.

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