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June 27 , 2008

Racisms in a Multicultural Canada

Paradoxes, Politics, and Resistance


In acknowledging the possibility that as the world changes so too does racism, this book argues that racism is not disappearing, despite claims of living in a post-racial and multicultural world. To the contrary, racisms persist by transforming into different forms whose intent or effects remain the same: to deny and disallow as well as to exclude and exploit.

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Racisms in a Multicultural Canada is organized around the assumption that race is not simply a set of categories and that racism is not just a collection of individuals with bad attitudes. Rather, racism is as much a matter of interests as of attitudes, of property as of prejudice, of structural advantage as of personal failing, of whiteness as of the “other,” of discourse as of discrimination, and of unequal power relations as of bigotry. This multi-dimensionality of racism complicates the challenge of formulating anti-racism and anti-colonialist strategies capable of addressing it.

Employing a critical framework that puts politics and power at the centre of analysis, this book focuses on why racisms proliferate, how they work in contemporary societies, and how the way we think and talk about racism changes over time. Specifically, it examines the working of contemporary racisms in a multicultural Canada that claims to abide by principles of multiculturalism and a commitment to a post-racial society.

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