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Tracing History: Equality,Equity, and Inequality in Canada

Also by Rose Ogenio, Danielle Martin

Julie Frost

on 19 March 2015

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Transcript of Tracing History: Equality,Equity, and Inequality in Canada

Equality, Equity, and Inequality in Canada
The focus of this chapter are the ways in which Canada has come to be viewed as a multicultural state through the acts of inclusion and systemic measures taken towards equality.

The chapter delves deeper to demonstrate how these acts of inclusion and systemic measures impose and hinder the equal rights of minority groups and lower classes thus leading to the idea that multiculturalism and equality seize to truly exist.

Finally, the chapter seeks to understand why these inequalities continue to exist today by looking at four influential factors: social stratification, power and privilege, ideology and barriers.
Authors use many examples of laws which have been passed throughout the years to increase or decrease Canada's equality of all their citizens
Example: Multiculturalism Act.
Introduced by Pierre Trudeau in 1988; "intent to promote heritages of Canada's citizens".
All Canadians are to be treated equally despite of their race, gender, sexuality or ability.
They ask questions which promote critical thinking about whether Canada can truly be considered a multicultural country, and if with these certain laws which have passed - continues to include all members of the Canadian society.
What Is Equality and Equity?
Sameness where everyone is treated the same without consideration of individual needs, circumstances, background, or history.
Promotes the differential treatment of individuals based on need, taking into consideration circumstances, experiences, background, history. and so on. Equity is focused on achieving equality in the outcome
Factor 1:
Social Stratification
Refers to the "hierarchal arrangement of large social groups on the basis of their control over basic resources" (GNED 500, p. 130)

This hierarchy leads to an individuals inability to fair access of resources and opportunities.

Social positioning is controlled and maintained by the dominant groups within society.

Class determines one's ability to access rewards and opportunities and in turn influences one's level of education.
Factor 2:
Power and Privilege
Factor 4:
Defined as "policies or practices that prevent full and equal participation in society; barriers can be physical, social, attitudinal, organizational, technological or informational"
Ideology refers to systems of idea transmitted through the process of socialization, including through systems and structures such as media, government, families, religion, and education
Power is defined as" the capacity to command resources and thereby to control social situations."

Power can also be defined as "the ability of people or groups to achieve their goals despite opposition from others."

What if one thing on the wheel changed for you?
How would your life be different?
"Privilege is gained through unearned power that gives dominant group members economic, social,and political advantage."
Differences in power and privilege are manifested by components of our identity. In chapter six, the author states that identity is socially constructed. These constructs determine what is considered to be valuable, superior,and powerful within society.
All of us have power and privilege due to some component of our identity.
"Most of us have one or more dominant identities."
The author states that "In most parts of Canada, dominant identities are white, male, English speaking, heterosexual, able bodied, Christian, affluent and middle class, thirty-Sixty five years of age, university educated, from central Canada.
Minoritized groups, however experience several forms of oppression that are compounded due to different and multiple components of their identity, which are denied power and privilege.
1. For the idea of equality to be successful, do you agree that inequalities need to exist?
2. Do you believe that it is possible for equality to be achieved in our life time? What do you think needs to take place in order for this to happen?
Social Inequality
Difference in treatment of people on the basis of class, gender, age, ability, race, ethnicity, or citizenship. Involves restricting people's full participation in society and affecting quality of life.
Name three current social inequalities in Canada?
Factor 3
Ideologies serve to shape and reinforce stereotypes and prejudices; norms and values of society are created and reinforced by ideologies.
Ideology serves to create a routine response to how certain phenomena (social, political, etc) and certain groups of people are viewed.
Dominant ideologies consistently reinforce such ideas, ultimately affecting how we see and teach others
In the end, the authors give the impression that despite the many advances made in Canada - there is still much inequality within the country. This was an eye opening chapter to read as it shows that even a powerful, developed country like Canada, still has barriers for their many citizens
Those who identify within the minority groups of society find they are met with many barriers - which limits their access to certain opportunities, resources, and benefits of membership in society.
Invisible barriers
: May not be outlined or defined in laws and policies, are maintained in social structures
Visible barriers
: Literal physical barriers - barring those with a physical disability. Also include documented policies and practises in any economic, political, or social instiution.
How many barriers do you meet on a daily basis?
Barriers often are established from ideologies by those within the dominant group
Colonization And Its Effects
Due to the European expansion between 1600-1700, Aboriginals have endured many hardships such as loss of land, loss of culture, basic human rights, war and exploitation
- Increased exposure to European diseases drastically affected the Aboriginals. Creation of fur trading posts lead to exposure to such diseases of smallpox, measles, tuberculosis.

These diseases lead to large epidemics which causes more than half of the population to be wiped out.
Reverent Ideologies
Capitalism, Eurocentrism and Patriarchy
The creation of the fur trade severely changed the way of life for the Aboriginals. It altered the land, led them to employ with various private and Crown corporations and caused many laws to be passed which restricted where they could live, freedom of movement, the customs they could practice and introduced the patriarchal system.
The introduction of patriarchy and colonialism continued the breakdown of the Aboriginal way of life, mainly affecting the women's rights.
Female Aboriginals could not vote and males would be given designated (reserved) land.
The introduction of the 1869 Gradual Enfranchisement of Indians Act further infringed the women's rights and dignity. Stating a woman would lose her 'Indian' status if she married a non-Indian, but a man who married a non-Indian would not.
Between 1820-1850; the government continued to restrict the Aboriginals. Banning certain cultural practices such as potlach, religious dances (Sun Dance, Ghost Dance) due to the belief it was of pagan decent and went against the Christian beliefs.
The creation of reserves added to their challenges, as it created a reliance of the government for food and other necessities.
The greatest inequalities was the complete destruction of the Aboriginal's laws and customers, which were replaced by laws of the colonists
Aboriginal Issues in Canada
We need to understand how inequalities came to exist in Canada. If we look to our own history we can see how discourse can be used to normalize and justify unjust practice to members within our own state. It is not enough to simply recognize individuals rights on paper but then deny it from them.
Implications of Residential Schooling

Assimilation as oppose to education
First Nations children became outsiders in their own community
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