Applying an Anthropological Perspective to Media Narratives

Subject: Political
Type: Analytical Essay
Pages: 4
Word count: 932
Topics: Government, Identity, Immigration, Nationalism
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The article “Canada’s Immigration System Lacks Heart, Critics Say” elaborates on the changes made in the immigration rules and regulations of the country that makes it difficult for the refugees and immigrants across the globe to seek the help that they need from the nation. The article attributes several acts to the reasons why there is a change in Canada’s nationalism stipulating that the country lacks compassion. Anthropology refers to a study concerning the human societies, their cultures, and development. The paper will look into the article provided in an anthropological perspective.

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The concept in the article relates to nationalism, national identity and national culture of Canada. Nationalism refers to the trust in the national identity and how the human beings invest their emotions in the national identity. It focuses on the global view of the citizens in a given country like Canada. The national identity, on the other hand, connotes the sense of belonging of an individual based on the culture, traditions, and language of the country. In the article, Canada is believed to have been a country full of love, compassion, and humanitarianism for the refugees or the immigrants in the past. The nation even won an award “the United Nations’ Nansen Refugee Award” in the year 1986.

In the contemporary world, a few changes have been experienced in what was believed to be a loving culture of the Canadians regarding immigration altering the nationalism of the country. Individuals in the contemporary world no longer view Canada as a compassionate country when it comes to the refugees. The rules and regulations regarding the territorial borders have faced several changes denying the refugees or the immigrants the love that they used to offer them in the contemporary world.  In other words, the country defined its territorial borders by limiting the refugees to enter the nation and hence becoming a nation-state. The hypersensitivity that the nation-state feels in regards to the security risks as a result of increased terrorist attacks is the main reason as to why the nation-state has tightened their border.

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According to the media, the federal government of Canada today has set tighter rules and regulations that determine the individuals that can go to Canada as an immigrant and the main reasons as to why they want to be refugees in this state. Several factors have led to the change in the nationalism in Canada and a confusion of the national identity of the individuals living in Canada. For instance, cutting the refugee health care, altering the rules and policies, coming up with a list of countries that are believed to be “safe” whereby a refugee who claims to come from such countries is denied an immigration opportunity are some of the reasons why the worldview for the nation have changed.

Deporting the permanent residents who have been sentenced for criminality is a significant act that has caused the members of the country to question their national identity. The number of the deportations in Canada have also increased twice as much since the year 2000. These are facts from the media narrative that shows there is a change in the culture of the refugee and immigration system from the humanitarian tradition to a less compassionate culture.

A common Language is also a major determinant in the culture of the Canadians. One of the instances that have hindered the refugees from entering the nation is the inability to meet the official language proficiency required. Meeting the standards set in regards to the official language proficiency directly influences their economic prospects. The countries loss of nationalism can be attributed to three factors including, the new culture entailing a hypersensitivity in the security, language and the formulation of the CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency) in the year 2003 which forced the authorities to hinder the balance of compassion with enforcement. Lastly, the change in government is a contributing factor to the change in the nationalism of the country affecting the national identity of the members of the nation.

Irrespective of the fact that Canada consists of the highest numbers of the immigrants per capita in the developed nations, the change in culture has affected the people’s believe or trust in their national identity. The terrorist attacks that began in the year 2001 are the main reasons as to why there was the creation of the CBSA which imposed stricter regulations in the immigration of the refugees making the country a nation-state. Discrimination as a result of ethnicity or religion affected the way the world perceived Canada when they refused to take in the Jewish refugees who were attempting to run away from the Holocaust and the Nazi Germany.

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In conclusion, it is evident that the change of the culture and traditions in a nation affects the nationalism of a given country. In this case, as per the media narrative, the worldview of Canada shifted from a positive perspective to a contrary view in regards to immigration and the refugees. The change in the immigration cultures through the definition of the territorial borders and the setting of stricter rules impacted Canada’s nationalism negatively. For example, the cutting of the refugee health care and the deportation of Canada’s permanent citizens are part of the reasons as to why the media believes that the nationalism of the nation-state has been altered to a loss of love and compassion.

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  1. Black, Debra. 2013. “Canada’s Immigration System Lacks Heart, Critics Say | Toronto Star”. Thestar.Com.
  2. Anderson, Benedict. 2006. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of  Nationalism. London: Verso.
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