Communicating Race: Canadian Foreign Correspondence on Citizenship 1945-1977

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In 1946, for the first time, Canada introduced the status of independent Canadian citizenship. Prime Minister Mackenzie King declared that the coming into force of the Canadian Citizenship Act of 1946 gave expression to the unity between French- and English-speaking Canadians and ‘the vision of human brotherhood’. In this paper, I analyze the documents on Canadian external relations that deal with the Citizenship Act of 1946. The goal of this paper is not just to present the specific framing of national citizenship in Canada, but also to assess the transformation in language used to articulate it. In Canada, the encouragement or rejection of cross-border movements and entrance into the Canadian polity was framed in terms of racial categorization and defence considerations. Indeed, the qualitative analysis of those documents reveals some of the methods by which racial prejudices were articulated in an era in which explicit racial categories began to be illegitimate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-56
Number of pages19
JournalStudies in Ethnicity and Nationalism
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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