Dialectics of Humanitarian Immigration and National Identity in Canadian Public Discourse

Authors

  • Harald Bauder University of Guelph

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.25071/1920-7336.21401

Keywords:

Hegelian dialectics, Canada, humanitarian immigration, refugees, national identity, identity formation, media, discourse

Abstract

Humanitarian immigration is an important element in the construction of Canada’s identity as a liberal and compassionate country. Drawing on Hegelian dialectics, a discourse analysis of newspaper articles published between 1996 and 2001 examines processes of national identity formation through humanitarian immigration in the media. My interpretation of this discourse suggests that Canada’s national identity is constructed on the basis of material inequalities through negation and sublation of refugees. By representing refugees who experience gender violence, children, and victims of natural disaster as deserving, the media construes an identity of Canada as compassionate. War criminals, supporters of hate crimes, and violent offenders are involved only to a limited degree in this dialectic.

Published

2008-04-01

How to Cite

Bauder, H. (2008). Dialectics of Humanitarian Immigration and National Identity in Canadian Public Discourse. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 25(1), 84–93. https://doi.org/10.25071/1920-7336.21401