Ethnicity and Culture in Canada: The Research Landscape


579 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-8020-7759-5
DDC 305.8'00971




Edited by J.W. Berry and J.A. Laponce
Reviewed by James S. Frideres

James S. Frideres is associate dean (research) in the Faculty of Social
Sciences at the University of Calgary and the author of A World of
Communities: Participatory Research.


The 19 chapters in this book cover such diverse topics as demography,
history, anthropology, sociology, education, literature, and political
philosophy. The first six papers provide background material on
Canada’s multiethnic society. Four political papers deal with the
linkages between the political system and specific collective identities
of various ethnic groups. Two papers on interethnic relations serve as
an introduction to the section on ethnic literature. The last section
focuses on heritage languages and the educational institutions that
provide basic services for Canadians. The volume ends with a
comprehensive bibliography.

The fact that few established scholars in the area of ethnic relations
are included as contributors raises an expectation of innovative
perspectives, yet this is not the case. For example, the chapter on
demography does not include information on the issue of “human
capital” or on refugees and their implications for multiculturalism.
Other contributions could have been strengthened if they had been
revised (some substantially) since their original presentation. A more
substantive concern is that few of the authors take time to analyze
their contributions and provide recommendations regarding Canada’s
attempt to pursue a multiethnic social structure.

Despite these shortcomings, the book provides students, professors, and
practitioners with a good overview of the state of ethnic relations in
Canadian society as we enter the 21st century.


“Ethnicity and Culture in Canada: The Research Landscape,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed December 4, 2023,