Ethnicity, Politics, and Public Policy: Case Studies in Canadian Diversity


289 pages
Contains Bibliography
ISBN 0-8020-8027-8
DDC 305.8'00971




Edited by Harold Troper and Morton Weinfeld
Reviewed by Christine Hughes

Christine Hughes is a policy analyst at the Ontario Native Affairs


This collected volume of 10 essays addresses a number of issues that
have arisen in Canada’s ethnically diverse society. The case studies
stand alone, but are grouped thematically into three sections. Part 1,
“Cultural Diversity and Societal Responses,” considers the concepts
of ethnic match and the ethnic polity, as well as the challenges of
social integration and cohesion; case studies include an examination of
female genital operations, rap music, and hip-hop culture. Part 2,
“Ethnic Match and Minority Origin Professionals,” contains four case
studies that examine the challenges of minority professionals delivering
public services to clients from their own group; these studies look at
visible-minority police officers, wife abuse in the Muslim community,
and Haitian teachers in Quebec schools. Part 3, “Ethnicity, Race and
Politics,” looks at the politics of ethnic communities and the
Canadian political context: for example, one study examines the role of
immigration policy, multiculturalism, and racism in the 1993 federal
election campaign. Together, the compilation’s 10 cases present a
diverse analysis of the impact of ethnicity and race in contemporary
Canadian society.

This is essentially an academic study that will probably appeal most to
those interested in ethnic studies, sociology, anthropology, political
science, and public policy. The case studies were originally part of a
joint research project undertaken by student researchers from McGill
University and the University of Toronto. Consequently, most of the
examples are drawn from Ontario and Quebec. The students’ aim was to
produce some “hard” case studies that would add to the literature on
the nature of racism and diversity in Canada and the complexity of new
public-policy issues. Earlier versions of many of the studies were
presented at scholarly conferences. Research techniques were primarily
qualitative in nature, combining interviews, participant observation,
and some analysis of original documents. The editors note the value of
using multi- and interdisciplinary approaches to study ethnicity.

Troper is a professor in the Department of Theory and Policy Studies,
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto.
Weinfeld is a professor in the Department of Sociology at McGill


“Ethnicity, Politics, and Public Policy: Case Studies in Canadian Diversity,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 20, 2024,