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Do Patriotism and Multiculturalism Collide? Competing Perspectives from Canada and the United States

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 November 2012

Jack Citrin*
Affiliation:
University of California, Berkeley
Richard Johnston*
Affiliation:
University of British Columbia
Matthew Wright*
Affiliation:
American University
*
Jack Citrin, University of California, Berkeley, Department of Political Science, 790 Barrows Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-1950, email: gojack@berkeley.edu.
Richard Johnston, University of British Columbia, Department of Political Science, C425-1866 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1, email: rjohnston@politics.ubc.ca.
Matthew Wright, American University, Department of Government, Ward Circle Building, Room 230, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20016, email: mwright@american.edu.

Abstract

Abstract. The relationship of national identifications to preferences about immigration is a subject of empirical controversy. The hypothesis we explore here through a comparison of Canada and the United States is that the normative content of national identity—how people define the meaning of patriotism in their country—mediates the relationship between national pride and sentiment about immigration and multiculturalism. How political elites construct what citizens should be proud of matters. In comparisons based on the 2003 International Social Survey Program's “National Identity Module,” Canadians seem more divided than Americans over their nationality and generally less chauvinist. Canadians are more receptive to maintaining the current level of immigration and see newcomers as less threatening to economic and cultural values. The relationship between identification with the country and support for immigration and multiculturalism diverges sharply between the countries: where in Canada the relationship is positive, in the US it is negative.

Résumé. Le lien entre l'identification à la nation et les préférences quant à l'immigration est un sujet de controverse. À travers une comparaison du Canada et des Etats-Unis, l'hypothèse que nous explorons ici est que le contenu normatif de l'identité nationale, c'est-à-dire le sens donné par la population au patriotisme envers leur pays, joue un rôle intermédiaire dans la relation entre la fierté nationale et les sentiments vis-à-vis l'immigration et le multiculturalisme. La façon dont les élites politiques construisent ce en quoi les citoyens devraient être fiers revêt donc une importance particulière. À titre comparatif, en se basant sur le « Module Identité Nationale » du International Social Survey Programme de 2003, les Canadiens semblent plus divisés que les Américains sur la signification de leur identité nationale et, de façon générale, sont moins chauvins. Les Canadiens sont également plus réceptifs à l'idée de maintenir l'immigration à son niveau actuel et voient les nouveaux arrivants comme étant moins menaçants pour leurs valeurs économiques et culturelles. La relation entre l'identification au pays et le support pour l'immigration et le multiculturalisme diverge nettement entre les deux pays. Alors qu'au Canada la relation est positive, aux Etats-Unis elle est négative.

Type
Symposium: Immigration, Multiculturalism, and Identity Politics in Canada and the United States
Copyright
Copyright © Canadian Political Science Association 2012

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