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Small Worlds of Diversity: Views toward Immigration and Racial Minorities in Canadian Provinces

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 November 2012

Antoine Bilodeau*
Concordia University
Luc Turgeon*
Université d'Ottawa
Ekrem Karakoç*
Binghamton University, SUNY
Antoine Bilodeau, Department of Political Science, Concordia University, 1455 boulevard de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montréal, Québec H3G 1M8,
Luc Turgeon, École d'études politiques, Université d'Ottawa, 120 Université, pièce 7005, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5,
Ekrem Karakoç, Department of Political Science, Binghamton University, SUNY, Binghamton, NY,


Abstract. Canadian provinces have long been considered as “small worlds,” each with its own cultural distinctiveness and province-building dynamics. This article examines whether these same provincial specificities are observed in terms of attitudes toward immigration intakes and racial diversity. Three questions are asked. First, are there important variations in views toward immigration and racial minorities across Canadian provinces within the native-born white Canadian population? Second, have the differences and similarities changed between 1988 and 2008? And third, do specific provincial economic, demographic, and cultural realities shape provincial public opinion on these matters? The findings indicate that there are significant differences and commonalities in how all provinces react to immigration and racial diversity, that native-born white Canadians have grown increasingly accepting of immigration and racial diversity over time and that views toward immigration and racial diversity are distinct from each other and each responds to a specific set of provincial realities.

Résumé. Les provinces canadiennes constituent de “petits univers,” chacune possédant sa propre culture et sa propre dynamique politique. Cet article explore si de telles spécificités provinciales peuvent être également observées en ce qui a trait aux attitudes par rapport à l'immigration et à la diversité raciale. Nous posons trois questions. Premièrement, y a-t-il des différences d'opinions quant à l'immigration et aux minorités raciales entre provinces canadiennes au sein de la population blanche née au Canada? Deuxièmement, est-ce que les similarités et les différences entre les provinces ont changé entre 1988 et 2008? Et troisièmement, est-ce que les réalités économiques, démographiques et culturelles provinciales influencent l'opinion publique provinciale sur ces questions? Les résultats de l'étude indiquent qu'il y a à la fois des similarités et des différences quant aux attitudes des différentes provinces sur l'immigration et la diversité raciale, que la population blanche née au Canada s'est montrée de plus en plus ouverte à l'immigration et à la diversité raciale au cours de la période à l'étude, et que les attitudes par rapport à l'immigration et la diversité raciale ne sont pas identiques et qu'elles répondent chacune à leur façon à un certain nombre de réalités provinciales.

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

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