Assimilation and Colonialism

World_1898_empires_colonies_territoryOver the past few weeks, we have been discussing the concepts of assimilation and colonialism in Canada in the Contemporary World. We have even begun working on a project to help us explore these complex ideas.

Here are some definitions we researched:

Here are some of the resources we have looked at thus far:

Former Primer Minister Paul Martin on colonialism

Prime Minister Harper’s denial of colonialism

Slide show of Colonization of Africa

Based on the research we have done and our look at Quebec’s Charter of Values, provide a current example of colonialism and/or assimilation in the world. Justify your choice and comment on what other folks have offered.

21 thoughts on “Assimilation and Colonialism

  1. One example of assimilation in today’s world is Russia’s anti-gay laws.
    This is an example of assimilation since homosexuals in Russia are not allowed to express who they really are, and are forced by the government to be something they aren’t. Polls in Russia show that many Russians don’t support homosexuality, but if you think about it that’s probably because the Russian government is telling teachers to tell students that being homosexual is a bad thing.

  2. I agree with Franklin. Not only is Russia enforcing anti-gay laws, so are 41 of 50 states in America (and many other places). By making a law that same-sex couples are not allowed to be married, this implies that there is no other choice other than to marry someone of the opposite gender. This is a form of assimilation because there is a larger group of heterosexuals making these anti-gay laws causing those who are homosexual to either marry someone of the opposite gender or not marry at all. The definition of assimilation is to absorb into a larger group, and these laws are insinuating that those who are gay must act like us and marry the opposite sex only.

    • Although I completely agree with same sex marriage, I do not believe that governments of theses ‘anti gay’ countries or states are trying to assimilate homosexual people. Since the United States of America is a democracy and the citizens have the power to choose their president or representative, the government might be to keep majority of the people happy. If the people of the country has a serious problem with the laws they are passing, the people could easily just vote them out.

      From the perspective of a homophobic person, homosexual people or gay activists might be the ones who are trying to assimilate the rest of the population. Theses changes might be good or bad however, they are still trying to absorb a group of people into believing what something they are totally against, changing their culture and maybe their moral beliefs. In the past people tried to assimilate groups of people with violence and this is wrong and gay activist have not physically abused people. Yet what they are doing is putting a lot pressure on those people who do not agree with them by calling them closed minded or homophobic.

      Originally America and many other countries were anti-gay, and one might say gay activists are the ones that took control of these countries and are abusing the rest of the population by not respecting their own religion and beliefs and pressuring them so they have no choice but to be gay friendly.

      I’m just going to say this again…I am100% for same sex marriage and equal rights

  3. Looking at Franklin and Viki’s replies, it seems that they are focusing on the darker side of assimilation. However, in my opinion, assimilation doesn’t necessarily have to affect people negatively. In fact, I think that assimilation can be for the better good in some instances. One recent example of how assimilation could actually impact us positively is from statements made by Pope Francis on his opinion of homosexuals. He commented, “Who am I to judge?” turning his back on some Catholic beliefs that have been around for a long, long time. I realize that the definition of assimilation is to be absorbed into a larger group and that the support for gay rights may not be the larger group as of now, but maybe it will be eventually. I think that there is possibly a bright future for homosexuals and that eventually maybe we can merge and “assimilate” into a harmonious society of homosexuals and heterosexuals. We can look on the positive side of assimilation, as there have actually been 13 states that have legalized gay marriage in the U .S., if I remember correctly. In conclusion, maybe assimilation isn’t completely bad.

  4. The United States of America is assimilating the Hispanic adults into their culture rather than letting them follow their own traditions. The States have been turning all the television channels from Spanish to English which prevents the Hispanic adults to further understand the tv unless they know English. This act is basically forcing the Hispanic to learn English or not be a part of our country because as a person we get all our information from either people or the news.

  5. I think Justin brought up some good points in his reply. Just the fact that the anti-gay laws in Russia have been in the news, and many famous individuals have made comments about the law (including Olympic athletes planning on going to Sochi for the games next year) is a good thing. These athletes and news stations are generally making negative comments about this law. To me, it seems like the majority of people are trying to include LGBTQ people into society, not the other way around. It is also not necessarily a bad thing that only 13 of the american states have legalized gay marriage, because that number is growing, not shrinking.

  6. I agree with Jieun, I think that changing all the television channels from Spanish to English has a negative effect. They are forcing Hispanic people to learn English or not to be in the country. The United States of America isn’t welcoming diversity at all. This implies that the United States of America decided that there is no other choice.

  7. One idea of assimilation in the world that we are facing today has to do with aboriginals. Today aboriginal individuals face issues such as lack of health care, housing, and education. Canada is underfunding aboriginal schools on reserve. Students going to a public school a mile away get 20-40%more funding than students on reserve. This is a form of assimilation because this is forcing aboriginals to go to a public school where they will lose their traditional culture, language, and their aboriginal identity. Assimilation has to do with the Parti Quebecois government trying to introduce legislation that would restrict religious symbols in various places. People who work in hospitals, schools, and other government jobs will not be allowed to wear anything that has to do with religion such as wearing turbans, hijabs and other religious clothing. This is a way to assimilate individuals to become French in culture and language because a majority of religious people will not feel welcome in Quebec.

  8. After reading Jieun’s and Sophie’s perspectives, I think that it is unjust for the Hispanics not being able to watch the television unless they understand english. In my opinion, I don’t see this as something that is preventing the Hispanics from practicing thier religion, or forcing them to leave the country for that reason. Though, I do see it as assimilation. Consider the claim that in 2005, only one-third of Hispanic immigrants who’ve been living in the United States of America for less than a decade speak english well, but that number rises to nearly three-quarters for those who have stayed there for 30 years or more. This data shows that as they grow older, the Hispanics are taking in more from the American culture. And with all the Spanish channels converting to English, the USA will also assimilate the youth, creating uniformity to the country.

  9. The US is a ‘melting pot’ and an example of assimilation. Many immigrants slowly begin to abandon their native language and in a way forget their traditions. Yes they are allowed to express their beliefs but in way thats not considered ideal in this society. In order to fit, you have to give up your past and become apart of this ‘american culture’, which is seen as the right thing.

  10. I strongly agree with Ravneet. It is true, the USA is a “Melting Pot” and that is a great example of assimilation. What the USA is doing is they are brining in many immigrants into there country and then saying you are an american citizen now, not Chinese, German, Spanish… you are an american citizen. This also ties into the spanish television being changed to only english. That is horrible because it is totally taking away their culture. Marking Ravneet’s words, yes you have to give up your old culture to fit in to the “american culture”. America is a great exam[;e of assimilation.

    • I also agree with Ravneet and Sean. The USA is only one example of a “melting pot,” many many other countries also use a “melting pot.” I find it unacceptable what America is doing. Everyone is different so let them be who they are. Why doesn’t everyone who is Christian (for example) change to Chinese? And the television in Spain is horrible, now they can’t even enjoy watching TV, it’s completely ruining the world and I hope it stops soon.

  11. I think that Justin had some good ideas in his reply, although I believe that as a whole, assimilation should be viewed as a bad thing, we want people to be treated fairly and equal, but not necessarily the same. We don’t want to make people be the same, it is up to them.

  12. I agree with Jack. Many people have their on opinion and like to express themselves differently. For example in Russia they do not allow gay’s to marry. The government shouldn’t restrict on letting people express themselves differently, they should focus on the bad things. We all deserve to be treated equally and fairly.

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