Sociology of Canada Term Paper

Pages: 10 (2998 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  Level: College Sophomore  ·  Topic: Family and Marriage


The development of social class structure in Canada is not full of

middle class values, but rather is a society of inequality, largely because

of ethnicity. The historical origins of this, according to John Porter,

are in the hierarchy of the "two original colonizing partners... holding

special status." This exists today as with the English dominating, but

social mobility is possible. This does not mean there is not social class

within Canada, and understanding that social class is important for the

better sociological understanding of Canada.

There is evidence that social inequality within class structure

existed before colonization within the Native cultures. There were pre-

capitalists social divisions of labor, such as groups of slaves within this

hunting and trapping society with tribal and family social classes

This followed by the arrival of English and French capitalists who

encouraged the Canadian economy towards merchant capitalism. Canada

developed socially away from the feudal aspects of Europe. This became a

society of simple commodity production in which the merchant class became

dominant. Following the merchant classes were finance capitalists with

links to European banks, and with importing being important, merchants

became a powerful class. In the 19th and 20th centuries multinational

corporations emerged creating a new class, the comprador capitalists. This

has led to a great deal of wealth being concentrated in an elite few. The

classes that have suffered are the elderly, the woman, those in the

outlying provinces, and most significantly the ethnic minorities. For

example women were excluded from male-dominated labour organizations and

ethnic minorities suffer in labour jobs.

The development of social classes had led to a large poor class in

Canada and concentration of the wealth in a few hands. Furthermore, Canada

has had a history of internal problems that have led to its weaker economic

position, which has relied on extracting resources for metropolitan

markets. The end result has been that Canada is now economically reliant

on the United States which has not improved the relationships between

social classes. While unionism has flourished in Canada through a long

lasting labour movement, the working class needs to defend against new

challenges from globalization.

This has lead often to the "vilifying" of ethnic minorities, who have

faced class segregation between labour and capital that has weakened, yet

there still are attitudes against the equality of ethnic groups.

Legislation has in the past also contributed to this attitude against

ethnic minorities.

Today in Canada most people participate in the economy in wage labour.

These workers are subject to great ethnic stratification as Anglo-Saxons

control the corporate world as different ethnicities are imported to work

without high rates of upward mobility. Other views suggest that inequality

exists within all groups in Canada creating a diverse range of social

classes. Regardless, it is important to note that social class has

affected all aspects of Canadian life. Canada's sociological development

of class is rooted in its origins, which were not egalitarian, and thus

Canada has developed with cleavages that are based on class, whether it be

race, gender, or age. While recent developments have improved the

conditions for the discriminated classes, it has not been smooth for

Canada. To understand Canada sociologically one must therefore look at the

roots of its problems and sociological development as a place with lots of

land, native cultures, imported labour, gender exclusion, English and

French mercantilism, and as of late, a large poor class with the great

wealth in the hands of a select few. Canada is therefore, and has not

historically been a egalitarian society and understanding this is critical

to understanding Canada's sociology.


There are two arguments to explain racism within Canada, one being

the political economic explanation and the other socio-psychological. The

class explanation suggests that cultural differences are not causes of

racism, but competition over economic resources leads to ethnic

discrimination. Cultural beliefs maintain that there is cultural conflict

inherent that causes racism. Within three ethnic groups, these

explanations can be seen.

The Indian influx into Canada began in the early 20th century as

Indians suffered low wages in their homeland and their was a demand for

labour in Canada. Thus the Indo-Canadians migrated to Canada to fill

labour needs and thus were pigeon-holed into a political and social

position that would not promote social advancement and thus promote racism.

This lends itself towards a class explanation, however the Indians

suffered immediately upon arrival with disenfranchisement and unfair taxes

with hints at a cultural explanation. However Indo-Canadians were also

excluded from economic endeavors, meaning a class explanation. Yet the

Indian immigration was curtailed despite the need for labor by extensive

taxing which indicates a racist culture attitude which is also indicated by

the classification of all Indians as Hindus.

Chinese in Canada have also faced racism, from the early days when

they were permitted to vote and taxed because of their race. Anti-Chinese

societies were established which suggest a cultural source of racism.

However labour unions were fearful of Chinese labourers 1875 which led to

further racism and action against the Chinese, which is class related. For

example there were societies trying to protect Canadian jobs and tax

Chinese working in Victoria. Even Chinese who were Canadian were

disenfranchised, meaning that perhaps the racism was based on cultural

explanations that the individual is responsible for racism. In recent

years, immigration officers have been allowed to exclude poorer immigrants

from third world countries like China which suggests that the roots of the

racism are class related.

The First-Nation people in Canada also suffered racism, although not

initially as Natives were important as English military allies, for

instance. Natives, however, were soon restricted under the Crown Lands

Protection Act, and when gold was discovered in 1850, Native people were

reduced to labourers. This shift in status suggests class relations were

the cause for racism. However, Natives were given opportunities if they

left their tribes by the Act for the Gradual Civilization of the Indian

Tribes, which leads the racism to be cultural as they were excluded based

on their tribalism, but allowed to enter Canadian society and receive land

and money. Natives were also given opportunities to become enfranchised

through marriage, meaning the cultural barrier could come down.

The racism faced by these groups cannot be explained solely by

cultural reasons, as there were clearly economic motives for the racist

treatment by the Canadian people and Canadian government. That is not to

say that cultural reasons for racism did not exist, but rather that

"opportunities are rarely denied on the basis of their ethnicity."

Economic motives played a large role in racism. However, it can be argued

that independent of political economic motives, racism did exist and these

groups did and would be excluded if they did not pose any threat to Anglo-


The ultimate explanation must certainly be a blend between the two

explanations as cultural differences cannot be the only explanation, yet

neither can class motivations. As a social class, these groups were

excluded, yet even when posing no threat as a class, they still faced

racist policies. Even Native people were given money to leave their

tribes, which is a racist act, but not one motivated solely from the class



In Canada, labour is separated by gender. Women have less opportunity

and predetermined jobs within society. They also have lower income as

women are employed in predominantly four occupational categories. Family

values have helped to enforce this economic exploitation of women, which

has not improved and possibly even worsened.

The family values have influenced the economic exploitation of women

since World War II, when women returned to the home and traditional places

of occupation when the men returned from war. In recent years, as women

have become increasingly employed, there have been attempts to sub-contract

women to work in their home which will reduce their wages and benefits.

While conditions may or may not improve, the family hinders women's

economic participation, as women earn "on average 72% of men's wages."

The rate of participation of married women in the work force has risen

historical, but in order to do so women had to overcome ideologies of

repression and patriarchy. In all aspects of life, women were considered

the weaker sex and this has contributed to the workforce. The roots of

this belief are in the family, as women are supposed to rear their children

once they are born. Patriarchy, which means male-dominate because of "the

logic of biological reproduction and the patriarchal relations within the

family" has forced women to have to break from the family notions to make

any progress in the economic job market.

This family ideology has had an effect on women in all aspects of

economic exploitation. Not only are they paid less, but they have fewer

job opportunities and work less than men. When it comes to welfare, women

need to receive services which the government has cut and women will suffer

in having to "perform traditional government work at reduced… [END OF PREVIEW]

Four Different Ordering Options:


Compare the Four Ordering Options

  1. 1.Buy this paper with your credit card or cash balance at PayPal.  Within 10 hours, we'll send the Microsoft Word file to the email address on your PayPal account.
  2. 2.Same as #1, but we will also remove the paper from our site for 30 days!
  3. 3.Need this paper immediately?  Want to individually download any of our 175,000+ exclusive, private, non-plagiarized papers for 30 days?  It takes only 2 minutes to subscribe and get instant access!
  4. 4.One of our highly experienced experts will write a brand new, 100% unique paper matching the exact specifications and topic that you provide!  You'll be the only person on the planet to receive the one-of-a-kind paper that we write for you!  Use code "Save10" to save 10% on your 1st order!

1.  Buy the full, 10-page paper:  $24.68


2.  Buy & remove for 30 days:  $38.47


3.  Monthly access to 175,000 papers

After paying, this link will download any paper(s).


4.  Let us write a NEW paper for you!

Ask Us to Write a New Paper
Most popular!

Sociology - Welfare Hard of Hearing People Term Paper

Homelessness in Canada Term Paper

Poverty and Welfare Term Paper

Nordic vs. Canada Child Poverty Term Paper

Post Modernism What Is Post-Modernism? Term Paper

View 221 other related papers  >>

Cite This Term Paper:

APA Format

Sociology of Canada.  (2007, April 9).  Retrieved January 15, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Sociology of Canada."  9 April 2007.  Web.  15 January 2019. <>.

Chicago Format

"Sociology of Canada."  Essay.  April 9, 2007.  Accessed January 15, 2019.