This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Canadian Vs American Identity Essay

5282 words - 21 pages

The importance of defining an identity is of sociological concern because sense of "˜self', or identity, is reached only by means of people socially interacting (Hiller 1976). Determining whether or not there is a unique Canadian identity has been a struggle since the conception of the nation back in 1867, and with good reason. "[A]n identity is very difficult to define and it is virtually impossible to determine the fine line between lack of an identity and the existence of an identity" (Hiller p.155). In order to conclude that there is a unique Canadian identity, it is necessary to see past the irony in which such a conclusion is reached. The irony is that, there are fewer things unique within Canada, which all Canadians share in common, compared to unique characteristics that can be seen across the board. This fact is one that Canadians closely identify themselves with, and thus becomes part of the unique Canadian identity. The primary causes of this lack of uniqueness within Canada among Canadians are various types of barriers. Government has made significant efforts throughout Canadian history to unify Canada and overcome many of these barriers. As well, it has recently been found that there is a market for things "Canadian" which corporate Canada has taken advantage of in national advertising campaigns through the means of mass media. We will see how this too has contributed to overcoming these barriers as well as created a sense of uniqueness to Canadians. We will also take a look at what the American identity is: How it is/was shaped, and what comparisons can be made between it, and the Canadian identity. When it is all said and done, the Canadian identity is a delicate, yet strong and something to be very proud of. General Canadian Identity When mentioning Canadian identity, some of the first things that come to mind are the external and internal stereotypes that have been created about Canadians. There are of course the typical stereotypes that arrive from the United States such as the idea that Canadians all live in igloos while dodging stray hockey pucks. Or that it is cold everywhere in Canada, all year around. All of which are untrue.Furthermore, there is a distinct view on what a Canadian language is. Verbal language of (English) Canadians is more like American spoken language than it is to spoken English in England. However, Americans in particular will notice a slight British accent in Canadian language. For example the way a Canadian says "Out and About", to an American will sound "Oot and Aboot". Also not forgetting to mention the Canadian "˜word' "eh" and how it is a uniquely Canadian word. However, the context in which Canadians use the word "eh" is not unique by any means. It is used in much the same context as the American "huh"; only "eh" has more uses (So You Want to Speak Canadian, Eh?). In addition, such words as "toque", or "ski-doo" are only...

Find Another Essay On Canadian Vs American Identity

A look on the Canadian Identity as a Canadian citizen and what it means to me

1345 words - 5 pages Canadian". Although, now that I think about it, simply stating that I am Canadian doesn't stand up against anything unless you know who Canadians are. I think that pinpointing the Canadian identity is similar to looking for a needle in a giant haystack. There's so much to look through before it can even be determined that the Canadian identity does, in fact, exist. It is not possible to say that any single aspect of Canadian life can give tribute to

The AFL Canadian: Labor, National Identity, and Transnational Discourse 1936-1955

1868 words - 7 pages The AFL Canadian: Labor, National Identity, and Transnational Discourse 1936-1955 “The American Federation of Labor is an American organization,” declared William Green, president of the AFL, in his 1947 keynote speech, “It believe[d] in American, the fundamental law of the United States, the Constitution, freedom, liberty and democracy. We will have nothing to do with Communism in any shape, or form ... This sixty-sixth convention will

Our Canadian Identity

369 words - 2 pages There is a Canadian identity. Canada is influenced by my other countries on many levels (mainly the United States and Britain) but, there is still no other place in the world like Canada. There are many different cultural and ethnic groups in Canada, but Canada still has it's own identity. No other country in the world is exactly like Canada. There are similarities, but Canada is also different. Canada is very connected with the rest of the

North of Nowhere?: The Signifigance of Canadian Cultural Identity in Genre Films Produced During the "Tax Shelter Years"

2336 words - 9 pages North of Nowhere?:Cultural Identity in Genre Films Produced During the "Tax Shelter Years"More than twenty years after its original release, a puerile high school sex comedy remains the highest grossing Canadian film of all time. If you ask many of those who made it such a financial success, they probably had no idea that was a Canadian film. In "Porky's" none of the characters are Canadian, in fact, the film is set in Florida, and its subject

Canadian Identity in David French's "Mercer Plays"

2085 words - 8 pages “The culture of a nation is said to be the expression of the character of that nation. Canadian culture is held to be the mirror that reflects the lives, histories, and identities of Canadians.” (Statistics Canada)Over the course of our country’s existence there has been an ongoing debate of whether or not Canada has its own national identity. Some would argue that it doesn’t, and that its lack of identity is what helps the country to be more

Canadian Identity. A personal comparison of Canada and the U.S

564 words - 2 pages 1: The Canadian Identity is the stuff that all Canadian's have incommon, it's like we invented hockey so that is considered part of ouridentity. We also invented Basketball but the U.s. took that away from usby exploting it and saying that because the man was in the U.s. it was notCanadian, but for the people that know they realize that our identity is fallingapart because the U.s. is a much bigger country so they have more power.2: The thing

Regionalism and it's Effect on a Unified Canadian Identity

1691 words - 7 pages on the claim that Central Canadamanipulates the rest of Canada economically and politically. This sparks a notion of regionalidentity as opposed to a Canadian Identity. I believe that the idea of regionalism forces us tofocus on the differences we have from other Canadians rather than looking towards our commontraits. We must not forgot the culture that is present in each region as it ultimately affects theirposition on matters economical and

The American Influence in Canadian Popular Culture

2559 words - 10 pages ., for example the Universal Music Group (Justin Bieber) or Sony Music Entertaiment (Celine Dion). The cultural impact of the United States is also very clearly visible in the Canadian film industry. Canadians are generally very anxious about the maintaining their unique identity against the brunt of movies and television shows from the United States. Along with France and other nations, Canada is prepared to oppose strong American cultural

A Vote for Canadian Content Regulations

1614 words - 6 pages place. If Canadian content was not necessary in Canadian television shows, music and film then Canadians would no longer have the drive to produce these works in an effort to represent their country. These individuals would go elsewhere like California, or New York to find the fame that they are able to achieve there, which can then be incorporated into the American culture. Thus losing the talent that should be included in the Canadian identity

The Nature of the Canadian Imagination: A Product of Cultural Influence

2145 words - 9 pages of this Canadian imaginative effort borrow methodology from some other source, and are not unilaterally Canadian. With the former statement in mind, the nature of a true “Canadian” imagination becomes one of question: is it possible to ascertain a unique Canadian identity without including the biases of external cultures? Moreover, can it be possible to determine a true Canadian imagination by allowing for this range of diversity? This essay

Is a strong sense of national pride tantamount to isolationist thinking?

1102 words - 4 pages Is a strong sense of national pride tantamount to isolationist thinking? One of the common criticisms of national pride is the development of xenophobic, “Us vs. Them” thinking. Living in Canada, a nation which has a relatively small population of approximately 33,390,000, compared to America, a country of an estimated 303,824,000 people (Central Intelligence Agency, 2008), gave me a glimpse of how this kind of thinking can work. Canadian

Similar Essays

American Influence Promotes Canadian Identity Essay

1399 words - 6 pages From the start of the 1920's, Canadians have faced a considerable amount of threat towards the Canadian culture from it's American neighbours. For Canada, living so close causes a concern on Canadian identity from American implementation, however, being in a close relationship with the States, it has also promoted Canadian culture. An examination of the nation's success with CBC from America's involvement in the airwaves, Canadian nationalism is

The American Presidential System Vs. The Canadian Parliamentary System

1978 words - 8 pages branches of government: legislative, executive, and judicial. Together, these branches govern the country. In the American presidential system the President is the head of government and chief executive officer. Both Canada and the United States are representative democracies with a federal structure. I prefer The Canadian parliamentary system of government over the American Presidential system of government. The leader of a political party in the

Canadian Identity Essay

4920 words - 20 pages Socials 10 - Final Project Socials 10 - Final Project Brendan Aikman Block 1 Introduction "What is Canadian Identity?" is a question that has been asked many times throughout the course of Social Studies 10. If you look at this question, there are many different answers depending on the person. Some may say it's the technology and transportation that makes us Canadians who we are today. Others

Communication Technology And Canadian Identity Essay

1374 words - 5 pages ). Unlike the United States, which is generally opposed to international languages in programming, Canada encourages cultural diversity. As a multicultural country it is unique that Canada, as opposed to other countries, provides its people with diversity in programming and maintains its culture in the global economy. Foreign influence of mass media has been feared a threat to Canadian identity. In some circumstances purchasing American pre