Ways of Understanding: Canada and the Concept of Canadian Studies Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • This paper explores issues related to the nature of Canadian Studies as a discipline. It argues that Canadian Studies should forego attempts at interdisciplinarity that are rooted in other disciplines and should focus on developing an epistemology and understanding of Canadian society in its own right. It contends that such an understanding is inexorably intertwined with the nature of Canada as a society, and that the starting point for such a discipline lies in foregoing attempts to examine ways in which Canadians are similar to one another and/or how Canada is like or different from other nations. Rather, it is argued that a distinct discipline of Canadian Studies should focus on the ways in which Canadian society is “unique” in both its social and cultural organization and behaviour. It is suggested that a fundamental starting point for such an understanding involves a recognition of the ways in which Canadian society is organized to maintain diversity.

publication date

  • February 1997

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