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The racialization of immigrants in Canada – a historical investigation how race still matters

Isabella Krysa (Department of Management, Fairleigh Dickinson University – Vancouver, Vancouver, Canada)
Mariana Paludi (Universidad Mayor, Santiago, Chile)
Albert J. Mills (Department of Business, Ita-Suomen yliopisto Yhteiskuntatieteiden ja kauppatieteiden tiedekunta, Kuopio, Finland and Department of Management, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Canada)

Journal of Management History

ISSN: 1751-1348

Article publication date: 1 November 2018

Issue publication date: 29 January 2019

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the discursive ways in which racialization affects the integration process of immigrants in present-day Canada. By drawing on a historical analysis, this paper shows how race continues to be impacted by colonial principles implemented throughout the colonization process and during the formation stages of Canada as a nation. This paper contributes to management and organizational studies by shedding light on the taken-for-granted nature of discursive practices in organizations through problematizing contemporary societal and political engagements with “race”.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper draws on critical diversity studies as theoretical framework to problematize a one-dimensional approach to race and diversity. Further, it applies the Foucauldian historical method (Foucault, 1981) to trace the construction of “race” over time and to show its impact on present-day discursive practices.

Findings

Through a discursive review of Canada’s past, this paper shows how seemingly non-discriminatory race-related concepts and policies such as “visible minority” contribute to the marginalization of non-white individuals, racializing them. Multiculturalism and neoliberal globalization are identified as further mechanisms in such a racialization process.

Originality/value

This paper illustrates the importance of a historical contextualization to shed light on present workplace discrimination and challenges unproblematic approaches to workplace diversity.

Keywords

Citation

Krysa, I., Paludi, M. and Mills, A.J. (2019), "The racialization of immigrants in Canada – a historical investigation how race still matters", Journal of Management History, Vol. 25 No. 1, pp. 97-113. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMH-09-2018-0048

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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