Essay: Impact of racism on education of Caribbean people in Canada: Predominance of whiteness

For a long time, Canada has been a country where multiculturalism is a unique characteristic feature of the society. People who moved to Canada for certain reasons start their adaptation process to new cultural environment by fulfilling primary needs for sustainable living. They need to find a job, place to live and look for certain services to educate their children. People from the Caribbean region are not an exception. What makes this job harder for them is the racism they face in the society. In order to get used to new environment, people from the Caribbean region should learn how to put up with regular cases of racism (Henry, 1994). Researchers who investigate this matter usually distinguish four elements of racism which include individual, systemic, institutional and cultural racism. The following research mainly deals with institutional racism in Canada in regard to the education of people of Caribbean origin. The research is based on the results of numerous sociological investigations on the problem of racism in Canada in educational sphere. The objective of the research is to analyze racism in Canada from a sociological point of view, mainly focusing on such issue as the predominance of whiteness.


Key words: institutional racism, predominance of whiteness, formal curriculum, multiculturalism, evaluation, anti-racism policy.


First of all, it is important to give a definition of the term “institutional racism”ť. It may be found in the policy, practice, procedures and learning process in a number of institutions in different countries including Canada. Cases of racial harassment involving immigration authorities remain a question of discussion. They are often accused of racism towards ethnical minorities in Canada, and even the liberal immigration laws do not prevent the country from being called racist. Institutional racism is somewhat similar to systemic racism which deals with a number of social laws that cause discrimination of ethnical minorities in economic, political and social sphere. Cases of systemic racism may also be found in educational system of Canada when children are deprived of the right to receive education in certain institutions. (Needs proof)

Racism affects all spheres of life. It deals with discrimination and differential rights to participate in social and cultural spheres of life. People of Caribbean origin usually have a marginal position which is revealed through both educational and employment data. The involvement of individuals and groups in the life of the community is related to the position occupied by a person in social sphere including as well as certain privileges of a person. It is also related to the way a person is treated in the community. It is important for a person of Caribbean origin, for example, to receive respect from others. However, in modern conditions Caribbean people rarely get it. They are trying to achieve certain social acceptance and respect in order to avoid racism towards themselves. (Needs proof) In this regard as it is known, social acceptance is frequently related to two major issues: personal acceptance in social sphere and the level to which certain ethnical groups are accepted in the society which is revealed in the attitude of the country in general towards immigration and certain ethnical groups in particular.


People with Caribbean origin most often experience troubles with social acceptance and educational discrimination. This group belongs to those who are badly treated by laws and norms of immigration. According to the statistics, sixty percent of Caribbean people feel deprived in educational sphere (evidence????). The Caribbean origin group is more likely to be discriminated than the Chinese for example, although even thoughs(what is the word exactly?) the latter also experience certain problems in educational area. Unlike Ukrainians, the Caribbean ethnical group undergoes problems in almost all spheres including education. Discrimination is stated by nearly three-fourth the respondents (Elliott, 1983).

There are certain strategies which help Caribbean people to survive in the new society. These strategies help to create a sense of belonging to the new environment. As for educational institutions, there are a number of strategies that represent an attempt to organize support groups and certain associations which would help people to successfully overcome the adaptation process. The development of Caribbean culture in Canada also helps to deal with racism. Caribbean children studying at schools are also able to participate in various cultural activities.

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