Rhetorical Analysis: “Birth of New Ethnicity”
Over years, communities and countries experience social change, and Canada is no exception. Although the change may be hard to see, various aspects of the country’s social life have undoubtedly been transformed in the recent decades. Matthew Mendelsohn delves into the changes that Canada has experienced, especially in matters of immigration and multiculturalism. He seeks to show that the country has embraced a new ethnicity.
The author begins by highlighting some of the factors that make young Canadians proud including the ability to coexist peacefully with persons of different cultural backgrounds. He also shows how the people’s perceptions towards immigrants have changed. While many Canadians resisted the entry of Jews in 1940s, they opposed the immigration of non-whites in the 1960s. Today, over 80% of the young people believe that immigrants have a positive impact on their country. Ethnic differences do not prevent the young from dating, or marrying. In fact, in the 2001 census, 39% of Canadians identified themselves as ‘just Canadian’ when asked about their ancestral background.
Mendelsohn mainly appeals to logos to strengthen the credibility of his arguments. He includes statistics and facts that point to the social change in Canada. For example, he states,
“In surveys in France, Britain, Italy, the United States, and other countries, anywhere from 30 to 50 per cent of people say that relations between different ethnic groups are a big problem; in Canada, just 12 per cent say this,” (Mendelsohn, 2009).
He goes on to mention the Charter of Rights and Freedoms which was established to promote unity among Canadians and its impact in the emergence of a new ethnicity. By stating such facts, Mendelsohn enables the reader to understand the current situation in Canada. He concludes buy showing that the new ethnicity is not only a preserve of the Canadian youth but also the children of immigrants who share similar values.