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The Canadian Mosaic vs. The American Melting Pot. Two different concepts dealing with the phenomenon how to integrate new immigrants

Essay 2013 7 Seiten

Amerikanistik - Kultur und Landeskunde


Table of Content


Concepts and principles




Over the last decade, the Canadian mosaic and the American melting pot have emerged in North American as concepts to explain Canada’s and America’s angle towards immigration and cultural pluralism. While many Canadians view the American melting pot as the total opposite of the mosaic, the two ideologies have much in common while examining the everyday realities of cultural pluralism in North America.[1]

In the following my intension is to illustrate on which concepts both immigration policies are based on, under which circumstances immigrants are allowed to move to the US and Canada by comparing the two immigration procedures, what the distinctive features between them are and in how far they are able to keep their promises towards new immigrants by looking at critics.

Concepts and principles

“All citizens, regardless of their backgrounds, are free to keep and promote their cultural heritage while fully participating in Canadian society.”[2] This is how the principles of the mosaic are often represented and describes as. The term mosaic got first introduced by the Canadian author John Murray Gibbon when he published the correspondent book “Canadian Mosaic” in 1938.[3] Canadians are tolerant and open minded when it comes to foreign born fellow citizens. They see the cultural differences within their country as valuable and a chance to strengthen the nation.

The term melting pot got its name after the first performance of a play called ‘The Melting Pot’ by the immigrant Israel Zangwill in Washington DC in 1908.[4] His idea of the melting pot was referring to all the European immigrants, mainly Germans, Irish, French and Jews, who arrived in America in great numbers in the beginning of the 20th century. These immigrants were marked as ‘model’ immigrants because they were successful workers, not included were African Americans and Native Americans. The main strength of the melting pot concept is that both Americans and immigrants are united within one American culture.

In 1967 Canada introduced the so called Point- System to make the system of immigration fairer by using an objective standard. Over the past decades, the Point- System has been adjusted by the government to ensure that “the immigrants who best meet Canada’s economic needs are chosen.”[5] Special emphasis is given to the sections ‘language skills’ and ‘work qualifications’. Usually, in urban areas like Toronto or Vancouver applicants need to score more points than immigrants who want to move to rural areas like New Brunswick or New Foundland.[6] In 2012 ca. 240,000 new permanent residences were accepted to Canada. The United States ‘chose’ their applicants differently. Categorized by their aim to immigrate, applicants whether belong to Family-Based Immigration, Employment- Based Immigration or to Refugees and Asylum-Seeker.[7] The Family-Based Immigration has basically no limited visas whereas the other categories have a limited number of visas per year. In general, the United States accept ca. 675,000 new permanent residences per year maximum. According to federal statistics by the Star, a local newspaper in Toronto, the immigrant rejection rate went from 1,4% in 2006 to 3,5% in 2010 which is due to a new test launched by the federal government in 2010.[8] In general, the rejection rate in the US is higher than in Canada but also increased within the past five years.[9]


[1] Bryce, Benjamin: “The Mosaic vs. the Melting Pot? A Roundtable and Podcast” Activehistory. 23 November 2012. Web. 25 May 2013.

[2] Rougier, Henri: “Espaces et Régions du Canada.” Paris: Ellipses, 1994. Print.

[3] Pincoe, Ruth: “Gibbon, John Murray.” The Canadian Encyclopaedia. 2012. Web. 5 June 2013.

[4] Jarrahi, Elaheh: “The Concept of Melting Pot as an American Identity.” Ezinarticles. 27 December 2007. Web. 25 May 2013.


[6] Ibid.,


[8] Kenung, Nicholas: “Canadian Citizenship rejections have more than doubled since 2006.” The Star. 15 March 2012. Web. 6 June 2013.

[9] Levinson, Alexis: “Visa rejection rate for skilled workers skyrockets, hurting business.” The Daily Caller. 29 February 2012. Web. 6 June 2013.


ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Buch)
403 KB
Institution / Hochschule
Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
Canada America Melting Pot Canadian Mosaic Integration Immigration



Titel: The Canadian Mosaic vs. The American Melting Pot. Two different concepts dealing with the phenomenon how to integrate new immigrants