UC Berkeley Professor Irene Bloemraad to deliver special lecture at Glendon on Feb. 22

Irene Bloemraad
Irene Bloemraad

University of California, Berkeley, Sociology Professor Irene Bloemraad will give a talk at Glendon on Feb. 22, from 2 to 4pm in the BMO Conference Centre.  Titled “Unity out of Diversity or Utter Failure? Debating and Evaluating Policies of Multiculturalism and Immigration,” the talk will draw upon Bloemraad’s internationally recognized expertise, which is focused on the nexus between immigration, politics and national identities.

Bloemraad’s talk will assess the attacks on “multiculturalism” by political decision-makers and commentators in immigrant-receiving countries, as well as the academic debate. She asks: Can immigrant-generated diversity lead to unity, or are we fated for fragmentation? Synthesizing across a number of published studies, she will evaluate whether policies that recognize and accommodate ethno-racial and religious diversity help or hurt integration.

Among Bloemraad’s many publications is Becoming a Citizen: Incorporating Immigrants and Refugees in the United States and Canada, which examines immigrants’ acquisition of citizenship and political participation in the United States and Canada, comparing the impact of government settlement and multiculturalism policies. Her current projects examine the link between immigration-driven diversity and public-minded engagement, the visibility and influence of immigrant organizations, and the political socialization of immigrants and their native-born children.

The Thomas Garden Barnes Chair of Canadian Studies at Berkeley, Bloemraad received her PhD in Sociology from Harvard University. She is a Senior Fellow with the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.

Bloemraad’s talk will help to set the stage for an international conference Cultural Diversity and Liberal Democracy: Models, Policies & Practices, which will take place at York University’s Glendon campus on April 19 and 20.  Organized by the Glendon School of Public & International Affairs, the conference will feature keynote addresses by Danielle Juteau (Université de Montréal), David Miller (Oxford), Alan Patten (Princeton) and Ratna Omidvar (Global Diversity Exchange, Ryerson University).  More than 30 scholars and researchers from Canada, the United States and Europe, will present reports on their research.