Book edited by John Biles, Meyer Burstein, and James Fridires, 2008.
Review by Jaylene Ellard in December 2008 Research Update


They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, so with my good judgment I would say that the cover, a finger-painted mosaic of colours alluding to Canada‟s variety of cultures, is a perfect match for the book.

Immigration and Integration is a collection of articles that address immigration and integration through the scope of politics, economics, culture and social spheres of Canadian society. There are three foundational principles that the editors stress are fundamental to recognize when dealing with immigration policy. The first is that immigration and the series of outcomes that are products of it represent a choice that Canadians made and have more or less adhered to for over a century. The second foundation of this collection is that all modern societies receive some form of migrants, not just because of lively immigration programs but also because they have made choices in other areas of domestic and foreign policy. Third and finally, after making such choices leading to a great deal of immigration, Canada has positioned the integration of immigrants as a “societal endeavor”. This endeavor is defined as a “two-way street” where it is both the responsibility of immigrants and current citizens to adapt to one another in order to ensure positive outcomes for the political, economic, cultural, and social spheres of society.

The book is divided into two parts: the first four chapters include recent research on controversies, debates, and assumptions about integration. Every chapter in this section includes recommendations and measures for evaluating the relative success of the “two way street” of Canadian immigration and integration.The second part of the book uncovers related information about immigration so that the reader may benefit from a greater understanding of integration in Canadian society. The five chapters highlight the ways in which integration can be understood as a societal venture. There are chapters on media coverage and public opinion polls that indicate that more education is needed surrounding immigration. Two chapters on integration policies suggest that better collaboration and coordination might lead to better integration outcomes.

This book is a wealth of knowledge on integration and im-migration. With the collaborative efforts of the editors, authors, and other advisors in the immigration, diversity, multiculturalism, and Canadian studies fields, this 278-page book provides the reader with not only knowledge, but ways to put that knowledge into action!


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