Document Type

Article

Publication Date

September 2012

Publication Title

Crossings: Journal of Migration and Culture

First Page

33

Last Page

52

Keywords

difference, postcolonial condition, migrant experience and history, immigrant narratives, neo-liberal multiculturalism, racism

Abstract

This article approaches the study of incorporation of ‘visible minority’ immigrants in Peterborough, Canada by insisting on framing their experiences in the legacies of colonialism, racial and ethnic formations, and processes that spill over nation-bound discourses. It attempts to understand the postcolonial condition from the perspective of migrants inserting themselves in the West. Using a postcolonial lens on difference, immigrant narratives about experience of becoming settled in Canada are analysed as constructions of ethnic postcolonial resistance and accommodation. The article reveals how immigrants negotiate with being stigmatized as different. The agency of migrants is emphasized while paying attention to the discursive limits in the new space where they try to re-establish themselves. It explores how immigrants read into the inconsistencies of the Canadian multicultural story as their own experiences contradict it. Their challenge and counter-narratives are part of the reconstruction of migrant postcolonial history that allows them to normalize their presence in Canada and to suture their history to the Canadian one. Collective experiences and knowledge among immigrants in the local space are important in supporting their challenge to neo-liberal multicultural and exclusive national discourses.