Historically, Canada has been subjected to various cultures such as that of the British and the French. From as early the 1500s, European explorers, traders, and fishermen from England, Ireland and France helped form the basis of Canadian culture. Now in the modern era, there is another addition in the list of cultural influences affecting the Canadian society. This cultural treat comes in the form of the contemporary American culture.
American influence is clearly visible but not fully acknowledge by most Canadians. Several people think that this is an implied disposition but there is also a great number who believe that this is explicitly manifested in the Canadian culture. Proximity and the migration of people, ideas, and capital were deemed to be the cause of America’s immense influence on Canadians (Canada culture). This study aims to uncover the predicament of the Canadian culture in relation to being associated to the American Culture.
Public perception of the United States as a global powerhouse in politics, economics and culture has produced a very potent American culture wherein in this case, Canadians have unconsciously embraced it as demonstrated in their fondness for Hollywood, U. S. landscapes and American vernacular (Kellogg, 2004). Determining the starting point, extent and effect of the American influence on Canadian culture will provide an ample amount of information that would explore the ways in which American influences have challenged Canada's cultural values and asks whether Canada is able to maintain its own identity.
Moreover, this study will concentrate on the history of both American and Canadian cultures in order to have a better understanding of the forces that molded these cultures. With that information at hand, the next step would be tracking down the factors that instigated the entry of American influences to Canadian culture to be able to pinpoint the cause of Canada’s current cultural dilemma. More so, identifying the extent or scope of the American influence in the society, politics, economy and the arts of Canada will measure the impact that it brought forth in the Canadian culture.
According to some scholars, Canada have developed Canadian ethnophobia in which it shows a deep-seated parochialism which basically implies that anything homegrown is considered as second-class or inferior (McGregor). The United States has many contributions on the development of Canada as a nation. These two countries even share the longest undefended border in the world. There was also an incident wherein a popular American television comedy program branded Canada as "America, Junior. " This was later on debunk by a writer who described the national differences of Canada and United States as "more real than apparent (Blackwell&Blackwell).
" Finally, discerning the effects of the American culture on Canada and its citizens will provide the essential information needed in determining whether the American culture and its cultural products were able to affect the cultural values of Canadians. A lot of people have observed that the eminent American cultural presence in Canada has prompted some fears of a "cultural takeover," which led the Canadian government to draft laws and policies to protect Canadian culture. In opposition of this remark, Canadians believe that they have increasingly distinguished themselves from the U. S. as more socially liberal while still being fiscally conservative (Canada culture).
For the scope of the study, data will be gathered from highly urbanized areas such as Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto because outputs that will be derived will provide the necessary information in determining the extent and effects of the American culture to the Canadian culture (Statistics Canada, 2001). The term urban is defined by the researcher as a highly developed place where there is an elevated rate of interaction among the people residing in the above mentioned areas.
The researcher prefers to study these urbanized areas because these locations are most likely more expose and have more access to foreign cultures. The period covered would start from post-modern era to present. The time frame relatively represents the age of globalization when culture is intensified and amplified to meet the clamor for innovations. Generally, Post modernism is a movement of ideas arising from, but also critical of elements of modernism. This definition embodies the present state of the American culture. It was also noted that during this period, Canada experienced some cultural changes (McGregor).
In order to provide the information needed in resolving the predicament of the Canadian culture in relation to being associated to the American Culture. The researcher will utilize a holistic approach on the matter. Based on the understanding of Gaile McGregor on The Beaver Bites Back edited by David Flaherty and Frank Manning, Canadians are seemingly aware of the American influences in their culture. However, Canadians strong believe that the American culture is just a part of their culture but does not represent the whole identity of Canada (McGregor). This situation can be surmised as a cultural change.
Culture change is complex and has far-ranging effects. Professionals such as sociologists and anthropologists believe that using a holistic approach to the study of cultures and their environment is essential in comprehending all the various aspects of change. Human existence may be looked at as a “multifaceted whole. ” Only from this vantage can one grasp the realities of culture change (O'Neil 2006). Understanding this concept will provide key inputs that will solve the main problem of this study which is knowing the reason why Canadian culture is closely associated with the American culture.