Kay Anderson’s Thinking “Postnationally”: Identity and Space in Canada and Australia.

Emma Neubauer


In this paper, I critique Kay Anderson's (2000) article "Thinking ‘Postnationally’: Dialogue across Multicultural, Indigenous, and Settler Spaces," which considers the politics of identity construction in the multicultural nation-state.  I argue that, by combining all immigrants into a category called "ethnic," Anderson is creating an arbitrary category that is essentially meaningless, as it implies that members of different backgrounds conceive of themselves in this manner.  I also suggest that Anderson's proposal of "postnational thinking" is both unrealistic and unlikely to address the problems she identifies in multicultural societies.  By extending Anderson's insights from Australian society to the Canadian context, I conclude that cross-cultural dialogue would best address the disenfranchisement of minorities in Canadian culture.

Full Text: