Globalisation, immigration, race and ethnicity are of much importance to sociologists and non-sociologists in similar methods, however, the past geographical perspective for the play out of economic development has long been of concern to sociological researchers.
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Though, Vancouver B.C. has developed as the typical or quintessential example of the social process through which cities develop. It is an extended social group of a unique cultural and economic organisation in urban North America. Presently, through the progression of locally developed strategies, Vancouver has, with broad awareness presented itself as a form of modern city-making.
Like the most realistic of dreams, the city is creating itself as a district beyond and different from the usual expected transformation of a modern society. Perhaps, constant phenomenal is in accordance with the current social theories of globalisation, immigration, as well as ethnic and gender development in the city.
Vancouver B.C has propagated a number of myths about itself. These well established myths are accepted in the public mind. Nevertheless, it is a city of paradoxes.
Critical analysis beyond the understandable and the reasons for Vancouver’s success seem more often to do with historical occurrence that might have been arranged even though it was an unplanned formulated realism.
Contrary to plan and expectation, Vancouver’s precise state of separation in addition to the relative deficiency in political and economic authority has meant that it was avoided by the worst of North America urban renewal. However, freeways system of transportation using trains to move passengers or freight and underground pedestrian systems, large shopping centers, big-box retail, and super curved dead-end boulevards represent the traditional street network.
Certainly, metropolitan Vancouver does have many of the symptoms of modern North American town planning, predominantly in its remote suburbs and bedroom communities where, in fact, the majority of its inhabitants live. On the other hand, there is a virtuous chain of sanitary around the large and densely populated urban area of Vancouver itself: almost no freeways break the rules of its municipal boundaries or violate the regular street grid and a sum of just two main shopping centers besmirches its environs (Millar 2006).
There is a convinced irony in America cities looking upon Canada to consider what the United States taught the public about city building. In the case of Vancouver, both Shaughnessy Heights and the British Properties were urbanised through the giants of American town planning. Vancouver has been what newcomers want it to be, the perennial immigrants’ city of the migration. Yet it is the dream city that has seduced the imagination of emigrants and visitors alike.
This research paper will discuss the role of one aspect of the phenomenon (Globalisation, immigration, race and ethnicity) in Vancouver, B. C. The paper will further explain the impact of geographical-regional inequality in addition to class polarisation, and function of the metropolitan city of Vancouver B.C. in the new global society.
Lastly, this research paper will assess how globalising forces impacts migration and social identities in Vancouver B.C.
- What are the sociological theories that best explains the local case of globalisation in Vancouver B.C?
- What are the fundamental characteristics of the world-system view of globalisation?
- What is Vancouver’s elemental DNA?
This research paper attempts to capture the fundamental nature of globalisation in the development and transformation of Vancouver as well as the sociological theory that best explains the local case. On the other hand, this research paper is not a clearly defined or formulated detailed and documented treatise of Vancouver’s urban geography and history of settlement (migration of people). Nor is it a wide-ranging review of the architectural tradition of the city.
Such theoretical accounts have already been well provided. The most important investigation of this paper is on an effort to understand the unique setting and urban forms that have shaped this young city and continue to influence its emerging development through globalisation. It is the selective focus on those evidences and characteristics that contribute towards deciphering the aspect of the phenomenon (Globalisation, immigration, race and ethnicity) that is present-day Vancouver.
Statistics of Vancouver B.C
Some vital statistics (Census Community Profiles 2006) to keep in mind in the beginning of this research are:
- Vancouver B.C has two million residents (Census Community Profiles 2006).
- Greater Vancouver is made up of twenty-one separate municipalities, and one electoral district, which together form the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD).
- The city of Vancouver B.C has around six hundred thousand inhabitants-approximately 30 percent of the total city populace.
- The land base of Greater Vancouver is 6571 km2 (2,537 square miles).
- The size of land fit for urban development is much less, only about 1441 km2 (556 square miles) because of protected ridge of land that splits two adjacent river systems; local, regional, provincial and national parks; agricultural land; forests and land that is too steep to develop.
History and Background of the City of Vancouver B.C
Vancouver is little more than a century old. Until about 1885, the only intimations of the future city were a factory, a church and some wooden houses in a clearing of the southern shore of an otherwise largely limited Burrard Inlet existed, though parts of the forest around the inlet had already been cut down.
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Though, the traditional and historical chronology approach seems ill-natured, if not absolute irrelevant to understanding the forces that have developed and continue to develop it. This timely urbanism, is match up to almost any other city in the urbanised world. Vancouver is also inseparable from its natural surroundings, and the chronicle of its urban form is about its setting and context as well as about the built content.
Elemental City of Vancouver
There is something truly elemental about Vancouver, a defining characteristic of place that only a few cities have and the principal geology from which Vancouver establishes its elemental essence can be put in this formula:
Latitude + coastal longitude + mountains = precipitation
To put it another way:
Temperature + prevailing ocean winds + vertical barrier = Pacific Northwest rain forest.
Almost everything about Vancouver springs from this detailed theory of environmental information: the freshness of the air, the flavor of the water, the light, the smells, the colors of the landscape, the food it cultivates and eats, the pure atmosphere and consequential lifestyle. This is Vancouver’s distinctive atmosphere, and, the city’s urban form is responding to these elements.
Vancouver as a terminus city
There is an edge quality that has described the development in Vancouver from its beginnings. In a statistically significant process, apart from the early maritime voyagers who alerted Europe to these shores, Vancouver was not colonised from the ocean but through the solid part of the earth’s surface, unlike superficially similar places such as Sydney. It is the last stop, not the beginning, of the current Canadian story.
Its birth as a city was as the western terminus of the transcontinental Canadian Pacific Railway. It is the final continental stop on a route beginning, metaphorically, in the British Isles, and, geographically, in the southern Patagonia, where the Pan-American Highway starts a route that finally runs out of maritime contact at Vancouver. Vancouver has always been the metropolis at the last part of the line terminal city.
Ethno-cultural portrait of Canada
This paper presents the ethno-cultural analysis representing the extent to which Canada at the beginning of the 21st Century presents a nation that has become progressively more multiethnic and multicultural. This description is diverse and differs from territory to territory, city to city, and community to community.
The movements of people to Canada over the precedent 100 years have formed Canada, with each new movement of immigrants adding to the nation’s ethnic and cultural composition. Half a century ago, most migrates came from Europe. Now most recent arrivals are from Asia.
As a result, the number of noticeable minorities in Canada is increasing. Moreover, Canadians registered more than 200 ethnic groups in puzzling out the 2001 Census question on ethnic lineage, reflecting a diverse, rich cultural pattern as the nation began the new millennium.
Globalisation in Vancouver
Social action these days are increasingly impervious to geographical national borders. As a result of this globalisation is not any one thing but is comprised of several interrelated economic, political, social, and cultural processes (Sklair 100).
By the same indication, globalisation processes are not driven by any universal or predetermined way. Further, as its name underscores, globalisation involves processes that span the whole world, the globe, and as such it is qualitatively different to the international relationships, migration patterns, and political communication that have long existed between countries.
Globalisation, as a result, necessitates a shift in sociological side from the tendency to think of society as simultaneous with, or happening within and between, definite geographical national territories. Even though, there is no sociological theory of globalisation in Vancouver B.C., different theoretical filaments help us to make analytical sense of what globalisation means for social change and societal processes in Vancouver.
Globalisation as the procedure of incorporating nations and people-politically, economically, and culturally- into better communities have shaped Vancouver B.C and this procedure are one which is not linear or incremental but “dynamic, transformational, and synergistic”.
Consequently just as Durkheim emphasised that society is greater than the sum of the individuals who are in it, globalisation should be perceived as being more than the cumulative sum of the Vancouver B.C. and the inhabitants comprising the city. It has its own certainty, and as such builds social processes and moral forces that cannot be reduced to the economic, political, or cultural actions in Vancouver B.C.
In Durkheimian terminology, globalisation represents an objective social fact with its own external and limiting force in society (though, evidently, this should translate globalisation as an independent of society or motivated by some unseen, non-societal force; rather it is formed by society and impacts other processes in society). As well as, further globalisation extends and impacts both macro and micro processes (Robertson 84).
What might be said to be synergistically new about globalisation in Vancouver B.C is the concurrent circulation and flow of people (migration); gender equality; and of information about all sorts of people.
Globalisation in Vancouver B.C. has changed the dynamics of social life across all societal globes. As briefly defined by Leslie Sklair, globalisation is “a system of organising social life across open state borders,” and as such gives rise to characteristically global practices and global cultural practices (8).
Immigration, race and ethnicity in Vancouver
Vancouver has been the scene of a different class of settlement by an ever-extending range of inhabitants and cultures, particularly Asians, because of its position on the Pacific Rim. It is a city of migrants. With respect to its inherent nature, it is becoming the social development of Canada, contributing to a new cultural anxiety, one that is much less focused on Europe and the Europeans.
Evidence of this cultural change is easy to discover in the metropolis’s pan-Asian union landscape and Asian festivals, in its contributing place as an area for the teaching of English as a second language and in its attractive ethnic marginal political strategy of taking undeviating action to achieve a political or social goal (Frary 2009).
The union of these two advance states, the physical and the cultural, offers the first evidence to clarify Vancouver’s developing urban structure.
Immigration and the Changing Culture of Vancouver
Throughout narrative description of past events, cities have been the dynamic midpoint of political, economic, and social transformation. Globalisation processes and the changes they create once again draws interest on the position of the city in society.
The “sharing of knowledge” via migration of people from a different culture is one of the major causes of cultural globalisation (Giddens 76). One way of thinking about the effect of the global sharing of race and ethnicity and of the culture it displaces, is the theory of global unification, introduced by Roland Robertson (1992).
He offered reasons and arguments: “Globalisation has to do with the act of changing location from one place to another as a whole in the direction of unification- meaning unity of the world as a single social and cultural place” (348).
In line with this, the region that would in due course become Vancouver was formerly populated by local people. These occupants were replaced by immigrants. The immense number of early colonial migrants came from Britain and Europe, but the Gold Rush of the middle of the nineteenth century and the building of the transcontinental railways in the 1860s and 1870s drew migrants from other parts of the globe, together with those from Indian and, most remarkably, Chinese ancestry.
The 1901 periodic count of the population announced that about 10 percent of Vancouver’s inhabitants were from Asia. The possibility, as a result of a favorable amalgamation of circumstances for immigration to Canada from Asian countries, was strictly reduced in the end of the nineteenth century and the mid-twentieth century. In the 1880s, an individual tax was forced on migrants from China, and the cost was gradually increased to decrease immigration.
This first effort to limit the ethnicity of migrants was succeeded by decrees that made it impossible to migrate from India to Vancouver B.C, and restrained the number of migrants from Japan.
In the 1920s, the Chinese individual tax was withdrawn in support of an absolute ban on this form of migration. However, the impact of this plan of action in Vancouver B.C. is worth mentioning. Early Chinese, Indian, and Japanese people of the same race and ethnicity began to increase in the years signifying the primary function that follows the main developmental change of the century in the city of Vancouver B.C.
Though, this natural disposition was limited by a new plan of action. At the same time as, the decrees restricting the capacity or freedom of action, as well as the ban of Asian migration were taking place, the federal government implemented strategies to draw migrants from Europe. As a result, the proportion of Asian group of people who differ ethnically or politically from the bigger populace to the Vancouver population dropped, plummeting from approximately 10 percent in 1901 to below 3 percent in 1941 (Hiebert 1999).
Undersized Chinese and Japanese enclosed territory that is culturally different from the unfamiliar territory that surrounds it continued to exist close to the city center, but the number of immigrants has drastically reduced in number, especially in considering the fast expanding European populace.
All through most of the twentieth century, Vancouver’s unknown and unpredictable phenomenon that causes the development of globalisation, immigration, race and ethnicity were directly linked with the resource of British Columbia. Furthermore, the city’s cultural masterpiece was distinctly European, Controlled or ruled by a British receptivity.
The changing context of the core-periphery world
A fairly large distinguishing quality of the worlds’ system perception is that it distinguishes and, in reality, requires transformation within a system. Although the world system is an autonomous and consistent system (Wallerstein 347), it also has its own internally created pressures and challenges.
The passing of time, population change of location and demographic movements, and (following Marx) the ever-present challenge that belongs in capitalist production diversely result in recurring shifts as to which internal structures and groups have more power than others (347).
The structure of the capitalist world system, therefore, Wallerstein argues, is not set once and for all time by some watershed events in history. Geographical boundaries can develop such that areas external to the system can be included into it, typically into new outside edge or semi-periphery areas (mostly, historically, as a result of colonisation of peripheral areas).
By the same token, some regions may change their role in the system. Wallerstein Immanuel stated that such core territories can become semi-peripheral and semi-peripheral ones marginal (Wallerstein 350).
Although core states have an advantage over others, their status is not assured across a long period, and they necessarily encounter challenges.
In conclusion, it will be observed that this is a process which is neither seamless nor apolitical, and which is characterised by considerable economic disparities between and within countries and regions. Sociologists underscore that economic globalisation proceeds in tandem with the expansion of the power of transnational corporations and create new forms of class stratification, characterised by substantial inter-class social and economic inequalities.
Clearly, globalisation is of much substantive interest to sociologist, because on the surface, at least, globalisation is transforming the process of change in the society and the assumption made about the changes.
Census 2006 Community Profiles. Vancouver, City and CMA”. Government of Canada. 2006. Print.
Frary, Mark. “Liveable Vancouver”. The Economist. 2009. Print.
Giddens, Anthony. The Consequences of Modernity. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1990. Print.
Hiebert, Dorothy. “Immigration and the Changing Social Geography of Greater Vancouver.” BC Studies 121 1999: 35-82.
Millar, Royce. “No freeways puts Vancouver on top”. The Age Melbourne. 2006. Print.
Robertson, Roland. Globalization: Social Theory and Global Culture. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE, 1992. Print.
Sklair, Leslie. Globalization: capitalism and its alternatives. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2002. Print.
Wallerstein, Immanuel. The Modern World-System I: Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World-Economy in the Sixteenth Century, With a New Prologue. London, England: University of California Press, 2011. Print.