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  • Author: Mira Sucharov
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: International relations has begun to take seriously the study of emotions, just as it has long acknowledged the role of collective memory in shaping politics. But the role of nostalgia as a potential driver of progressive political change has been little considered. This article engages the possibility of an ironic nostalgia for shoring up the multicultural project. Through examining the ironic potential in two contemporary popular Canadian cultural artefacts - Molson Canadian's 'I am Canadian' commercial and Douglas Coupland's Souvenir of Canada - the article suggests that assimilationist and separationist impulses may actually bolster the integrationist goals of multiculturalism. Contra nostalgia's critics, the article suggests that dominant groups in society may need emotional space to mourn a cognitively simpler past in order to embrace a more complex present.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, Multiculturalism
  • Political Geography: Canada