Degree Year


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts




United States, Canada, Language


This thesis will examine the ways in which the national character of these two countries interacts with their histories of immigration and settlement. It will also examine the histories of language policy and debate in the two countries. I consider histories of immigration, nationalism, and language policy for each country, beginning with the United States and then Canada, and then examine the interaction between these factors within each nation. Finally, I compare and contrast the experiences of the US and Canada, examining their similarities and differences with respect to their experiences of the interplay between immigration, nationalism, and language. Benedict Anderson's concept of the nation relies on the idea of collective imagination as a way to feel connected to an entire body of people when an individual will never meet most of them. Canada and the United States provide a fascinating case study in the difficulties and intricacies of this process of imagining in nations with so many newcomers that the collective imagination is unsure of its boundaries.

Included in

Anthropology Commons