Women, race and assimilation: the canadianizing 1920s

John M. MacKenzie

in Female Imperialism and National Identity

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print December 2002 | ISBN: 9780719063909
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700396 | DOI:
Women, race and assimilation: the canadianizing 1920s

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The chapter discusses the growing importance of ‘canadianisation’ during the 1920s, at which time the IODE was heavily involved with immigration and the canadianisation of immigrants. As canadianisation was based upon mimicking Britain as much as possible, British people were considered the easiest to canadianise. It was the IODE members' place to attempt assimilation in the homes of ‘foreigners’, this being considered ‘women's work’. As female imperialists, they used techniques familiar to those of other patriotic organisations around the Empire, promoting the English language and an imperial curriculum at every opportunity. Furthermore, the standards the IODE applied in rural areas reflected the urban aspirations of its members, and were often based on theories far removed from the realities of lived experience. It was with a great sense of citizenly mission that the IODE attempted to influence immigration and the subsequent life of immigrants.

Keywords: women; race; assimilation; immigration; canadianisation; female imperialists; patriotic organisations

Chapter.  9102 words. 

Subjects: Colonialism and Imperialism

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