p.p1 political and social forces that had such a

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px ‘Times New Roman’} span.s1 {letter-spacing: 0.0px} span.s2 {font: 8.0px ‘Times New Roman’; letter-spacing: 0.0px} span.Apple-tab-span {white-space:pre}

As a former colonial nation, Canada has always feared the suppression of creating its own unique national identity through cultural imperialism. Following the First World War that fear was focused on what is now known as Americanization. The fear of American cultural imperialism throughout much of the 20th century drove Canadian elites and government officials to resist and fight against any form of cultural oppression or domination. Many of the historians that study this field have tended to focus their work on the legislative efforts within the government to preserve and promote a sovereign Canadian culture and identity. Yet official policy is only a small component of fighting cultural imperialism. Ultimately the consumption habits and preferences as of everyday Canadians has an equal effect in resisting Americanization. While recently historians have begun to look at micro factors within society to determine any possible effects of Americanization on everyday life. If the aim of resisting cultural imperialism is to create a unique national identity then who better to shape and dictate that direction then the Canadian citizens? 
In 1949, after investigating the state of arts and culture in Canada Prime Minister Louis St.Laurent created the Royal Commission on National Development in the Arts, Letters and Sciences. This commission is more commonly known as the Massey Commission. The Massey Commission advocated for the federal funding of a wide range of cultural activities and the creation of many federal agencies. The Massey Commission has generally been epitomized as the symbolic beginnings of the nurturing, preservation and promotion of an independent Canadian cultural identity. The Muses, The Masses, and The Massey Commission by Paul Litt published in 1992 examines the origins and activities of the Massey Commission. Litt places the book within the historical context of the time by presenting the political and social forces that had such a powerful influence on the Massey Commission. Using primary source documents from archival papers Litt purposes that the Commissions’ purpose was to act as a barometer for public opinion. Once the Commission interpreted the public’s opinion on potentially controversial issues the government could then chart the safest plan to move forward with. According to Litt, the most significant social factor exerting an influence on the commission was the liberal humanist ideology espoused by the commissioners and the cultural elite of the day. Litt uses documentation found in briefs submitted to the Commission as well as minutes of Commission meetings to explain the liberal humanist philosophy of the cultural lobby. These elites believed that a high standard of culture came in the form of education that led Canadians towards self-improvement, self-realization and intellectual freedom. For the Commission, this education was vital in order for Canadians to become responsible and informed citizens who would uphold the values of Western democracies. Litt details how these liberal elites intertwined their ideology and class biases to ensure that the average Canadian would still be able to access their newly created national identity and culture of high culture. It was fairly ingenious for the Massey Commission to bind the support of the new national culture with patriotism. By doing this the aim was to severely limit the influence of America on Canadian culture and quell fears over the Americanization of the Canadian national identity. 
  Zoe Druick also looks at the creation of a Canadian national identity through a social lens. In the article Remedy and Remediation: The Cultural Theory of the Massey Commission  Druick speaks on what goes into the creation of cultural policy. Druick argues that cultural policy is the site for both the management of a population through governmentality and thus a form of social engagement and reformation. Cultural policies are a fantastic point of contact between the government and civilians in terms of progressing social movements. Druick in much the same manner as Litt is extremely critical of the thinking and decision making be the liberal elites that influenced the Massey Commission. They both detail the alienation caused by the elites in their supposed creation of an improved Canadian citizen. Druick is critical of the liberal elite’s poorly counselled struggle to gain the power to dominate middle-class Canadians through the creation of a sovereign and unique national identity. The mission of these liberal elites on the Commission was to bring “civility” and “nobility” to the Canadian population. They viewed America as impressing their primitive values and beliefs on Canadians through their influence and domination over North American media at the time. This domination according to Commission members directly resulted in Canada falling behind the standards of many international cultures. This lead to the Commission suggesting that the government invest heavily in the creation, preservation and celebration of Canadian cultural infrastructures across the country. 
  The quest to provide domestic cultural material in a land as vast, heterogeneous, and under-populated as Canada is an ongoing economic and political challenge. The convenient and certainly more economic approach was to simply pluck from the cultural shelves of willing content providers like Great Britain and the United States.  Britain offered the comforts of tradition for many English speaking Canadians, while the United States was the exciting new bold face of modernity. In his piece Culturing Canada: The Massey Commission and the Broadcasting, Film and Arts Triumvirate Ryan Edwardson traces the evolution of Canada’s national cultural perspective. Edwardson observes how the overall objectives of Canadian content policies have developed and transitioned, even to the point of contradicting the goals of the early national cultural plan. Edwardson proposes that Canadian culture and the greater nation-building project has experienced three distinct phases: the 1951 Massey Commission vision of Canada, the new nationalism of the 1960s and 70s, and finally the Trudeau-initiated cultural industrialism. For each era, Edwardson examines the social mobilization and political impact of policies through his examination of Canadian government publications and minutes from various Massey Commission meetings. One of the major issues presented in the piece is his issue with how the Commission members were characterized. Edwardson does note that the Massey Commission showed much greater support for the CBC and an overall preference for the “high arts” yet dismisses the notion that the Massey era was dominated by liberal elites. He refers to them as “Anglophilic artsy long hairs” with no connection to the typical Canadians’ true cultural interests. Edwardson has great concern towards the protection of the everyday citizen from being exploited by the profit-seeking elites. He also explains that the population as a whole created and consumed culture and media that was in the best interest of shaping the national identity they envisioned. Edwardson informs us that, early on, governments were largely opposed to stepping in to support culture, but beginning in the latter two eras of Canadianization, culture becomes not only industrialized but fell under statization. For Edwardson, federal bureaucrats have come to occupy a dominant position in the creation of a national culture, especially since Trudeau’s interest in mobilizing culture against oppositional forces. For these bureaucrats what mattered most was the number of dollars being generated by the national identity. It is significant to note that while Vincent Massey worked towards Canada being recognized as a cultured civilization, the bureaucrats marked Canadian culture in terms of the number of international sales done by Canadian products. This points to a Canadian habitus that, for decades, has generated national self-esteem issues. 
Historically the self-esteem of Canadians is quite high as they take great pride in representing their nation. One of the most popular ways of displaying this pride and representing the nation is through sport. Canadians are fiercely competitive with much of the self-esteem of the nation tied to the performances of national teams. As technology advances and contributes to the increasing influences of globalization what influence will that play on Canadian sport and the role that it places in shaping the Canadian national identity? 
When speaking about sports in How Do We Find Our Own Voices in the “New World Order”? Bruce Kidd feels that “Americanization” is a much more useful term than “Globalization” in the Canadian context. Kidds begins by detailing how the practices of commercializing sports that have eroded local autonomy began as an explicitly American practice. Meanwhile, state subsidized American teams have flooded the Canadian market with American focused spectacles, images, and souvenirs. It is endicutive of the American capitalist hegemony that generally dominates both North American amateur and professional sports. Kidd reiterates how traditionally Canadians have turned to the government to protect cultural expression from the infiltration of American production, but that becomes increasingly difficult under neoconservatism and the regional trading blocs created by the 1989 Canada–United States Free Trade Agreement. Canadians will need new means to protect and strengthen the presentation and distribution of their own distinct sporting culture. 
Americanization has been an ever-present issue in Canadian sports. To this day nationalist condemn the saturation of the American sports culture and the American media practices that have penetrated into Canada. From athletics scholarships to high standing universities to NFL and NCAA saviours these are practices that are wholly American in origin. Kidd states that fears of colonization and a concern for autonomy runs throughout the history of Canadian sport. How can sports foster socially responsible, personal growth and community pride when outsiders determine the dominant meanings and forms of activities? When Canadian kids know more about college athletes in America than about players on their own national team is it not the time to evaluate the state of Canadian sports? 
There are many complexities when looking at the Americanization of Canadian sport.  Bruce Kidd reminds us that Canadian sports clubs and their supporters have often welcomed American coaches and athletes with open arms. Even continuing to cheer when outstanding Canadian athletes leave for sports careers in the United States. But there are others for whom nationalist feeling remains strong, particularly in the Olympic sports. He ties their sensitivity to American influence and domination to the longstanding ambition to tie sports development to nation building along national lines. 
John MacAloon wrote an essay called Popular Culture of Olympic Sport in Canada and the United States with a strong interest in the comparative study of Olympic sport across North America. MacAloon focuses on the discovery and analysis of patterned variation in the differences between American and Canadian sporting popular culture. He uses those patterns to contrast the familiar claims that homogenization is the distinctive feature of North American mass culture. One of the biggest points of contention comes from the general assumption that any similarities between the American and Canadian Olympic programs are a result of American cultural domination. Were, in fact, Canada has always been the more progressive and innovative of the two nations. MacAloon views the topic of popular culture as highly politicized in Canada because of nationalism and general fear of American domination, which leads to misconceptions about the United States and may obscure profound cultural differences. MacAloon’s central argument concerns the existence of profound differences between Canada and the United States in the sports-politics relation centring on the role of the state. He describes Canada’s Olympic sport system as “state-centred and state-driven,” with the federal government as the “leading institutional actor”. The Canadian government is largely and directly involved in Olympic sport, a fact that fails to penetrate American popular culture. Yet even with federal agencies detected to the promotion and growth of sports America still impresses its standards and values into Canada sports. Presently the character of Canadian sports is substantially influenced by the dynamics of the American sports media industry. Americanization reminds Canadians that the American sports behemoths and their networks have often used their economic power against what is widely perceived to be the best interests of Canadians. Americanization exerts a heavy burden on Canadian sports commentators by heavily restricting their ability to fashion meanings and activities in their own experience.  
For the Canadian government, there has always been an implicit and explicit concern with sports role in shaping a national identity. Unfortunately, despite its apparent significance within the Canadian social formation, sport as popular culture, has too often been lacking any serious scholarly analysis. A foreign culture such as America’s may be more progressive then Canada’s and that comes with great resistance to prevent them from dominating our own culture. Although that begs the question: To what extent should we value cultural autonomy in sports and other forms of culture? 
For many the border is not a cultural boundary at all. This is the approach taken by Victor Konrad in Border Culture: the Boundary Between Canada and the United States of America, and the Advancement of Borderlands Theory. Konrad details how in the current climate of globalization it is border culture that ultimately sustains commonalities in values and contributes to the sustained prosperity between bounded states.  Globalization has rendered some borders and barriers obsolete yet Konrad argues that in the case of the Canada-United States border it never represented a credible barrier to the growth and influence of American culture. Canadians have always been apart of the greater North American popular monoculture. As the great majority of Canadians are English speaking American entertainment was free to flow over the border because of Canada’s physical proximity, geography, population density and the lack of national media and broadcasts for much of the 20th century. When looking at the pervasive nature of American culture coming over the border Konrad states it would be misleading to simply call this the Americanization of Canadian culture. Consumers often take into account many different factors when deciding on which type of culture and media they wish to interact with. Many factors such as the greater availability and sheer quantity of American media does need to be accounted for. However, the Canada–United States Free Trade Agreement creates a cross-border free market society. In this situation, the driving forces for consumers when making purchases is personal preference and not a sense of nationalism. As the Canada-United States border becomes more symbolic in terms of protecting Canadian culture from American domination one must ask has the threat of Americanization not given way to a collective North American culture?
The historiography of American cultural imperialism and Canadian cultural sovereignty has shifted greatly over the 20th century and continues to transform in the 21st century. It has gone from a concerted effort of resisting all American influences on Canadian culture during the Massey era. Towards a sense of acceptance that some amalgamation is undeniable and a feeling that together North America is an influence on the rest of the world. Historians have always had an interest in understanding nationalism and of how that has shaped Canadian and American national identities. There is a great deal of analysis on the government’s effort, through policy and agencies, to create and protect a Canadian national identity. Although that typically just give a macro view of what goes into the shaping of a national identity. The recent practice of looking at micro factors within society such as the influences on sport allows for a richer understanding of how everyday Canadians have possibly been affected by Americanization. Governments can create all the legislation they want in an effort to manufacture a national identity and a sense of nationalism. Ultimately it is the desires, values and beliefs of the Canadian people that will organically meld into the nation’s true identity. 

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now