Over the course of the twentieth century, sequential waves of immigrants from Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Africa settled in the cities of the Canadian Prairies. In Immigrants in Prairie Cities, Royden Loewen and Gerald Friesen analyze the processes of cultural interaction and adaptation that unfolded in these urban centres and describe how this model of diversity has changed over time. The authors argue that intimate Prairie cities fostered a form of social diversity characterized by vibrant ethnic networks, continuously evolving ethnic identities, and boundary zones that facilitated intercultural contact and hybridity.
Impressive in scope, Immigrants in Prairie Cities spans the entire twentieth century, and encompasses personal testimonies, government perspectives, and even fictional narratives. This engaging work will appeal to both historians of the Canadian Prairies and those with a general interest in migration, cross-cultural exchange, and urban history.
‘Loewen and Friesen have made an original contribution to understanding the immigrant experience and laid the ground work for further studies. Scholars of immigration and ethnicity elsewhere will find this book valuable for comparative purposes and it will contribute to better understandings of multiculturalism.’
‘An excellent reflection on a regional expression of Canadian multiculturalism... academic prose at its best. ’
‘Loewen and Friesen are to be congratulated for offering a new image of the Prairies… This is a provocative book that should elicit the kind of “compelling…dialogue” that they argue has shaped the multicultural prairie city.’
‘Immigrants in Prairie Cities provides a state-of-the-art approach to the writing of both immigration and social history… A truly fine piece of work that will become required reading for all serious students, not just of Western Canadian, but of Canadian social history.’