Repertoires of Racism: Reactions to Jamaicans in the Okanagan Valley


  • Luis Aguiar University of British Columbia-Okanagan
  • Ann McKinnon Okanagan College
  • Dixon Sookraj University of British Columbia - Okanagan



blacks, Jamaicans, labour force, newspapers, Okanagan Valley, race and racism


In 2007-2008, 114 black Jamaicans students and 26 temporary migrant workers, also black and from Jamaica, arrived in the Okanagan via a recruitment initiative organized by Okanagan College, the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission (EDC) and the Jamaican Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MacNaull, 2 June 2007). The media coverage of their arrival reveals systematic "othering" and stereotyping. Through an analyzis of newspaper articles in the regional media, we interrogate how whiteness is constructed as colour-blindness, best expressed in the rhetoric of a racial-less individualism and entrepreneurialism in neoliberalism.

Author Biographies

Luis Aguiar, University of British Columbia-Okanagan

Dr. Luis Aguiar

Associate Professor, Sociology, University of British Colmbia, OKanagan

Kelowna, B.C.

Ann McKinnon, Okanagan College

Chair, Sociology and Women's Studies

Okanagan College

Kelowna, B.C.

Dixon Sookraj, University of British Columbia - Okanagan

Associate Professor, Social Work,

University of British Columbia, Okanagan

Kelowna, B.C.