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As a result, most understandings of Canadian identity have alternated between the extremes of unity and plurality, emphasizing either a vision of "one" Canada or a fragmented nation of "many" Canadas. A more recent, postmodernist view conceives of it as marked by a paradoxical combination of both unity and plurality, together. Another approach moves in between, rather than combining these two extremes, by viewing Canada as a more-or-less cohesive community characterized by what the philosopher called "deep diversity."
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That said, the civic or political conception of Canada recognizes that the country contains many other kinds of community, including the national. As a result, those who advocate this approach tend to describe Canada as "multinational" or as forming a "nations-state." And though they call on its citizens to try and converse rather than negotiate their conflicts, negotiation is accepted as often unavoidable.