The Antiochian Orthodox Syrians of Montreal, 1905-1980: An Historical Study of Cultural and Social Change Over Three Generations

Type of resource
Author/collaborator
Title
The Antiochian Orthodox Syrians of Montreal, 1905-1980: An Historical Study of Cultural and Social Change Over Three Generations
Abstract
Using the marriage registers of two Antiochian Orthodox churches, the author describes the Canadian assimilation of Montreal's Syrian Christian community over a period of three generations. The first Orthodox Christian Lebanese-Syrians arrived in Montreal in the early 1880s, but the origins of the first parish can be pinpointed to 1899 when Father Ephrem Dibs arrived as the new community's pastor. The author points out that this first-generation immigrants were characterized by cultural preservation and continuity. They established a vibrant ethnic community characterized by social and cultural traditions that were heavily influenced by religious, family, and hometown ties. The author explains that the second generation, having been born in North America, is characterized by cultural and social integration. Although largely still attached to its ethnic cultural roots, a Canadian identity had emerged among the second generation which mitigated against its full identification with Orthodox Syrian culture. However, this new self-consciousness is well integrated and produced a unique Syrian-Canadian identity. The third generation, in contrast, is characterized by cultural and social assimilation. Forces such as increased access to higher education, occupational diversification, as well as social and residential mobility, facilitated a process of assimilation among a majority of the third generation who by 1980 shared little in common with the pioneers who founded the Montreal community a century earlier.
Type
Master's Thesis
University
Concordia University
Place
Montreal
Date
1994
Language
en
URL
Citation
Marino, Norman. “The Antiochian Orthodox Syrians of Montreal, 1905-1980: An Historical Study of Cultural and Social Change Over Three Generations.” Master’s Thesis, Concordia University, 1994. http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/obj/thesescanada/vol2/QMG/TC-QMG-59.pdf.
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