Quebec’s Uninhabitable Community: Identity and Community among Anglo-Quebecer Out-Migrants

Type of resource
Quebec’s Uninhabitable Community: Identity and Community among Anglo-Quebecer Out-Migrants
The author asks: How do Anglo-Quebecers who have migrated to Ontario over the past 45 years perceive and negotiate their identity in relation to Quebec? Since 1971, 600 000 Anglophones have left Quebec for other parts of Canada. The author notes that this out-migration coincided with political tensions that influenced a complete economic and linguistic shift in power from English to French. The symbolic and literal reclamation of Quebec as a French province set the conditions for the partial erasure of the Quebec Anglophone (Anglo-Quebecer) community (group) and sense of identity. From a series of semi-structured interviews with Anglophones who left Quebec within the past 45 years, the author illustrates how Quebec’s monolingual French language ideology has created a sense of identity and community that is “uninhabitable” for many Anglo-Quebecers. The French nationalist discourse in Quebec no longer recognizes their presence and actively excludes their language. The out-migrants, he argues, are researchable as a community but are also not socially accepted or visible as one in their new broader society. Anglo-Quebecers who left the province continue to signal their differences from English-speaking Canadians (e.g. in Ontario) by displaying objects that reference their ties to Quebec, such as landscape paintings and sports memorabilia. He also points out that Anglo-Quebecers have become accustomed to avoidance relationships where specific objects can either evoke negative or positive feelings from others about Quebec. The author's study contributes to the broader research on Canadian linguistic minorities and decolonisation efforts in Quebec by focusing on the Anglo-Quebecers that migrated from the Montreal area to the Greater Toronto Area, where previous research has only focused on Anglophones still living in Quebec.
Master's Thesis
Western University
London, ON
# of Pages
Mardell, Evan A. “Quebec’s Uninhabitable Community: Identity and Community among Anglo-Quebecer Out-Migrants.” Master’s Thesis, Western University, 2021.
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