L’identité ethnique chez les jeunes Montréalais d’origine immigrée

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L’identité ethnique chez les jeunes Montréalais d’origine immigrée
The author’s research concerns the ethnic identity of 80 Montreal youths (18 to 22 years of age) of immigrant parentage, 20 each of Greek, Portuguese, Chilean and Salvadoran background. Only the Greek youths were born in Canada, the rest came as immigrants with their parents. The author notes that despite the questioning of notions of ethnicity and ethnic identity that has been going on for several decades, this area of research is still marked by essentialist perspectives that do not coincide with the results of her research. The author found that the young people she interviewed express fluid ethnic identities that are characterised by multiple forms of ethnic belonging. They present their ethnic identity as a source of enrichment rather than of conflicts or feelings of inferiority. She found that the Greek and Portuguese youths were trilingual (English, French and ethnic language), but the Greek youths used English more often, for example, speaking English with their siblings but Greek with their parents. On the other extreme, the Salvadoran youths, who arrived in Canada when they were 14 or 15 years of age, did not speak any English and only learned French after arriving in Quebec. Her research examines these results considering contextual factors related to the Montreal milieu as well as to the age group of those interviewed. The author concludes that, without minimising these factors, one must question the conceptualisation of ethnic identity especially as it concerns youth of immigrant origins.
Sociologie et sociétés
Vol. 24
no. 2
Automne 1992
Meintel, Deirdre. “L’identité ethnique chez les jeunes Montréalais d’origine immigrée.” Sociologie et sociétés Vol. 24, no. 2 (Automne 1992): 73–89.
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