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Engaging with Diversity

Multidisciplinary Reflections on Plurality from Quebec

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Edited By Stéphan Gervais, Raffaele Iacovino and Mary-Anne Poutanen

Contributed by leading scholars of Quebec Studies, both emerging and established, the 30 essays of this comprehensive collection offer a multidisciplinary survey of the study of diversity in Quebec over space and time. The volume is organized around a variety of themes through which Quebec’s plural reality is expressed, including conceptual, historical and contemporary approaches, covering a wide range of social and economic cleavages, identity markers, political contestation and, broadly, the lived experiences of Quebecers negotiating difference over time. In an environment increasingly demarcated by conflicts around values and cultural and social practices, this collection hopes to contribute to broadening the spectrum of voices to the current debate, adding an inclusive reflection to a conversation that has only intensified over the last decade. Quebec as a pluri-national and multi-ethnic society has been and remains a great laboratory to study and to test public policies on ethnic diversity. It allows us to identify the tensions and to evaluate the balance between the majority and the minority; and between settler society and indigenous nations, in conceptualizing and finding a normative consensus around the configuration of collective rights. In short, the contributions in this volume seek to illustrate how pluralism has and continues to constitute the lifeblood of belonging in Quebec.

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The Challenges of Citizenship Education in a Minority Nation (Raffaele Iacovino / Marc-André Éthier / David Lefrançois)

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The Challenges of Citizenship Education in a Minority Nation

Raffaele IACOVINO, Marc-André ÉTHIER, and David LEFRANÇOIS

In the contemporary age, states have come to privilege citizenship education for crafting formative projects consistent with the aims of social and political integration. Yet much is demanded of these sorts of explicit initiatives to delineate the contours of belonging, including the recognition and representation of multiple and overlapping manifestations of collective identity; the extent, forms and capacity for engagement and participation; the need to foster critical faculties and autonomy among individuals; and addressing citizen disengagement from formal political institutions. Indeed, with such an array of purposes attributed to citizenship, coupled with philosophical and pedagogical debates concerning education itself, it has become somewhat axiomatic to note that citizenship education is an essentially contested concept (Davies & Issitt, 2005; Gallie, 1955) that elicits passionate debates with regards to both methods and goals.1 ← 367 | 368 →

In addition to this list of challenges confronting citizenship education is the complexity associated with citizenship theory itself, outside of the sorts of considerations usually associated with education and political socialization. In terms of social and political integration, theorists and practitioners must now grapple with multiple sites of belonging, ranging from internal nations, consolidated nation-states, supranational communities, and global citizenship as an emerging field. Moreover, the complexity of political sociology within states has also emerged as a pressing concern, including the degree of recognition for cultural pluralism and religious freedoms;...

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