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Le Canada : un pays divers

La diversité culturelle au Canada vue par Jean-Michel Lacroix

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Hélène Harter and Serge Jaumain

À l’heure où les Européens s’interrogent sur les réponses à apporter à l’intensification des flux migratoires, le Canada où la gestion de l’immigration et de la diversité culturelle occupe une place centrale dans la vie intellectuelle et politique depuis les années 1960 attire l’attention de nombreux observateurs.
Saisir la complexité et la richesse de ces débats, nécessite une étude fine de l’évolution de la société canadienne. Qui de mieux que Jean-Michel Lacroix pouvait livrer cette analyse ?
Ce « canadianiste » internationalement reconnu, pionnier des études canadiennes tant en France qu’au niveau international a publié pendant une trentaine d’année des textes de référence sur les questions d’immigration et de multiculturalisme. Hélène Harter et Serge Jaumain ont choisi de réunir ici une sélection de ses articles qui restent d’une étonnante actualité et permettent de suivre l’évolution d’une pensée originale bien loin des clichés et autres idées reçues sur la réalité canadienne.
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The Limits of Identity or an Identity without Limits? Can There Be a New Canada/Quanada partnership? (2005)

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The Limits of Identity or an Identity without Limits?

Can There Be a New Canada/Quanada partnership? (2005)1

The classical opposition between the American “melting pot” and the Canadian “mosaic” can doubtless be proven false if we look closely at the changes over the years in how these two North American countries have and have not integrated immigrants into mainstream society. However, although the contrast between Canada and the United States is in reality less sharp than some have claimed, Canadian society has a distinctive way of accommodating others, and in this sense it is truly quite another America. This essay will focus first on the characteristics of Canada’s multicultural society and then will proceed to discuss the issue of cultural diversity in relation to national unity2.

Characteristics of Canada’s multicultural society

To begin with, I would like to make a few general remarks in order to dispel some mistaken or stereotyped notions about Canada. The first one concerns the changing nature of Canada’s ethnic composition. The group of “other nationalities”, called successively Neo-Canadians, “third group” and “third force”, represented only 8% the population in 1867. However, since 1981 it has accounted for one third of the total population, thus fully deserving its name. In terms of numbers, this group even threatens the relative weight of the “French”3, no longer the second group: in 1991, the ← 249 | 250 → “others” comprised 31% of the total population, the English 46%, and the French...

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