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Language, Identity and Migration

Voices from Transnational Speakers and Communities


Edited By Vera Regan, Chloé Diskin and Jennifer Martyn

This volume presents a collection of the latest scholarly research on language, migration and identity. In a globalised world where migratory patterns are in constant flux, the traditional notion of the ‘immigrant’ has shifted to include more fluid perspectives of the migrant as a transnational and the language learner as a complex individual possessing a range of dynamic social and contextual identities. This book presents a variety of studies of transnational speakers and communities. It includes research conducted within both established and emerging methodological traditions and frameworks and explores a wide range of contexts and geographical locations, from the multilingual language classroom to the migrant experience, and from Ireland to Eritrea.

This book was published with the generous support of the National University of Ireland Publications Scheme.
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Ruth Kircher - 9 Montreal’s Multilingual Migrants: Social Identities and Language Attitudes After the Proposition of the Quebec Charter of Values


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9 Montreal’s Multilingual Migrants: Social Identities and Language Attitudes After the Proposition of the Quebec Charter of Values*


Previous research by the author showed that at the beginning of the twenty-first century, multilingual migrants in Quebec’s urban centre, Montreal, shared the same attitudinal trends as the city’s non-migrants – most likely as a result of their shared civic identity. However, these findings originate from a time at which the provincial government was strongly propagating a civic (rather than an ethnic) national identity. Then, in 2013, the provincial government proposed the Quebec Charter of Values, a bill putting forward the prohibition of religious symbols in the public sector. The Charter caused much controversy and was seen by many migrants as an act of ethnocentrism. In this chapter, Ruth Kircher presents the findings of a new, questionnaire-based study that investigates whether the Charter has caused changes in first- and second-generation immigrants’ social identities and in their attitudes towards French, the province’s official language, compared to English, the primary language of the rest of Canada and North America at large.

1. Introduction

‘International migration is a global phenomenon that is growing in scope, complexity and impact. Migration is […] an intrinsic feature of our ever globalizing world’ (United Nations ND). Almost every country on earth is ← 217 | 218 → affected by migration and in addition to its many positive consequences – including its contribution to economic growth and the enrichment of...

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