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Interculturalism: A View from Quebec

Translated by Howard Scott
Copyright Date: 2015
Pages: 224
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  • Book Info
    Book Description:

    Written by one of Quebec's leading public intellectuals and the co-chair of the Bouchard-Taylor Commission on reasonable accommodation,Interculturalismis the first clear and comprehensive statement in English of the intercultural approach to managing diversity.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-6910-9
    Subjects: History, Religion, Philosophy, Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. vii-x)
    Charles Taylor

    This book, by the Quebec sociologist and historian Gérard Bouchard, who was co-chair with me of the Quebec Commission on Accommodation Practices, marks an important milestone in the international discussion on how our increasingly diversified societies can become, or remain, both integrated and egalitarian.

    It is a book about interculturalism, the Quebec term for the range of policies that are aimed at achieving this goal.

    In the first place, cutting loose from the overheated and confused polemics around the two terms, it clarifies the distinction between interculturalism and multiculturalism, and shows why the first suits Quebec, the second the rest...

  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-2)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 3-9)

    Managing ethnocultural diversity is a challenge for all democratic nations.¹ This challenge can be summed up as follows: how can we arbitrate relationships between cultures in a way that ensures a future for the culture of the host society – that is, its history, its values, and its profound aspirations – and that at the same time accommodates diversity while respecting the rights of everyone, in particular the rights of immigrants and members of minorities, who, in this relationship, are usually the most vulnerable citizens? This has been, as we all know, one aspect of the enormous restructuring of modern societies that...

  6. 1 Conditions and Foundations of Quebec Interculturalism
    (pp. 10-27)

    This chapter presents the framework of a model for the management of diversity for Quebec. More specifically, it: (a) lists the conditions on which this model must be based; (b) reviews the contextual data that must be taken into account; and (c) outlines how it is constituted in terms of paradigms, that is, the area within which it is based compared to other models.

    I will quickly list the parameters that take priority. It would be useful to keep these in mind, because each of them has its own influence on the orientation and construction of the model.

    1. The...

  7. 2 Quebec Interculturalism: A Definition
    (pp. 28-59)

    In this chapter, I will briefly present my view of interculturalism, mainly from a Quebec perspective. In chapter 4, readers will also find important supplementary information (justifications, clarifications, responses to criticisms) that I have grouped separately to avoid overloading this overview.

    The model that in Quebec is now called interculturalism has been gradually developed over recent decades, at least in its essential elements. This evolution grew out of an increasing awareness of cultural diversity in Quebec starting around the middle of the twentieth century (G. Bouchard, 1990) and the increasing immigration during the 1960s to 1970s. But it particularly found...

  8. 3 Interculturalism and Multiculturalism
    (pp. 60-70)

    In the Quebec context, it is not possible to talk about interculturalism without broaching the subject of multiculturalism. I will therefore digress a bit to situate Quebec interculturalism in relationship to Canadian multiculturalism. I recall first of all that, for political reasons, all Quebec governments (federalist or not) have rejected multiculturalism since its adoption by the federal government in 1971.¹ This decision was in keeping with a tradition of thought that had been firmly established in Quebec’s political culture. Since the middle of the nineteenth century, Quebec francophones have fought for acceptance of a definition of Canada as being made...

  9. 4 Criticism and Defence of Interculturalism
    (pp. 71-115)

    Until the beginning of the 2000s, the reflection on interculturalism remained mainly the prerogative of experts, academics, and other intellectuals. But over the last decade, the theme has caught the attention of the media and the general public. Discontent over the practice of accommodations, which was accused of disregarding the fundamental values of Quebec, had a lot to do with this. But because of a few unpopular judgments made by the Supreme Court of Canada,¹ it is multiculturalism that has received the most criticism, so that interculturalism appears more than ever to be the alternative model for Quebec. The individuals...

  10. 5 For an Inclusive Secularism
    (pp. 116-137)

    In this chapter I present a proposal for a secular regime that I consider to be inclusive (following J. Baubérot, 2004, 2006) and that I see as inspired by the philosophy of interculturalism. But I want to point out at the outset that interculturalism can certainly accommodate many other concepts of secularism. The one that I am submitting for discussion is quite simply an extension of my vision of this model.

    I also want to express my disagreement with the opinion that reflections on secularism should be carried out independently of reflections on interculturalism, since these are two separate issues....

  11. Conclusion
    (pp. 138-148)

    For the various reasons outlined in the preceding chapters, interculturalism appears to be the model that best suits Quebec society, given its history, its situation, and its aspirations. There is, however, still a lot of work to be done to translate the spirit of the model into policies and original programs, in accordance with the stated objectives. Nonetheless, the outlook seems promising, not only for Quebec but for all societies where the ethnocultural realities are viewed through the lens of a majorityminorities relationship.

    As a form of integrative pluralism, interculturalism places its faith in democracy, that is, in the capacity...

  12. Afterword
    (pp. 149-154)

    This book had already been written when the governing Parti Québécois released its proposal for a charter of Quebec values. This initiative requires a few comments since, being related to intercultural issues, it is expected to bear heavily on the relationship between the francophone majority and the ethnocultural minorities in Quebec.

    The proposed charter announced on 10 September 2013 had three components: first, an official definition of the principles of a secular regime for Quebec (e.g., separation of state and religion); second, changes in the practice of religious and cultural accommodations; and third, a requirement that government employees (including those...

  13. Notes
    (pp. 155-180)
  14. References
    (pp. 181-208)
  15. Index
    (pp. 209-221)