Protecting a Minority Culture in a Bilingual Society: The Impact on Canadian Society of Laws Restricting English Use in Quebec (68104)

Session Information:

Session: On Demand
Room: Virtual Video Presentation
Presentation Type:Virtual Presentation

This paper presents the historical context and development of language laws and related government cultural policies in Canada and examines the profound impact on Canadian society of laws restricting English use in the predominantly French-speaking province of Quebec. Landmark Canadian language laws are compared and the effects of such language laws on Canadian society, culture, education, business, politics, and immigration policy are examined. The numerous and significant linguistic, cultural, and political challenges faced by bilingual and multicultural Canadian society are compared with similar situations in other officially bilingual or multilingual countries and societies. The growing influence of English on the evolution of French spoken in Quebec is also addressed. To preserve its unique cultural identity and francophone society, the provincial Quebec government has sought to increase its autonomy from the federal government in a wide range of areas such as language policy and education, leading to political conflict of varying levels of intensity and duration with the federal government (Schnabel, 2022). Language is a fundamental expression of cultural identity in a society, and the disappearance of a language may lead to the extinction of a unique cultural identity. Predictions regarding the future development of language laws are made based on current and historical trends in government policy and on continuing changes in bilingual Canadian society.

Nathaniel Edwards, Yamaguchi National University, Japan

About the Presenter(s)
Dr Nathaniel Edwards is a University Associate Professor/Senior Lecturer at Yamaguchi National University in Japan

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00