Identity Construction in Canada's Linguistic Minority Youth: Moving Toward Hybridity?

Drolet, Marie; Isabelle, Arcand; Marie-Claude, Guay
August 2010
International Journal of the Humanities;2010, Vol. 8 Issue 5, p151
Academic Journal
Canada's French linguistic minority faces major challenges in constructing its cultural identity. Its traditional, uniform cultural perspective does not match the experiences of its youth in the context of diversity. This study attempts to explore challenges faced by francophone minority youth in Canada in terms of identity construction (Hogg & Adams, 2003; Tajfel & Turner, 1986). The first stage, conducted in 2007, involved 20 qualitative interviews with school personnel and social workers recruited from social services and French high schools in Eastern Ontario. The second stage (2009) consisted of 18 qualitative interviews with students attending some of the same schools (n=12) and their parents (n=6). Deductive and inductive analysis (Huberman & Miles, 1991) of the transcripts suggests the different stakeholders have contrasting views of how francophone youth perceive their cultural identity, suggesting a clear intergenerational gap. Bilingualism, which has become an identity factor for minority youth, may be viewed as the process of building a hybrid identity (Nilan & Feixa, 2006). This perspective highlights young people's desire to be open to plural worlds and to interact in our ever-changing societies with a constructive vision of cultural globalization.


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