Quebec Studies

Book Reviews: Social Science

Quebec Studies (1985), 3, (1), 240–249.


Book Reviews: Social Science GRIFFIN, ANNE. Quebec: The Challenge of Independence. Cranbury, New Jersey: Associated University Presses, 1984. Pp. 220. In sovereign states like Canada, the United Kingdom, Bel­ gium and Spain, one way to look at why numbers of people identify with secessionist territorial ethno-nationalist move­ ments is that they are displacing specific private motives (person­ ality needs) upon widely desired public objects. From such a perspective, identification with the stated goals of a secessionist movement depends upon how the personal frustrations of many unique individuals are symbolized in terms of a more all-embracing self. The nation, in the process of actualizing itself through acknowledgements of its right to statehood, is perceived as giving meaning to individual efforts to structure or restructure one's own life as well as being supportive of demands for redistribution of economic opportunity. Quebec: The Challenge of Independence begins with a very brief introduction by Andrew M. Greeley. He notes the persistence of memories of past injustices, the resurgence of territorial ethno-nationalist separatism even in many advanced industrialized societies, and the apparent irrelevance of liberal democratic solutions to problems engendered by cultural pluralism in such bi-communal settings as Québec, Belgium and Northern Ireland. The book is divided into 4 parts. Part 1, "The Situation stated," consists of 3 chapters. Taken together, these consti­ tute a highly readable synopsis of the political history of French Canada from 1534 to the adoption by Canada of the 1982 Constitution without Quebec's consent. Dr. Griffin asserts that the historical development of Québec has generated rational and objective causes of separation. These causes have been given different meanings by French-speaking Québécois indi­ viduals who subjectively interpret and/or selectively remember

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