Quebec Studies

Book Reviews

Quebec Studies (2016), 61, (1), 187–200.

Abstract

Book Reviews Edited by Amy J. Ransom Book Reviews BOUCHARD, GÉRARD. Interculturalism: A View from Quebec. Trans. Howard Scott. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2015, Pp. 221. ISBN 978-1-4426-1584-7. Gérard Bouchard is a respected historian who served as co-chair of the Québec Commission on Accommodation Practices (commonly known as the Bouchard-Taylor Commission). In Interculturalism: A View from Quebec, he defends Québec’s model for integrating immigrants. Interculturalism, according to Bouchard, avoids the problems of French republicanism, where the dominant group fails to recognize minority cultures, resulting in the marginalization of minority groups (105), and Canadian multiculturalism, which fails to recognize the existence of a majority culture and results in fragmentation instead of integration (61). In chapter 2, Bouchard discusses various components of Québec interculturalism, such as respect for fundamental values (including democracy, equality between men and women, and secularism), the promotion of French as the main language of civic life, recognition of Québec’s diversity, an emphasis on integration, the promotion of interactions and intercultural exchanges, and the development of a shared public culture and sense of belonging to Québec (29–33). Bouchard makes a strong case that identities and cultures are fluid and warns against “a hardening of differences, identities, and cultural boundaries” that may marginalize certain groups (21–23). Interculturalism favors policies that encourage a process of integration based on reciprocity. Bouchard writes, “the host society, in various ways, should facilitate the integration and adaptation of immigrants. In return, immigrants agree to comply with the fundamental values and rules that govern the host society, and to adapt to its institutions” (42). In practice, accommodations that Québec Studies, 61 doi:10.3828/qs.2016.11

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Author details

, Scott Piroth

, Caroline-Isabelle Caron

, Kevin J. Christiano

, Leslie Choquette

, Amy J. Ransom