Edited by Amy J. Ransom
BOUCHARD, GÃ‰RARD. Interculturalism: A View from
Quebec. Trans. Howard Scott. Toronto: University of Toronto
Press, 2015, Pp. 221. ISBN 978-1-4426-1584-7.
GÃ©rard Bouchard is a respected historian who served as co-chair of
the QuÃ©bec Commission on Accommodation Practices (commonly
known as the Bouchard-Taylor Commission). In Interculturalism: A View
from Quebec, he defends QuÃ©becâ€™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
In chapter 2, Bouchard discusses various components of QuÃ©bec
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 QuÃ©becâ€™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 QuÃ©bec (29â€“33).
Bouchard makes a strong case that identities and cultures are fluid
and warns against â€œa hardening of differences, identities, and cultural
boundariesâ€ that may marginalize certain groups (21â€“23).
Interculturalism favors policies that encourage a process of
integration based on reciprocity. Bouchard writes, â€œthe 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 institutionsâ€ (42). In practice, accommodations that
QuÃ©bec Studies, 61