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Two and a Half Solitudes: Shared Language Versus Shared Geography in the National Capital Region

Two and a Half Solitudes: Shared Language Versus Shared Geography in the National Capital Region

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Published by Roberta Pennington

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Roberta Pennington on Oct 22, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/31/2014

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 JackJedwabOctober2012
 
 
Doesthepossessionofacommonlanguagetrumpgeographywhenitcomestoissuesofidentity,intergrouprelationsandperceptionsabouttheconditionofminority?RarelyisthequestionsubjectedtoabettertestthanintheCanada’sNationalCapitalRegion wherefrancophonesliveinrelativelycloseproximityacrosstheQuebecandOntarioborderswhereinformertheFrenchlanguagepopulationrepresentsthemajorityinGatineau,QuebecandtheminorityintheOttawa,Ontario.VeryoftenseparatedgeographicallybyonlyafewkilometresfrancophonesoneithersideoftheOntario/Quebecborderliveunderdifferentlegislativeregimeswhenitcomestolanguage.Notonlydoesthelegislationdifferbutthemessagedirectedtowardslanguagecommunitiesisalsodifferentandthisisalsothecaseforimmigrantsandethnicminoritiesasregardstheirrespectiveprocessofadaptation.ThedegreeofcommutingbetweenthegroupsacrosstheprovincialbordermakesperhapsforthemostmixedofmessageswhenitcomestoissuesoflanguageandculturaldiversityanditalsogivesrisetodivergentperceptionsaroundtheconditionandpresenceofEnglishandFrenchrespectivelydependingonwhereoneresidesandhowtheyunderstandtheirsurroundingenvironment.Doesasharedlanguagetrumpgeographywhenitcomestotheperceptionsoffrancophonesonopposedsidesoftheprovincialborder?Asweshallobserveitdoesonmattersofnationalidentityaswellasonlanguageissuesbuttoalesserdegree.ThestudyisimportantnotonlyasanexampleofhowminoritiesandmajoritiesshareacommonspacebutalsointheCanadiancontextoverhowwellbilingualismworksinthecapitalpartofthecountrywhichineffectpossessessymbolicimportancefortherestofthecountryasregardstheimportanceofofficiallanguages.
 
 
ThesurveywasconductedviawebpanelbythefirmLegerMarketingfortheAssociationforCanadianStudies.Some627respondentsweresurveyedintheNationalCapitalRegionwithsome350anglophonesontheOntariosideoftheNationalCapitalRegion,100francophonesontheOntariosideoftheNCRand150francophonesontheQuebecsideoftheNCR.ThesurveywasconductedinthefirstweekofJuly,2012. Asitwasconductedviathewebpanel,themarginoferrorisprobabilisticandthusanequivalenttelephonesurveydoneinthenationalcapitalregionwouldhaveamarginoferrorof5.9points9timesoutoften.

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