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  #181  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 4:47 PM
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Is it? That's a new one to me.
Well, both Capsicum and I have brought it up (as have others), and we're from completely different horizons, so...
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  #182  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 5:33 PM
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Well, both Capsicum and I have brought it up (as have others), and we're from completely different horizons, so...
I guess I'd need a better explanation of what "pick from the best the world has to offer in terms of culture" means in practice, and how that would be different with/without a multicultural society, particularly in the contemporary globalized reality. The only obvious example I can think of it the range of food choices available to us today, but even those would be more dependent on immigration patterns than on multiculturalism per se.
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  #183  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 5:53 PM
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I guess I'd need a better explanation of what "pick from the best the world has to offer in terms of culture" means in practice, and how that would be different with/without a multicultural society, particularly in the contemporary globalized reality. The only obvious example I can think of it the range of food choices available to us today, but even those would be more dependent on immigration patterns than on multiculturalism per se.
If I may clarify, what I meant is that the usual standard response to the age-old question of why (Anglo-)Canadians aren't more interested in their own cultural stuff - compared to people in Quebec and other people in the world - is that they have a wider global view of things that extends beyond the narrow prism of their country's borders. There is a virtuous angle to this.

It gives the impression that people are more into, say, viewing the films from around the world nominated for the Palme d'Or at Cannes, as opposed to Jerry Bruckheimer's explosion-filled blockbusters and Norman Lear and Aaron Spelling sitcoms. (Showing my age on that last one.)
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  #184  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 6:37 PM
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I never thought about this but it's kind of interesting. Even here in Vancouver, which is barely more "French" than most American cities, I am only aware of Francophone cultural groups that revolve around speaking French. There is little or no French culture or ancestry stuff. There are other groups for, say, Ukrainians which are as far as I can tell much more based around ethnic heritage than language. Many of these groups also have religious connotations. Maybe there was a time when certain Catholic churches played a role like this for French Canadians in cities like Vancouver.

I implicitly tend to think of "French background" as being about language or maybe place of birth. Having a French last name is not interesting, because it is so common in Canada and because so many people in that category are fully assimilated to English-speaking culture. The idea of somebody doing the Italian thing but with a French theme seems very silly. As far as I know it does not happen.
Good point. It would also seem silly to us Québécois if people with French Canadian origins from the ROC or from the USA did something equivalent to "the Italian thing"

If anything Italo-Canadians are proud of their heritage, while anglicized French Canadians, on the contrary, seem somewhat ashamed of their origins and to be associated with the Québecois. The feeling is generally reciprocal, I would say.
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  #185  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 7:05 PM
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Good point. It would also seem silly to us Québécois if people with French Canadian origins from the ROC or from the USA did something equivalent to "the Italian thing"

If anything Italo-Canadians are proud of their heritage, while anglicized French Canadians, on the contrary, seem somewhat ashamed of their origins and to be associated with the Québecois. The feeling is generally reciprocal, I would say.
I bet Italian Americans and Canadians are more likely to do that because there's not a population of Italian-speakers nearby to compare them to (the so-called "authentic" Italian culture is far away).

On the other hand, anglicized French Canadians have the "authentic" home culture nearby to compare things to. Once they see that they're not like or not doing things the way things are done there, it'd probably easier to be self-aware of how much assimilation has took place and thus more difficult to brag about identity.

You see that too with Franco-Americans. Since their point of comparison is only often Anglo Americans who speak no French, there's no shame is playing off the ancestral roots as identity because they're not comparing themselves to the Quebecois they've long lost touch with.
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  #186  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 7:28 PM
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I'd say the vast majority of long established ethnic communities in North America (for whom the immigration tap has been reduced to a trickle or completely shut off) have already transitioned to a non-linguistic identity and culture.
The question is also whether these communities transition to a non-linguistic identity and culture but still continue to maintain themselves as a distinct identity at all, versus assimilation completely (neither carrying the language nor other elements forward to their kids, as opposed to carrying the other elements forward but not language).

For example, in the Portuguese example, you have some media in both Portuguese and English, the latter to keep in touch with those who've lost the language but not culture. But you could also have examples where broadcasting in English itself doesn't even attract the next few generations who've lost the language, since they don't bother with home country media once language is gone at all, only their parents/grandparents who speak the language would watch it.

Some ethnic communities, through historical reasons have experienced forced language loss or shifts, will hold strongly to an identity without some lost language(s), for example, the Irish who no longer speak the Irish language (both in the diaspora and homeland), Aboriginal Canadians and Americans who've forcibly assimilated, African Americans who don't speak an African language because of the history of the slave trade etc. For these groups, some express sadness that that element of the culture was taken away from them, but "you have to speak the language or you're not one of group X" can actually be offensive in that context or the question of "if you want to keep in touch with your roots, why don't you try re-learning the language you lost before you were assimilated?". Only a few examples I can think of involve a revitalized assimilated language (I think Welsh had some success, plus the famous example of Hebrew), whether that's in the diaspora or abroad, or in the homeland.

On the other hand, how do you think most groups who voluntarily assimilated within the last few generations (eg. Italians, Portuguese, Chinese etc., or well, even Franco-Americans and anglicized French Canadians) would react to someone saying something like "if you brag about identity all the time, and want to keep in touch with your roots, why don't you try re-learning the language you lost before you were assimilated?".
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  #187  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 7:37 PM
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I bet Italian Americans and Canadians are more likely to do that because there's not a population of Italian-speakers nearby to compare them to (the so-called "authentic" Italian culture is far away).

On the other hand, anglicized French Canadians have the "authentic" home culture nearby to compare things to. Once they see that they're not like or not doing things the way things are done there, it'd probably easier to be self-aware of how much assimilation has took place and thus more difficult to brag about identity.

You see that too with Franco-Americans. Since their point of comparison is only often Anglo Americans who speak no French, there's no shame is playing off the ancestral roots as identity because they're not comparing themselves to the Quebecois they've long lost touch with.
Yes, I was going to mention that some Franco-Americans will do a variant of the "Italian thing".

This is certainly true of Cajuns in Louisiana who are massively English dominant or unilingual in English at the moment. Yeah, I know that their primary identity is not "French" but rather "Cajun" but the two do get mixed up a lot. Anyway, even if they've lost their language they still have a strong identity.

Franco-Americans in the NE also do this to some degree in my experience. There are "French" or "Franco-American" clubs all over that region that AFAIK operate primarily in English or bilingually, and lots of members don't speak any French at all.

But in Canada both you guys are right: basically no one who doesn't speak French identifies with that aspect of their identity. A decent chunk of my extended family is like that and they primarily identify as un-hyphenated "Canadians". They're certainly aware of their French roots but to them it's all part of a big Canadian "mash-up". Their culture is Tragically Hip, Trailer Park Boys, Roots, hockey, the Blue Jays, the Raptors, poutine () and of course all of the American stuff that occupies a segment of the the Canadian mainstream: Super Bowl, SNL, Jimmy Fallon, Big Bang Theory, The Simpsons, Family Guy, NCAA March Madness, Star Wars, etc. And when we're lucky CBC Radio and the Globe and Mail...

I am almost positive that they don't think about their francophone roots much more than once a year (if that), but when they do like at family gatherings for funerals, anniversaries or weddings) there is often a bit of uneasiness that I sense on their part. As I have mentioned before my siblings have also "gone anglo" and I have noticed they and their families are drifting towards this type of uneasiness as well in recent years.
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  #188  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 7:48 PM
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How about US Hispanics? The definition of Hispanic usually involves roots from a Spanish-speaking country or Latin America, but I wonder how common it is for non-Spanish speaking Americans to lose Hispanic identity specifically because language was lost.

There was a recent survey in the US suggesting that third generation and later Hispanics do lose their identity. But I can't tell how much of that is cultural assimilation, versus mixed ancestry versus language identity.

https://www.npr.org/2017/12/20/57199...en-study-finds

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  #189  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 7:49 PM
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The other issue is as I just alluded to, it's hard to tell how much of "losing one's identity" is losing the language specifically or "I'm mixed with ancestries X, Y, Z, after 3 generations so why should I identify with only X, I'll just call myself only American/only Canadian etc."
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  #190  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 7:51 PM
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But if French Canadian or Latino/Hispanic identity is based on language, then ancestry shouldn't matter. If it were language, then it doesn't matter what any individual French Canadian is mixed with in terms of heritage/ancestry as long as he or she speaks French. It also shouldn't matter what the Latino/Hispanic is mixed with, by roots if he/she speaks Spanish, if language was the marker.
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  #191  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 8:02 PM
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But if French Canadian or Latino/Hispanic identity is based on language, then ancestry shouldn't matter. If it were language, then it doesn't matter what any individual French Canadian is mixed with in terms of heritage/ancestry as long as he or she speaks French. It also shouldn't matter what the Latino/Hispanic is mixed with, by roots if he/she speaks Spanish, if language was the marker.
Hispanic/Latino identity in the U.S. seems more "elastic" when it comes to language than anything related to French ancestry in Canada.

It's not uncommon to meet people in the U.S. who identify as Hispanic and Latino who speak little to no Spanish. Of course it can depend on the family and the region of the country. But it's definitely out there and common.

Plus a large segment of Hispanic/Latino "civil society" in the U.S. and even some of their community media functions in English.

You don't have any of that in French Canada. Once you lose the French language here, you're basically gone or written off.
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  #192  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 8:11 PM
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But if French Canadian or Latino/Hispanic identity is based on language, then ancestry shouldn't matter. If it were language, then it doesn't matter what any individual French Canadian is mixed with in terms of heritage/ancestry as long as he or she speaks French. It also shouldn't matter what the Latino/Hispanic is mixed with, by roots if he/she speaks Spanish, if language was the marker.
With a few bumps along the way, this transition from the "name as the marker" to the "language as the marker" has already taken place in French Canada. It's especially true in Quebec.

And goes a long way in explaining the eagerness to move away from "French Canadian" as an identity and replace it with "Québécois".
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  #193  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 8:59 PM
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And goes a long way in explaining the eagerness to move away from "French Canadian" as an identity and replace it with "Québécois".
Though French Canadian as a term has the advantage of being cross-country (Québécois, Acadians, Franco-Ontarians, even those in western Canada), but the disadvantage that in places like the US or even parts of Anglo-Canada it still has ancestry, rather than language connotations.
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  #194  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 9:17 PM
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Though French Canadian as a term has the advantage of being cross-country (Québécois, Acadians, Franco-Ontarians, even those in western Canada), but the disadvantage that in places like the US or even parts of Anglo-Canada it still has ancestry, rather than language connotations.
At this point the two terms still seem to coexist. Even if they're not perfectly conflated.

To a lot of francophones in Quebec who have no roots in New France (eg the origins of "French Canadians") the moniker "French Canadian" doesn't fit. But "Québécois" does.

That said, it's not out of the question that you might meet people of other origins who would describe themselves as being French Canadian as a cultural identifier. I have a few friends who are like this. They grew up in Quebec to immigrant parents. They're perfectly integrated and speak with a Quebec accent. They have no issue with being considered either French Canadian or Québécois.

Part of my family also has a semi-exotic, non French surname, and these people by and large would consider themselves "French Canadian" if you asked them the question.
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  #195  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 11:05 PM
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At this point the two terms still seem to coexist. Even if they're not perfectly conflated.

To a lot of francophones in Quebec who have no roots in New France (eg the origins of "French Canadians") the moniker "French Canadian" doesn't fit. But "Québécois" does.

That said, it's not out of the question that you might meet people of other origins who would describe themselves as being French Canadian as a cultural identifier. I have a few friends who are like this. They grew up in Quebec to immigrant parents. They're perfectly integrated and speak with a Quebec accent. They have no issue with being considered either French Canadian or Québécois.

Part of my family also has a semi-exotic, non French surname, and these people by and large would consider themselves "French Canadian" if you asked them the question.
What do the Anglo-Montrealers or Anglo-Quebeckers (or the ones that remain at least) think of the "Québécois" label for themselves?
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  #196  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 11:07 PM
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At this point the two terms still seem to coexist. Even if they're not perfectly conflated.

To a lot of francophones in Quebec who have no roots in New France (eg the origins of "French Canadians") the moniker "French Canadian" doesn't fit. But "Québécois" does.

That said, it's not out of the question that you might meet people of other origins who would describe themselves as being French Canadian as a cultural identifier. I have a few friends who are like this. They grew up in Quebec to immigrant parents. They're perfectly integrated and speak with a Quebec accent. They have no issue with being considered either French Canadian or Québécois.

Part of my family also has a semi-exotic, non French surname, and these people by and large would consider themselves "French Canadian" if you asked them the question.
How about the converse for Anglo-Canadians? Do you think it still means "British descended Canadian" or "Any Canadian who belongs to Anglo-Canada, and speaks English?"

Funny thing, in the US, "Anglo" and "Hispanic" used to have linguistic meanings but have morphed into racial connotations (eg. blond, blue eyed people are called "Anglos" in places like Texas).
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  #197  
Old Posted Jan 10, 2018, 3:10 PM
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What do the Anglo-Montrealers or Anglo-Quebeckers (or the ones that remain at least) think of the "Québécois" label for themselves?
It may have been an issue at some point for some people (who felt forcibly lumped into something) but these days I don't think most anglos here would think twice about that, especially if the conversation is taking place in French.

Now, it's probably not something that most anglos would intuitively use to describe themselves in a conversation in English though. I am sure that they'd use "Quebecer" instead.

If you're speaking in English and purposefully use the French term "Québécois", you're probably referring to the francophone element of the province's population.
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  #198  
Old Posted Jan 10, 2018, 3:22 PM
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How about the converse for Anglo-Canadians? Do you think it still means "British descended Canadian" or "Any Canadian who belongs to Anglo-Canada, and speaks English?"
.
Anglo-Canadian seems totally innocuous and race/ethnic neutral to most people, if not extremely popular to use. It's even not uncommon for non-British Canadians to refer to "English Canada" as a place where they live or are a part of.

Of course, most of the anglophone demographic regardless of ethnic origin in Canada simply refers to themselves and people like them as simply "CanadiAns" without giving too much thought to the details.

And let's not forget there is a school of thought that questions whether such a thing as Anglo-Canada or English Canada even exists.
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  #199  
Old Posted Jan 10, 2018, 3:53 PM
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Though French Canadian as a term has the advantage of being cross-country (Québécois, Acadians, Franco-Ontarians, even those in western Canada), but the disadvantage that in places like the US or even parts of Anglo-Canada it still has ancestry, rather than language connotations.
I don't want to speak on behalf of a community that I don't belong to, but from what I've asked Franco-Albertans about identity, they usually didn't seem particularly interested in "French-Canadian" either. For many it implies a cultural group more than a shared language group. Admitting language ties seems to be fine, but they often seem pretty uninterested in being lumped in with Quebec as any sort of cultural people group.
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  #200  
Old Posted Jan 10, 2018, 5:00 PM
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I don't want to speak on behalf of a community that I don't belong to, but from what I've asked Franco-Albertans about identity, they usually didn't seem particularly interested in "French-Canadian" either. For many it implies a cultural group more than a shared language group. Admitting language ties seems to be fine, but they often seem pretty uninterested in being lumped in with Quebec as any sort of cultural people group.
I can confirm that that sentiment exists among all francophone groups living outside Quebec. It's kind of a complex relationship though, as especially for the groups west of the Ottawa River, they wouldn't exist (and perhaps/arguably could not exist) without Quebec.
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