Integration discourses and generational trajectories of civic engagement in multi-nation states: A comparison of the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario
Authors: Emily Laxer
Prior research into the relationship between integration discourses and immigrant political incorporation adopts a narrow nation-state focus which fails to take into account the fact that integration is increasingly defined and carried out at the sub-national level in multi-nation states. Such research also neglects to consider the effects of these discourses on generational trajectories in participation, a key focus of both integration theory and mainstream civic incorporation research. Using Canada as a case study, this article bridges the literatures on integration discourses, immigrant civic engagement and minority nationalism to determine whether generational trends in civic membership and volunteering differ in Quebec-the only Canadian province to adopt an intercultural integration discourse-and in Ontario, where multiculturalism shapes integration policy. The results show significant overlap between integration discourses and the propensity for co-ethnic membership among immigrants and their offspring. In Quebec, where the interculturalism contract requires newcomers to participate in a common public culture centred on the French language, immigrants and their offspring are less likely than established cohorts to pursue membership in co-ethnic associations. In Ontario, where a multicultural discourse attributes equal value to majority and minority cultures, first- and second-generation immigrants are more likely to participate in predominantly co-ethnic associations than established native-born groups.
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