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Speaking of Class in the Québec Labour Movement: Interpreting the Relationship Between Class and Identity in the Québec Labour Movement 1850-2010

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Speaking of Class in the Québec Labour Movement: Interpreting the Relationship Between Class and Identity in the Québec Labour Movement 1850-2010

Bisaillon, Richard (2010) Speaking of Class in the Québec Labour Movement: Interpreting the Relationship Between Class and Identity in the Québec Labour Movement 1850-2010. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

An examination of the recent and contemporary Québec labour union movement and its relationship with the nationalist cause might incline the observer to conclude that this powerful synthesis of what are in fact two separate sets of collective interests is a recent phenomenon sparked by Québec’s Quiet Revolution. In fact, these two aspects of collective and individual self and their expression through institutional forms have evolved together over the last two centuries. A further examination of the broader historical pattern demonstrates that aspects of shared linguistic and cultural identity have always at the very least qualified, and most often significantly muted expressions of working class interests and identity. In fact, save for a brief period from the Quiet Revolution to the first mandate of the Parti Québécois in 1976, working class collaboration with other class fractions in Québec ostensibly made in the greater interests of linguistic and cultural solidarity have generally cost the working classes a premium, while actually working to the benefit of other class partners.
This historical pattern combined with the increasing influence of a neo-liberal ideological position within the Québec “state” leads to a certain conclusion: that there is an essential incompatibility between institutions calculated to represent working-class interests and movements founded upon a struggle for cultural recognition and the assertion of national interests. While the former seek the elimination or reduction of socio-economic differences, the latter seek only a cycling of dominant elites, resulting in the same dominant class relations under a different cultural elite fraction.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Interdisciplinary Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Bisaillon, Richard
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Humanities
Date:13 December 2010
Thesis Supervisor(s):Salee, Daniel and Shragge, Eric and Nielsen, Greg
ID Code:7207
Deposited By:RICHARD P. BISAILLON
Deposited On:13 Jun 2011 09:57
Last Modified:26 Apr 2012 15:14
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