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Fertility, feminism, and family policy : a study of Québec demographic discourse and government documents, 1970-1997

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Fertility, feminism, and family policy : a study of Québec demographic discourse and government documents, 1970-1997

Dorozynski, Janet (2000) Fertility, feminism, and family policy : a study of Québec demographic discourse and government documents, 1970-1997. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This dissertation examines the influence of Québec feminist demographic discourse on Québec Government policy documents, specifically a sample produced between 1970 and 1997. It begins with the premise that Québec demographic discourse and Government family policy measures have their basis in epistemologies and methodologies which fail to identify women's experiences as problematic and are incompatible with feminist principles of gender equality and autonomy. In addition, women's reproductive behaviour and declining fertility have been linked to issues of national survival, cultural identity, and linguistic concerns. As such, in order to question and unpack the ideological and patriarchal basis of knowledge, discourse and policy, the first part of the study proposes a framework which combines a feminist standpoint epistemology with a synthesis of the concepts of patriarchy and ideology. A subsequent review of the Québec demographic literature since 1970 reveals the divergence between mainstream and feminist demographic discourse in terms of the types of issues discussed and the way in which they have been theorized. On the basis of these findings, the second part of the dissertation conducts a textual content analysis of a sample of ninety-two Québec Government documents on family policy, fertility and related demographic issues, to determine if and how themes and issues from Québec feminist demographic discourse have influenced the corpus of documents. The investigation concludes that while Québec feminist demographic discourse has been moderately influential on the corpus of government documents, especially those produced by the Conseil du statut de la femme, the pronatalist and nationalist tendencies of Québec mainstream demographic discourse have been incorporated into the corpus to a larger degree. Furthermore, due to the relative absence of family policy measures responsive to the recommendations of the Conseil du statut de la femme, the influence of Québec feminist demographic discourse on Québec Government family policy during the period of study remains inconclusive.

Divisions:Concordia University > School of Graduate Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Dorozynski, Janet
Pagination:x, 355 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (Ph.D.)
Program:School of Graduate Studies
Date:2000
Thesis Supervisor(s):Barakett, Joyce
ID Code:996
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:15
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:18
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