Nationalism and Difference in the Cosmopolitan City of Montreal
AbstractMontreal serves as an important case study to examine issues of socia-economic and spatial differentiation. It embodies relevance to the study of national identity, socia-cultural policies, immigration, and the conceptual discourse concerning race, ethnicity, and racism. The paper explores the legacy of nationalist tensions that played a significant role during much of the development of Montreal, impacting upon the diverse and cosmopolitan population. Using the rich data provided by Census Canada, levels of differentiation are defined and assessed. The empirical data offers a detailed snapshot of Montreal and its social formation. Based on census surveys and utilizing empirical models of analysis, levels of dissimilarity are established. The differentiation is atypical, in terms of its high degree, and social and spatial differentiation patterns of certain groups were found to be unique in comparison to other cities, particularly Toronto and in U.S. cities. This phenomenon is a product of Canadian, and particularly Quebec's, historical development. This is due in part to the specific constructions of national identity and notions of 'otherness' in Quebec and Canadian society.
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