As the issues of multiculturalism and accommodation become more and more volatile in Europe and North America, a group of Quebec thinkers are calling for a new model of integration which they have termed “interculturalism.”
The idea is being touted as a potential solution to anti-immigrant backlash which has been surfacing more often – both around the world and here in Canada.
Interculturalism is a societal model wherein there is a central dominant culture, and then there are separate, minority cultures which are integrated into the dominant culture. Multiculturalism, on the other hand, lacks the presence of a single dominant culture.
The idea of a dominant culture is what makes Quebec an ideal trial subject for the intercultural approach says Quebec sociologist Gerard Bouchard.
“This is a non-starter in Quebec because everybody knows there is a majority culture in Quebec,” said Bouchard. “It is the francophone culture. Any model to manage diversity in Quebec must take into account this major fact.”
Though the idea of interculturalism has been around in Quebec since the 1980s, it is gaining publicity lately, as Bouchard and his supporters turn more and more to the media to push this idea.
Bouchard says that the province will sooner or later have to deal with the brewing sentiment of a culture that feels threatened by newcomers. This rings particularly true in light of recent statements by Western European leaders who assert that multiculturalism has “failed.”
Source: Globe and Mail