Title: Multiple Voices in a Pluralist Society: Québec’s Governmental Discourses versus Two Famous Immigrant Novels
Published in: Academia.edu (Conference presentation from the ‘New Voices on Canada’ London colloquium of the UCL Institute of the Americas: 10-12 July 2014)
Year of publication : 2017
This paper compares the representations of cultural identity as conveyed by two discursive sources: the statements of Québec’s government and two cornerstone novels of the ‘écritures migrantes’ (migrant writings) trend in Québec, Chinese Letters and Ingratitude by Ying Chen. This comparison is made by first explicating and commenting the vision of cultural identity as laid down in the said statements, and then by scrutinising the relationship between the images of individual and collective identity in Chen’s texts. The conclusion drawn from this analysis is that Chen’s works convey a subversive message vis-à-vis the dominant political discourses in Québec. Unlike political discourses, which manifest an essentialist rather than dynamic vision of individuals’ community belonging, Chen’s texts see individual identity as ultimately dynamic, while collective identity is depicted as an ephemeral and false attribute imposed by the social order.
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