Anglo Montrealers disassociated from French culture: survey
Published Saturday, March 24, 2012 6:18PM EDT
Despite speaking French, Montreal Anglophones aren't embracing Quebecois culture, a recent survey for l'Actualite magazine suggests.
The survey showed that 81 per cent of Anglos spoke the official Quebec language, but very few could identify stars like Ginette Reno, Gregory Charles or Marie-Mai.
Gazette columnist and l'Actualite blogger Josh Freed said the findings are no surprise – but that most likely couldn't name a Canadian star either.
"I'm sorry that young Anglos aren't dying to go down and see French pop stars and watch French television – it would be great if they did – but bottom line is it's not the world they live in," he said. "They live in an American-dominated cultural world where the whole world in English is watching American TV."
L'actualite said it was most surprised by the answers from young Anglos aged 18 to 34 – the Bill 101 generation. Despite their bilingualism, the magazine said young Anglos feel Montreal is more English than the rest of the province and have no problem with a unilingual Anglo heading a major Montreal firm.
"As older Anglophones, we really wrestled with the question of language and we changed," said Freed. "We learned to be bilingual and we learned to send our kids to French school. We really, really wrestled with this issue. Our kids are the product of that. They are bilingual, but they haven't thought about it too much."
There's a need for a greater partnership with French Quebecers, said Noel Burke of the Quebec Community Groups Network, an umbrella organization that represents Anglo groups in the province.
"If we look at the notion of the conditions of identity of access to services or cultural prosperity, these are not conditions that are exclusive to the English community," he said. "They're shared."