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Impact of secularism debates on the sense of belonging among Quebec's racialized immigrants

Research by Concordia professor Antoine Bilodeau shows that even in 2012, non-Christians and non-French speakers felt less connected to Quebec
May 31, 2024

A smiling middle-aged man, wearing glasses and a pale blue shirt, in a city outdoor setting

Past research suggests that the PQ's proposed Charter of Values and Bill 21 have made religious minorities feel excluded. However, no one had studied how these laws affected their sense of belonging before and after they were introduced.  

Antoine Bilodeau, Professor in the Department of Political Science, has recently published an article in the Canadian Journal of Political Science, titled Débats sur la laïcité et sentiment d’appartenance chez les immigrants racisés au Québec : Mieux comprendre l’impact des « événements focalisateurs » (co-authored by Luc Turgeon, UQAM). Their study looked at how debates about secularism have affected how racialized immigrants feel about belonging in Quebec. They used data from three surveys in 2012, 2014, and 2019. They found that even in 2012, some groups, especially non-Christians and non-French speakers, already felt less connected to Quebec compared to Canada. The study also showed that the debates have made this sense of not belonging spread to non-religious minorities and Francophones too. 

Bilodeau was recently awarded the Prix Louise-Dandurand, a French Publication award from the Fonds de recherche du Québec - Société et culture (FRQSC), for this publication. 

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