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« Self-employment among French-Canadians - The role of the regional milieu »

Written by Louis-Patrick St-Pierre :: [Thursday, 09 November 1995 14:47] Last updated by Kaitie Babin :: [Tuesday, 18 August 2020 17:53]
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Year: 1995 Authors and Collaborators Langlois, André; Razin, Eran; Theme Canada
Volume and number: , 18 (3) Journal: , Ethnic and Racial Studies Pages : , 581-604 Abstract This article examines the relationship between self-employment among  French-Canadians and the regional milieu. Our main argument is that self-employment among  French-Canadians depends on the specific regional milieu. The empirical analysis is based on the public use file on individuals of the 1986 Census of Canada. Self-employment is related to mother tongue, region, industry, occupation, income and language spoken at home. Then, the association of socio-economic and socio-demographic attributes with self-employment and mother tongue in different French-Canadian communities is examined. The relation between self-employment, regional milieus and French-Canadian communities is further explored using the correspondence analysis method. Results show that in addition to variations in class resources and local opportunities, a majority or minority setting influences the economic niches utilized by French entrepreneurs. Among francophone minorities, small and relatively assimilated communities are usually more entrepreneurial than major francophone concentrations. However, this relationship is not causal, and does not indicate an economic benefit associated with assimilation. Still, French-Canadians are not a typical entrepreneurial minority that utilizes extensive informal entrepreneurial networks for economic mobility, and the political and economic struggle of French-Canadians for advancement has not been markedly focused on entrepreneurship. In fact, our results suggest that self-employment is not a major facet of group mobilization among francophones. Entrepreneurship is perceived by the francophone establishment as an important means for long-term economic advancement. In attempting to promote entrepreneurship, the need to utilize ethnic networks and community cohesion is greatly acknowledged. We conclude that the preservation of autonomous ethno-linguistic identity is viewed not only as a means for economic advancement but as a major goal. by itself. Hence, French-Canadians resemble, perhaps, certain sub-national minorities in Europe, rather than other ethnic minorities in North America. The desired relationship between self-employment and retention of group identity does not yet prevail among French-Canadians, their political and economic struggle for advancement, so far, has not been focused on entrepreneurship.