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« Identity Maintenance and Loss: Concurrent Processes Among the Fransaskois »

Written by Louis-Patrick St-Pierre :: [Thursday, 10 November 2005 11:22] Last updated by Kaitie Babin :: [Tuesday, 18 August 2020 18:03]
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Year: 2005 Authors and Collaborators Gaudet, Sophie; Clément, Richard; Theme Family
Francophones
Identity
Institutions
Linguistic minorities
Saskatchewan
Volume and number: , 37 (2) Journal: , Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science Pages : , 110-122 Abstract Second language (L2) confidence. In intergroup situations, communicating with members of different groups becomes unavoidable in daily interactions. Second language skills are imperative in interactions with members of the majority, and often second language, group. Consequently, much research has focused on language (e.g., Clément, Gauthier, & Noels, 1993; Landry & Allard, 1990), and how language use and confidence using a second language influences feelings of ethnic identity (Clément, Baker, & Maclntyre, 2003; Clément & Kruidenier, 1985; Clément et al., 1993; Jasinskaja-Lahti & liebkind, 1998). Noels and Clément (1996), for example, examined the relationship between L2 confidence and ethnic identity for minority and majority Francophone and Anglophone students, and found that greater L2 confidence was related to greater identification to the outgroup (see also Noels et al., 1996). Gaining a second language led not only to the adoption of outgroup characteristics such as identity, but was also related to the loss of the original ingroup identity, demonstrating a subtractive state. Francophone involvement. Involvement in the Francophone community was determined using two scales. The Francophone network scale (Clément & Noels, 1992) examined the number of Francophone contact across varying situations (e.g., family, neighbourhood) using a 9-point Likert-type scale (1 = none of them Francophone and 9 = all Francophone). A high score demonstrates high Francophone contact (± = .61). A series of 10 items measured the involvement of the participants in the Francophone community (e.g., I would like to learn more about my French roots). A 7-point Likert scale (1 = do not agree and 6 = strongly agree) was applied and a high score implied high involvement (± = .83). An exploratory factor analysis was conducted to examine the relationship between the items of both scales. Items significantly loaded on a factor of Francophone involvement (e.g., 1 like to participate in Fransaskois cultural celebrations, I would like greater opportunities to work with Francophone students, and greater proportion of Francophone people in the family and among friends). These items, while bundled together, where theoretically justified and as such where standardized and summed to form a composite Francophone involvement score (± = .78). As a counterpoint to this loss of identity, the results also emphasized the relevance of connections for the maintenance of the Francophone identity. The second process unveiled by the results indeed shows that greater involvement with the Francophone group directly related to a higher Francophone identity and a lower Anglophone identity. Furthermore, Francophone involvement also related to higher levels of Francophone support, which positively associated with a higher Francophone identity and subsequently to greater self-esteem. Finally, Francophone support positively related to Anglophone support, which associated with self-esteem. French ambiance in terms of contact and support may, therefore, be needed to tip the balance towards a less subtractive bilingual situation. [Landry] (1987) states that a balance between a strong ingroup school and family domain and an outgroup socio-institutional milieu is needed to maintain an additive bilingual experience among minority groups (see also Landry & AIlard, 1985). In the case of the Francophone people of Saskatchewan, the communities and French school system may be attempts to maintain their language and culture when faced with a predominantly English socio-institutional presence and as a result create a less subtractive state. For this group, the maintenance of contact and support was beneficial for ingroup cultural maintenance, intragroup harmony via the social support network, and personal adjustment.