Date

2013

Department or Program

Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences

Primary Wellesley Thesis Advisor

Andrea Levitt

Abstract

There is a strong secessionist movement in Quebec – in fact, in 1995, 49.5% of the province’s residents voted to secede from Canada. Although we know that this movement is powerful, we do not have a clear idea of which people are most likely to support Quebecois sovereignty. In this thesis, I explore the past and present of Quebec’s nationalism to answer the questions of who supports and who opposes secession. Using a survey, I isolated factors that we can use to predict supporters and detractors of separatism in Quebec, including native language, age, contact with native speakers of French and English, language proficiency, positivity or negativity toward French and English, and political and/or social beliefs about language in Quebec. This information can shed greater light on the sovereignty movement and give us a better understanding of policies that could be put in place to change opinions on Quebec secession.

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