Academic journal article Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal

True Patriot Love: Structure and Predictors of Canadian Pride

Academic journal article Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal

True Patriot Love: Structure and Predictors of Canadian Pride

Article excerpt


The strength and value of psychological attachment to one's nation is potentially complicated by other sources of identification, including ethnicity and language. In diverse societies, a crucial question is whether patriotism--feelings of pride associated with national identity--is compatible with diversity, or whether the strength and meaning of national and ethnic identities are at odds with one another. Drawing on data from a national, random sample of Canadians (N = 2000), two general issues are examined: (a) the structure of Canadian patriotism as derived from various national attributes, activities, and institutions; and (b) the predictors of patriotism, with a focus on whether various sources of diversity (e.g., region) and strength of ethnic identification have a bearing on Canadian national pride. Factor analysis suggests that aspects of Canadian pride occur along (at least) two correlated dimensions--"home" (e.g., institutions and policies) and "away" (international presence and success)--with Quebec respondents manifesting a more complex and ambivalent pattern. Women and younger Canadians tended to express more national pride, but the subjective importance of ethnicity was unrelated to patriotism. The results support a general congruence between Canadian patriotism, ethnic identification, and multiculturalism.


II se peut que des sources d'identification exterieures, dont l'ethnicite et la langue, compliquent dans sa force et sa valeur l'attachement que I'on ressent envers la nation. Dans les societes diversifiees se pose une question cruciale, a savoir si le patriotisme--le sentiment de fierte associe l'identite nationale--est compatible avec la diversite, ou si deux identites, une nationale et une ethnique, entrent en conflit l'une avec l'autre du fait de leur force et de leur signification respectives. Nous examinerons deux problemes generaux a partir de donnees provenant d'un echantillon de Canadiens pris au hasard au niveau national (N = 2000): (a) la structure d'un patriotisme canadien fonde sur divers attributs, activites et institutions nationaux, et (b) ce qui peut predire un sentiment national, en se focalisant sur le role que jouent ou non dans la fierte d'etre Canadien les fondements de la diversite (par exemple, la region) et la force de l'identification ethnique. Une analyse factorielle suggere que quelques faces de cette fierte d'etre Canadien se forment a partir de (au moins) deux axes paralleles--un "chez sol" (par exemple des institutions et des politiques) et un "la-bas" (presence et succes internationaux)--y inclus dans le cas des repondants quebecois qui presente un schema ambivalent et plus complexe. Les femmes et les Canadiens les plus jeunes ont eu tendance a exprimer une plus grande fierte nationale, mais l'importance subjective de l'ethnicite n'etait pas liee au patriotisme. Les resultats confirment une congruence generale entre le patriotisme canadien, l'identification ethnique et le multiculturalisme.


In Canada, the meaning of national identity is a perennial preoccupation (e.g., Angus 1997; Frye 1972; Grant 1965; Mackey 1999). According to former Poet Laureate George Bowering (2004), Canadian identity has to do with issues of "Quebec, the native community and hockey"; for him, these are the "three things ... that you have to know about if you want to know the heart of Canada, what makes it tick, its flavour, so to speak" (D 15). Indeed, Canadian identity is textured by multiple sources of diversity, associated with region, religion, language, and ethnicity, among other social categories. Several of these intersect in Quebec, making that province's distinctiveness a salient social and political issue. Nationally, cultural diversity is increasingly evident, particularly in urban centres. According to the 2006 census, 19.8% of the Canadian population was born elsewhere--this proportion was 45.7% in Toronto, 39. …

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