Academic journal article Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal

Ethnic Persistence among Dutch-Canadian Catholics and Calvinists

Academic journal article Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal

Ethnic Persistence among Dutch-Canadian Catholics and Calvinists

Article excerpt


The purpose of this paper is to report research findings from a study examining intra-ethnic differences in ethnic persistence or identity retention among first- and second-generation Dutch-Canadian Catholics and Calvinists. A survey of elderly Dutch-Canadian immigrants (N=79) and their adult children (N=364) was conducted to determine patterns of ethnic identity retention. Archival documents showed different patterns of settlement among Dutch immigrants who arrived after 1945 in Ontario. Calvinists established their own institutions, while Catholics tended to make use of existing institutions

There are substantial differences between Dutch-Canadian Catholics and Calvinists with respect to extent of ethnic persistence, levels of religiosity, and levels of institutional completeness. Institutional completeness is a more important indicator of ethnic persistence than is the use of the Dutch language. Elderly Calvinist parents and their middle-aged children report higher levels of ethnic identity retention and religiosity. The Calvinists belong to many ethnic and/or religious organizations. Dutch Catholics have assimilated into Canadian society more readily and have joined churches which serve a variety of ethnic groups. The Catholics are much more likely to marry outside their faith and/or ethnic group and they are more accepting of intermarriage. The Catholics tend to have friends and work-mates from all groups in Canadian society, while Calvinists associate with other Dutch Calvinists. Religion is a more important factor than generation in predicting ethnic persistence.

La presente communication a pour but de faire connaitre les conclusions d'une etude sur les differences intra-ethniques relativement a la persistence ethnique ou a la conservation de l'identite chez les premiere et deuxieme generations de catholiques et de calvinistes canadiens-hollandais. Un sondage des immigrants canadiens-hollandais ages (79) et de leurs enfants adultes (364) a mene dans le but de determiner les modeles de conservation de l'identite ethnique. Les documents d'archives ont indique divers modeles d'etablissement chez les immigrants hollandais arrives en Ontario apres 1945. Les calvinistes ont etabli leur propres institutions tandis que les catholiques ont eu tendance a se servir des institutions existantes.

Il existe des differences appreciables entre les catholiques et les calvinistes canadiens-hollandais en ce qui a trait a la persistence ethnique, aux niveaux de religiosite et a ceux de l'integrite institutionnelle. L'integrite institutionnelle est un indicateur de la persistence ethnique plus important que l'emploi de la langue hollandaise. Les parents calvinistes ages et leurs enfants d'age mur indiquent des niveaux de conservation de l'identite ethnique et de religiosite plus eleves. Les calvinistes sont membres de beaucoup d'organismes ethniques et (ou) religieux. Les catholiques hollandais se sont assimiles plus Promptement a la societe canadienne et ont joint les rangs d'eglises desservant une variete de groupes ethniques. Les catholiques sont beaucoup plus susceptibles de se marier a l'exterieur de leur foi et (ou) de leur groupe ethnique et acceptent plus facilement ces manages. Les catholiques ont tendance a avoir des amis et des compagnons de travail venant de tous les groupes de la societe canadien ne, alors que les calvinistes s' associent a d'autres calvinistes hollandais. La religion constitue un facteur plus important que la generation en ce qui a trait a la prediction de la persistence ethnique.


Although ethnicity and religion are often intertwined, until recently sociologists and gerontologists have paid little attention to ethnic and religious differences in aging, especially in the Canadian context (Neugebauer-Visano, 1995; Moberg, 1996; Ujimoto, 1987; Driedger and Chappell, 1990, 1987; Canadian Ethnic Studies, 1983). Religion can be a major factor in ethnic persistence as it influences patterns of assimilation and levels of institutional completeness (Redekop, 1992; Kalbach and Richard, 1990). …

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