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|Title:||Baking power: French-Canadian and Franco-Ontarian cultural identity as defined by evolving traditional foodways in Astorville, Ontario|
|Abstract:||Questions about cultural identity and allegiance are complicated. What makes a person French, French-Canadian or Franco-Ontarian? What is the difference between these various labels? How do demographics, gender, and age impact the ways in which cultural allegiance is created, maintained, or discarded? What defines a person’s membership in a cultural group? Is it one’s ability to speak the language? To make and/or eat cultural foods? If one of these fails to be present, can the person still be a part of the group? In our multicultural country, and especially in rural communities in Northern Ontario where Francophones find themselves to be part of a minority, such questions do not have simple answers. Studying cultural retention in such communities necessitates paying attention to more than just who is speaking French and/or to who is an activist for French rights. It also requires understanding how individual attitudes and behaviours are like and/or unlike those of others and of the larger group. Foodways are one of the specific cultural practices that can tell us about the group. Indeed, traditional foods have been shown to be very political expressions of personal values and opinions. What power does French-Canadian food have over those who make it? What does it tell us about those who claim allegiance to this cultural group? This interdisciplinary case study of Astorville, Ontario, relates to the fields of food studies, cultural studies, history, gender studies, material culture studies, performance studies, and autoethnography. By studying foodways, which are closely connected to heritage, language, religious practices, and rituals, this project seeks to understand how minority groups resist and/or acquiesce to societal pressures to conform to the culture of the majority. Knowing that modernisation and urbanisation have changed the lifestyle of once agricultural communities, that women now participate in the workforce, and that an individual’s personal history is an important factor in determining how one subscribes to cultural norms, this is an important time to understand the cultural evolution taking place in communities, like Astorville, Ontario, where the French population has gone from a majority to a minority since it was established.|
|Appears in Collections:||Doctoral Theses|
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|EWB Thesis April 2018 FINAL.pdf||4.1 MB||Adobe PDF|
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