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CdnImm # 17 Understanding Francophone I mmigration I ssues Toronto, Sept. 26, 2013 . Negotiating Francophone I dentity : Issues for African and Caribbean Francophone Newcomers Lumembo Tshiswaka Promotion & Outreach Coordinator Etablissement.org . A constant question . Data sources .

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Cdnimm 17 understanding francophone i mmigration i ssues toronto sept 26 2013
CdnImm # 17 Understanding Francophone Immigration Issues Toronto, Sept. 26, 2013

Negotiating Francophone Identity: Issues for African and Caribbean Francophone Newcomers

Lumembo Tshiswaka

Promotion & Outreach Coordinator

Etablissement.org



Data sources
Data sources

  • Literature review

  • Discussion forums on Etablissement.org

  • Field Reports ( 2007-2012)

  • Observations in the Francophone immigrant community


Starting with a big question

Low self-esteem identity query :

Am I what I am or am I what others want me to be?

Etablissement.org

Carrefour des nouveaux arrivants francophones


Identity creates us and we create it endlessly

Mahmoud Darwich, Identity, Poems 1964

“The present time is suffocating us and tears up the identities. This is why I would find my real me only tomorrow, when I would be able to say and to write something else. Identity is not a legacy, but a creation. It creates us and we create it endlessly. And we will only know it tomorrow. My identity is plural, diverse. Today, I am absent, tomorrow I will be present. I am trying to raise the hope as one who would raise a child. To be what I want and not what others want me to be”

Etablissement.org

Carrefour des nouveaux arrivants francophones


The complexity of the identity concept

Basic concept with a remarquable formal configuration : to define oneself in relation to the other (Heine & Licata, 2007 & 2009)

Sequences: cultural identity, national, religious, sexual, plural

Identity becomes more and more plural

Search for identity is in constant construction (Madibbo, 2008)

Identity gives a sense to our existence

Etablissement.org

Carrefour des nouveaux arrivants francophones



Balanced Identity

The search for identity balance, a field that has been less studied for Afro-Caribbean immigrants, implies at the individual level:

Recognition of my personal identity;

Recognition of my collective identity;

My culture as I perceive it;

Level of respect shown to me (image).

Etablissement.org

Carrefour des nouveaux arrivants francophones


Research Level

The search for identity balance can be located at three levels:

Etablissement.org

Carrefour des nouveaux arrivants francophones


Research for underlying factors

Etablissement.org

Carrefour des nouveaux arrivants francophones


At the individual level

Etablissement.org

Carrefour des nouveaux arrivants francophones


At the community level

Etablissement.org

Carrefour des nouveaux arrivants francophones


At the institutional level

Etablissement.org

Carrefour des nouveaux arrivants francophones


Self identity perception

Francophone newcomers feel that their identities are maladjusted or affected by the following:

Etablissement.org

Carrefour des nouveaux arrivants francophones


Categorization & identity lost

Etablissement.org

Carrefour des nouveaux arrivants francophones


A quick look at Francophone newcomers’ identities

Etablissement.org

Carrefour des nouveaux arrivants francophones


Identity is sacred

Identity is sacred and non-negotiable. To the Francophone Newcomer, identity represents:

Etablissement.org

Carrefour des nouveaux arrivants francophones


Name : A Precious Identity

In traditional Africa as it is today:

Etablissement.org

Carrefour des nouveaux arrivants francophones


Search for a balanced identity

Etablissement.org

Carrefour des nouveaux arrivants francophones


Media and francophone identity

Etablissement.org

Carrefour des nouveaux arrivants francophones


Francophone identity & school curriculum

Immigrant historical contribution often ignored in school programs;

School curricula do not include newcomer students’ cultural elements;

Teaching methods not adapted to students’ needs;

Majority of teachers unfamiliar with students’ culture;

Newcomer students’ parents not always involved in their kids’ education

Etablissement.org

Carrefour des nouveaux arrivants francophones


Reasons for negotiating

Multiple identities conflicting in the context of a dominant culture;

Feeling of a lost identity that we once had in our home country;

Use of discriminatory vocabulary (French stock, pure French) that leaves the Francophone newcomer wondering;

Intense need to come out from the identity and cultural isolation which the dominant culture imposes on the Francophone newcomer

Etablissement.org

Carrefour des nouveaux arrivants francophones


Common used strategies

Etablissement.org

Carrefour des nouveaux arrivants francophones


Thank you for your attention
Thank you for your attention!

Any questions?


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