''I’ve Never Dreamed it Was Necessary to Marry!'' : Women and Work in New England French Canadian Communities, 1870-1930

''I’ve Never Dreamed it Was Necessary to Marry!'' : Women and Work in New England French Canadian Communities, 1870-1930

''I’ve Never Dreamed it Was Necessary to Marry!'' : Women and Work in New England French Canadian Communities, 1870-1930

''I’ve Never Dreamed it Was Necessary to Marry!'' : Women and Work in New England French Canadian Communities, 1870-1930s

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Référence bibliographique [3353]

Waldron, FlorenceMae. 2005. «''I’ve Never Dreamed it Was Necessary to Marry!'' : Women and Work in New England French Canadian Communities, 1870-1930 ». Journal of American Ethnic History, vol. 24, no 2, p. 34-64.

Fiche synthèse

1. Objectifs


Intentions :
L’auteure se penche sur les migrations des femmes québécoises vers les États-Unis à la fin du XIXe siècle et au début du XXe siècle. Elle s’interroge sur les raisons de ces migrations, sur les conditions de vie que rencontraient ces femmes et sur les différentes pressions sociales exercées sur elles. Entre autres, la réalité sociale et familiale québécoise est comparée avec celle que rencontrait les migrantes une fois aux États-Unis.

2. Méthode


Type de traitement des données :
Analyse descriptive

3. Résumé


« For many women and girls who left Quebec in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, migration to the urban centers of New England furnished them with expanded employment and vocational and leisure options compared to life in rural Quebec. Granted, for some women and girls, the decision to migrate was not one in which they had a choice, nor was it their choice to work for wages after migration. But many other female Quebecois migrants perceived the options that New England cities offered as choices between life as it would have been in Quebec and life as it could be in the United States. For these women, choosing the ’American’ way over aspects of their Quebecois heritage represented a deliberate and conscious decision to embrace what they perceived as the greater relative freedoms of life in the United States. » (p. 35)
« In exercising what agency they had through the choices they made, the women whose stories appear in this article often mentally linked their actions to being in [the United States] and acting with the same degree of relative freedom that their ’americaines’ counterparts did. This in no way minimizes the very real power inequalities that made the experiences of even the women highlighted here less than totally ’liberating,’ from familial obligations and communal expectations, to low wages (no matter how high they at times seemed to individual women) and poor working conditions. Nonetheless, despite the various obstacles many of them faced, a number of French Canadian migrant women and their Franco-American daughters not only created for themselves alternatives to the prescribed existence of maternal homemaker (or homemaker-in-training), but often attributed the chances they had to carve out alternate paths directly to their lives in the United States. The ways in which these women and girls perceived the options available to them as migrants in New England cities, and took full advantage of them, suggest that for many Quebecois migrant women in the decades around 1900, the United States indeed represented a land of opportunity and possibility. » (p. 56)