The Quebec Stem Family Revisited

The Quebec Stem Family Revisited

The Quebec Stem Family Revisited

The Quebec Stem Family Revisiteds

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Référence bibliographique [9833]

Verdon, Michel. 1981. «The Quebec Stem Family Revisited». Dans Canadian Families: Ethnic Variations , sous la dir. de K. Ishwaran, p. 105-124. Toronto, Montreal: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited.

Fiche synthèse

1. Objectifs

Intentions :
This paper aims at clarifying these two issues: « (1) a popular sociological image of the traditional ’Québécois’ as being submissive to parental authority, a conception wich led other sociologists to view it as utterly consonant with submission to the clerical authority; (2) a tradition of confusion about one of the key institutions of rural Quebec, the stem family. » (p. 106)

2. Méthode

Échantillon/Matériau :
- Guérin, Léon. 1898. « L’habitant de St-Justin »
- Guérin, Léon. 1937. « Le type économique et social des Canadiens »
- Miner, H. 1939. « St-Denis: a French-Canadian Paris »

Type de traitement des données :
Analyse de contenu

3. Résumé

« The present paper aims at clarifying these two issues by focusing especially on stem families in a pioneer village of Lac St. Jean, what some refer to as ’a frontier parish’. [...] To dispel some of the confusion wich has marred family sociology from a deeper understanding of an institution like the stem family, I introduce two distinctions: (1) that family and residence are two different things. In my terminology, a family is simply the group composed of parents and offsprings. [...] If the family happens to reside in one single dwelling-place, the two concepts must nevertheless be distinguished in the analysis. [...] (2) that, in the study of residence, it is not the notion of structure that is important. At one point in time, two residential groups may display the same structure: father, mother, married son, daughter-in-law, and young grandchildren. In one case, the married son his family will move out as soon as they have enough money to build; in the other case, they will stay permanently. These two phenomena are obviously different, but how will we conceptualize the difference? One possible solution, and the one I have adopted here, is to study residential groups as groups over time. One should thus analyze their process of growth to determine the type of structure beyond wich they never evolve. This type is then conceived as a ’structural limit’, and it is the phenomenon to be explained. » (p. 106)