The identity, community, civic and linguistic participation of so-called “racialized” and “white” immigrants was compared to that of other Quebecers. The study revealed lower levels of participation among immigrants, particularly among “racialized” immigrants. However, the magnitude of the gap varies across the different dimensions of participation and the differences are partly explained by immigrants’ younger age and relatively short time spent in Québec.
Overall, immigrants appear to participate less than other Quebecers, but we do not observe a deep divide in levels of participation in Québec life.
The study does not reveal any systematic effect of the local context. The characteristics of the local living environment—be it poverty level, the presence of the community of origin, the level of multiculturalism or the openness of the local population to immigration and ethnocultural diversity—seem to have little influence on the participation of immigrants (and non-immigrants) in Québec. The consistency of participation gaps between immigrants and other Quebecers across communities leads us to consider the role of Québec-wide factors as a possible explanation.
Province-wide contextual effects could be caused by a number of factors such as public policies, the representation of ethnocultural minorities in public and cultural institutions, or the majority group’s attitudes towards immigration and ethnocultural diversity. This avenue would be best explored by a comparative study of immigrant participation in a variety of communities in different Canadian provinces.
Antoine Bilodeau, Concordia University
Deposit of the research report: December 2020