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The Alberta Francophone Games: a question of identity

Rédigé par :: [jeudi 16 décembre 1999 08:29] Denière mise à jour par Kaitie Babin :: [vendredi 21 août 2020 12:00]
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Année : 1999 Auteur(s) et collaborateur(s) Dallaire, Christine; Thème Alberta
Ville : , Edmonton Maison d'édition : , University of Alberta Résumé Non-publié.

The purpose of this study was to examine the production of francophone identity and community in the context of sport. I have tried to deconstruct empirically the complexity of the significance and meanings of the 'francophone' surfacing at the Alberta Francophone Games (AFG) created in 1992. This annual provincial event-seeks to integrate French-speaking youths into francophone ranks and to foster francophone identity and pride. Cultural studies, and particularly discourse analysis, has guided and framed the research while francophone studies and sport studies have also informed it. The analysis of the AFG reveals two competing discourses producing various definitions of the francophone. The first discourse defines membership in the francophone community based only on one's ability to speak French, no matter what other cultural markers the French speaker might carry. Conversely, the basic tenet of the second discourse is that a francophone is someone who partakes in a particular history and culture-associated with the French language in Canada. This second discourse is closely associated to the ethnic definition of francophone communities. The analysis also demonstrates that the production of the francophone is complicated by the interaction of the sport imperatives with the promotion of a minority identity. The dominant sport model acts on the outcome of the conflict between the competing definitions of the francophone while also constraining and undermining the AFG's mission to promote francophone identity. My research suggests that it is in this context that despite AFG organizers' intentions, youths were not produced as strong francophones, but as bilingual youths on a fun weekend. Their francophoneness was left as is at the AFG--diluted and reduced to a fragile component of a hybrid identity. French-speaking youths did not live their francophoneness habitually, it was a strategic project that constantly required effort because their anglophoneness was more spontaneous.