The Best-Treated Minority in the World : Historical and Discursive Analysis of a Cliché

Author/contributor
Title
The Best-Treated Minority in the World : Historical and Discursive Analysis of a Cliché
Abstract
Politicians, polemicists, and others have long referred to Quebec’s Englishspeaking community as the “best-treated minority in the world.”1 This loaded phrase has also been used to describe other minorities: French speakers within Canada as a whole, Indigenous peoples in Canada, and religious groups and minorities in many European and colonial contexts. Through a historical overview and discourse analysis, this paper traces how the phrase has been used and abused, justified, and criticized over time. The particular focus is the Quebec context. There, we see a shift from a largely consensual use of the phrase across all language groups to one that becomes increasingly divisive and problematic from the 1980s on. This shift parallels the English-speaking community’s evolving sense of itself as a minority in decline.
Place
Montreal, QC
Institution
Quebec English-speaking Communities Research Network (QUESCREN)
Date
March, 2022
Pages
34
Language
en
Rights
You are not authorized to use or reproduce this work for any commercial purpose or to further distribute, perform, or alter works in any way without express permission of the owner of the copyright or proxy.
Extra
Parallel title: QUESCREN Working Paper no.5
Citation
Donovan, Patrick. The Best-Treated Minority in the World : Historical and Discursive Analysis of a Cliché. Montreal, QC: Quebec English-speaking Communities Research Network (QUESCREN), March 2022.
Geographical area

Related contributing CKOL partner

Logo of Quebec English-Speaking Communities Research Network (QUESCREN)

Quebec English-Speaking Communities Research Network (QUESCREN)

Founded:
2008

Constituents:
People seeking information on English-speaking Quebec; members of QUESCREN’s networks (Inter-Level Educational Table, researcher-members, etc.)

Website:
https://www.concordia.ca/artsci/scpa/quescren.html

Activities:
Mobilizing knowledge; researching and publishing; networking the English-language education sector and a researcher-member group; managing multi-partner community-based research and development projects; training students

Former Names:
none