restricted access The Genealogy of Stereotypes: French Canadians in Two English-language Canadian History Textbooks

This essay traces the genealogy of the stereotype of the French Canadian found in two popular postwar Canadian history textbooks. French Canadians were portrayed as gregarious, easy-going, colourful, and fond of song and dance, but also unlettered, ignorant of the world outside Quebec, and content with their lot. These stereotypes are traced back to the work of earlier scholars on New France, notably Francis Parkman, and to primary sources. From the character traits mentioned in these sources, textbook writers selected those that allowed them to construct the French Canadian in the negative image of the contemporary English Canadian, thus detaching French Canadians from the main narrative of Canadian history.