"Ma vie est vraiment différente de ce que je pensais": A life-story analysis of geographies and gendered subjectivities of Francophone mothers in Kingston

dc.contributor.authorSimard-Gagnon, Laurenceen
dc.contributor.departmentGeography and Planningen
dc.contributor.supervisorGodlewska, Anneen
dc.degree.grantorQueen's University at Kingstonen
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation is about migrant Francophone mothers’ experiences of mothering in Kingston, Ontario. It exposes how elements of these women’s life-stories, namely mothering, migration, and minority language, intersect with experiences of places to orient their subjectivities, their material conditions and practices, and their future possibilities in various ways. These intersections of life stories and places shape particular configurations of identification, affiliations, marginalization, power, and powerlessness, and define how patriarchal and heteronormative notions of gender assert themselves in each mother’s life. Kingston is a mid-sized city with a vast Anglophone majority where Francophones comprise less than 5% of the population. Francophone presence is largely invisible and marginal except in designated French-language institutions (e.g. French-language schools). Most Francophones in Kingston are economic migrants and their family members, including military families, from Québec, elsewhere in Canada or abroad. I conducted life-story interviews with thirty-two Francophone mothers living in Kingston in 2016. I also interviewed fifteen women holding key positions in French-language services organizations from 2016-18 while sitting on two planning and advocacy committees for French-language services. Significant planes of differences that emerge from Francophone mothers’ stories are whether they came to Kingston as primary or as secondary migrants, their degree of fluency in English, and their affiliation with the military. These differences define each mother’s social power and inclusion, and her experiences of the institution of motherhood and its gendered imperatives. These differences also shape the degree to which the dominant structures of place in Kingston constrain mothers’ everyday geographies. Mothers ‘make do’ and ‘make with’ relationships and structures non-conducive to their mothering and linguistic needs, and they experience places as passages that facilitate or hinder the continuity of their particular projects and forms of being. Francophone institutions, although they can foster smoother passages for some mothers, also reinforce gendered roles around feminized social reproduction and cultural labour. Francophone mothers’ experiences of difference in Kingston, as migrants, mothers, and Francophones, shape the articulations of gendered norms and stories of motherhood, care and social reproduction, and cultural transmission in their lives, and how these norms and stories channel their subjectivities and possibilities.en
dc.relation.ispartofseriesCanadian thesesen
dc.rightsQueen's University's Thesis/Dissertation Non-Exclusive License for Deposit to QSpace and Library and Archives Canadaen
dc.rightsProQuest PhD and Master's Theses International Dissemination Agreementen
dc.rightsIntellectual Property Guidelines at Queen's Universityen
dc.rightsCopying and Preserving Your Thesisen
dc.rightsThis publication is made available by the authority of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private study and research and may not be copied or reproduced except as permitted by the copyright laws without written authority from the copyright owner.en
dc.subjectlinguistic minorityen
dc.subjecteveryday lifeen
dc.subjectfeminist geographyen
dc.subjectsocial reproductionen
dc.title"Ma vie est vraiment différente de ce que je pensais": A life-story analysis of geographies and gendered subjectivities of Francophone mothers in Kingstonen
Original bundle
Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
Thumbnail Image
2.23 MB
Adobe Portable Document Format
License bundle
Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
No Thumbnail Available
2.6 KB
Item-specific license agreed upon to submission