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Searching for Canadian History Jack Jedwab Association for Canadian Studies April 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "Searching for Canadian History Jack Jedwab Association for Canadian Studies April 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Searching for Canadian History Jack Jedwab Association for Canadian Studies April 2010

2 Themes Identified and Discussed 1. Consuming “Canadiana” 2. Searching for “Canadiana” 3. History Lessons

3 Introduction  In the focus on debates around the sense of belonging and attachment to Canada there has been increasing attention directed at knowledge about the country. Enhancing the population’s knowledge about the country’s history is seen by some as an important means of fostering citizenship. Ideally it would be useful to have some idea of the state of knowledge about the country’s history. It is widely assumed that such knowledge is low owing largely to the results of annual opinion surveys that test Canadians ability to respond to various events in the country’s history. Yet when asked to self-assess their knowledge about the country’s history, we give ourselves relatively high marks. Others assume that specific groups within the population are more ignorant about the nations past (i.e. immigrants and youth).

4 Consuming Canadian Info  That which follows neither asks Canadians to self- assess their knowledge or respond to questions about the country’s history. Rather the focus is on the extent to which Canadians report reading about Canada’s history and this is compared with other topics of interest. It reveals that the majority of Canadians don’t make “Canadiana” part of their reading. The survey was conducted by the firm Leger Marketing for the Association for Canadian Studies.

5 3 levels of readership of Canadian history a) Heavy readers of Canadiana (persons that report having read 5 or more books or magazines in the past two years)-they represent approx 8% of the population. In general the minority of heavier history readers are in the most educated category of the population and indeed the heaviest readership (10 or more books or magazines) is under the age of 35 (4% in that group report 10 or more) b) Light to Moderate readers of Canadiana (persons who have read between 1 and 4 books or magazines in the past two years)-they represent 38% of the population c) Non- Readers of Canadiana-Those who have not read anything on the subject in the past 2 years-52%

6 Things Novel about Canada  Novels were by far most read by Canadians over the past two years. A majority also report having read science and technology, world history and a very slight majority read business and economy. There were important differences in reading choices on the basis of gender. Men were more likely to reads science and technology, Canadian and World History, Politics, Sports and Business and economy while novels were far and away the top choice of women.

7 Did not read any books or magazines on the following subjects in the past two years. None Yes SubjectTotalMaleFemaleTotalMaleFemale Canadian History52%46%56% Canadian Sports63%53%73% Canadian Politics53%45%61% Canadian Literature53%57%50% Canadian Business and Economy 49%41%57% Canadian Immigration and Multiculturalism 70%69%71% Science and Technology 41%31%51% World History47%40%53% Province ’ s History 54% 55%46 45 Novels23%31%16% Men read more than women on Canadian History

8 Persons over the age of 65 that are most likely to have read something about Canada Did not read any books or magazines on the following subjects in the past two years Canadian History50%55%54%53%52%44% Canadian Sports54%56%63%66% 72% Canadian Politics51%54%61%57%48%46% Canadian Literature48%54%57%62%51%45% Canadian Business & Economy 50%56%50%47%45%49% Canadian Immigration & Multiculturalism 60%69%73%76%68%69% Science & Technology30%36%43%40%44%51% World History48%45%49%47%48%46% Provinces History48%57%56%59%53%51% Novels16%19%24%25%26%

9 Did not read any books or magazines on the following subjects in the past two years. TotalFrenchEnglishOther Canadian History52%61%48%55% Canadian Sports63%60%64%70% Canadian Politics53%59%53%52% Canadian Literature53%56%52%58% Canadian Business & Economy 49%56%47%51% Canadian Immigration & Multiculturalis m 70%74%72%63% Science & Technology 41%44%39%46% World History47%53%45%52% Provinces History54%48%56%61% Novels23%25%21%30% Other Magazines12%11%12%16% Anglophones most likely to have read about Canadian History

10 Did not read any books or magazines on the following subjects in the past two years. TotalElem/SecCollegeUniversity Canadian History52%61%47%48% Canadian Sports63%67%65%61% Canadian Politics53%66%53%43% Canadian Literature53%62%56%45% Canadian Business & Economy 49%62%48%41% Canadian Immigration & Multiculturalism 70%80%71%62% Science & Technology41%56%39%31% World History47%56%46%41% Provinces History54%58%52%54% Novels23%27%24%20% Other Magazines12%18%13%7%

11 Heavier Readers of Canada: The Challenge of Mainstreaming Canadian History In the last two years, read 5 or more books or magazines on the following subjects

12 Indices of Canadian History Literacy It is widely felt that knowledge of Canada and notably its history are elements of strong citizenship  But “Canadian historic literacy” is relatively low and the majority of the population do not qualify as literate when it comes to the degree to which they read about the subject  Most heavy readership is likely “required”and not voluntary given the demographics of the heaviest consumers  Is there a history for the elite and another for the masses?

13 In the last two years, read 5 or more books or magazines on the following subjects? TotalMaleFemale Canadian History8%11%7% Canadian Sports9%17%3% Canadian Politics14%18%10% Canadian Literature14% Canadian Business and Economy 15%20%10% Canadian Immigration and Multiculturalism 6% Science and Technology23%33%12% World History16%20%13% Province ’ s History 8% Novels52%44%59% Women “heavier” readers of novels, Men “Business” Science and History

14 SubjectTotal Canadian History8%10%8%10%6%9%8% Canadian Sports9%12%15%10%8%6% Canadian Politics14%19%15%9%11%16%18% Canadian Literature14%20%11%9%12%16%17% Canadian Business & Economy 15%13%11%16%15%16%18% Canadian Immigration & Multiculturalism 6%8%6% 4%5% Science & Technology 23%33%29%24%21%18%13% World History16%21% 15%13%16%12% Province History8%12%4%7%6%12%10% Novels52%48%58%52%47%56%54% Canadian History amongst lowest in the 5 or more category

15 Allophones somewhat more likely to fall into moderate plus readership of Canadian History SubjectTotalFrenchEnglishOther Canadian History8%7% 10% Canadian Sports9%12%9%6% Canadian Politics14%13%14%16% Canadian Literature14%12%14%13% Canadian Business & Economy 15%12%16%14% Canadian Immigration & Multiculturalis m 6%5%6%7% Science & Technology 23%22%23% World History16%11%18%20% Provinces History8%13%7% Novels52% 55%46% Other Magazines57%62%58%51%

16 TotalElem/SecCollegeUniversity Canadian History8%4%11% Canadian Sports9%7%11% Canadian Politics14%8%13%21% Canadian Literature14%11%13%18% Canadian Business & Economy 15%9%13%23% Canadian Immigration & Multiculturalism 6%4%6%9% Science & Technology23%15%20%31% World History16%10%18%21% Provinces History8%7%8%9% Novels52%45%55%57% Other Magazines57%48%57%65% Most educated somewhat more likely to fall into the moderate plus category

17 Where do you get your information about Canada Among the following, which is the principal source you go to when you need information on the following subjects?

18 Canadian History Total Internet51%53%41%35%37%31%41 Television Radio Books18%24%23%28% 32%26 Newspaper2% 3%4%5%9%4 I never seek informa tion on this subject 13% 21%18%19%15%17 Majority under 35 get info on Canadian history from the internet

19 Canadian Politics Total Internet43%46%42%34%30%25%36 Books2%3%2% 4%5%3 Newspaper20%9%16%14%22%27%18 Radio1%7%4%6%5%4%5 Television16%19%16%24% 25%21 I never seek information on this subject 14%15%18%16%14%13%15 Under 45 less likely to use non-internet sources of accessing info on Canadian Politics

20 Canadian HistoryFrenchEnglishOther Internet38%43%39% Books19%29%26% Newspaper5%3%6% Radio1% 3% Television11%8%9% I never seek information on this subject 25%14%16% Francophones least likely to seek info on Canadian History

21 Canadian PoliticsFrenchEnglishOther Internet29%42%31% Books2%4%2% Newspaper16%18%19% Radio5%4%7% Television26%18%22% I never seek information on this subject 13% 17% Television less popular source for information amongst anglophones

22 InternetBooksTelevisionRadioNewspaperNever seek info. Canadian History41%26%9%1%4%17% Canadian Sports34%1%20%3%12%27% Canadian Politics36%3%21%5%18%15% Canadian Literature29% 3%1%6%28% Canadian Business and Economy 43%3%13%4%19%16% Canadian Immigration and Multiculturalism 37%5%8%3%10%33% Science and Technology 61%9% 2%5%11% World History44%23%11%1%4%16% Province ’ s History 41%24%6%1%4%21% Canadian Literature partially escapes the net

23 History Lessons  Moderate readers somewhat more likely to feel official languages good for unity

24 Parmi les évènements suivants, lequel croyez- vous a été le plus déterminant dans l'histoire du Canada Au cours des deux dernières années, combien de livres ou de magazines avez-vous lu sur les sujets suivants : / L'histoire canadienne English Respondents in Canada 10 ou plus5-91-4Aucune La conquête de la Nouvelle-France 11,5%3,3%2,2%,9% La Guerre de 18127,7%6,6%3,9%6,1% La participation canadienne pendant la Première et la Second 11,5%13,1%25,8%15,8% La Confédération de ,6%34,4%26,4%27,9% Le rapatriement de la Constitution et l'introduction de la C 11,5%13,1%12,4%10,6% L'introduction du système de santé universel 11,5% 14,0%12,5% Je ne sais pas / Je préfère ne pas répondre 3,8%1,6%3,9%14,4%

25 English Respondents Number of Books or Magazines read on Canadian History 10 or more/ou plus None/ Aucune Canadians are a patriotic people/ Les Canadiens sont des personnes patriotiques Strongly Agree/Tout à fait d'accord 46,2%26,7%28,4%23,3% Somewhat Agree/Plutôt d'accord 38,5%53,3%55,6%51,7% Somewhat Disagree/ Plutôt en désaccord 15,4%11,7%13,2%17,0% Strongly Disagree/Tout à fait en désaccord 8,3%2,2%3,5% Prefer not to respond/Je préfère ne pas répondre,6%4,5% Except Heaviest Readers perception of patriotism little affected by level of readership

26 English respondents and Number of Books or Magazines read on Canadian History 10 or more/ou plus None/ Aucune Je suis patriotique à l'égard du Canada Strongly Agree/Tout à fait d'accord 80,8%63,9%64,4%57,4% Somewhat Agree/Plutôt d'accord 19,2%34,4%29,7%31,8% Somewhat Disagree/ Plutôt en désaccord 3,9%2,6% Strongly Disagree/Tout à fait en désaccord 1,6%1,4%2,6% Prefer not to respond/Je préfère ne pas répondre,6%5,6% Except Heaviest Readers personal patriotism little affected by level of readership

27 English In the last two years how many books or mgazines have you read on Canadian History Au cours des deux dernières années, combien de livres ou de magazines avez-vous lu sur l'histoire canadienne La Loi sur les langues officielles est bonne pour l'unité canadienne 10 or mor e/ou plus None/ Aucune 10 or more /ou plus Total Strongly Agree/Tout à fait d'accord 23,1%29,5%16,2%16,9%8,3%17,6% Somewhat Agree/Plutôt d'accord 53,8%26,2%40,2%32,2%33,3%35,7% Somewhat Disagree/ Plutôt en désaccord 15,4%18,0%23,7%26,1%33,3%24,4% Moderate readers somewhat more likely to feel official languages good for unity

28 English In the last two years how many books or mgazines have you read on Canadian History Au cours des deux dernières années, combien de livres ou de magazines avez- vous lu sur l'histoire canadienne Multiculturalism is good for Canadian Unity /La Loi sur le multiculturalisme est bonne pour l'unité canadienne 10 ou plus5-91-4Aucune Je ne sais pas / Je préfère ne pas répond re Total Strongly Agree/Tout à fait d'accord 40,7%38,3%14,8%11,5%15,4%15,6% Somewhat Agree/Plutôt d'accord 37,0%18,3%45,1%41,6%46,2%41,4% Somewhat Disagree/ Plutôt en désaccord 14,8%25,0%21,0%22,1%15,4%21,5% Strongly Disagree Tout à fait en désaccord 3,7%18,3%12,3%13,9%7,7%13,2% No response/Je préfère ne pas répondre 3,7%,0%6,7%10,8%15,4%8,3% Moderate and heavy readers much more likely to feel that Multiculturalism is good for Canadian Unity

29 English In the last two years how many books or mgazines have you read on Canadian History Au cours des deux dernières années, combien de livres ou de magazines avez- vous lu sur l'histoire canadienne The Charter of Rigths and Freedoms is good for Canadian Unity/La Charte canadienne des droits et libertés contribue à l'unité canadienne est bonne pour l'unité canadienne 10 ou plus5-91-4Aucune No Response Je ne sais pas / Je préfère ne pas répondre Total Strongly Agree/Tout à fait d'accord 38,5%47,5%34,5%30,0%23,1%33,1% Somewhat Agree/Plutôt d'accord 50,0%35,6%43,1%46,0%46,2%44,3% Somewhat Disagree/ Plutôt en désaccord 3,8%13,6%12,9%9,4%7,7%10,9% Strongly Disagree Tout à fait en désaccord 7,7%1,7%7,8%6,4%6,6% No response/Je préfère ne pas répondre 1,7% 8,3%23,1%5,1%


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