A Brief History of Women in Quebec
Paper 284 pp.
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A Brief History of Women in Quebec examines the historical experience of women of different social classes and origins (geographic, ethnic, and racial) from the period of contact between Europeans and Aboriginals to the twenty-first century to give a nuanced and complex account of the main transformations in their lives.
Themes explored include demography, such as marriage, fecundity, and immigration; women’s work outside and inside the home, including motherhood; education, from elementary school to post-secondary and access to the professions; the impact of religion and government policies; and social and political activism, including feminism and struggles to attain equality with men. Early chapters deal with New France and the first part of the nineteenth century, and the remaining are devoted to the period since 1880, an era in which women’s lives changed rapidly and dramatically.
The book concludes that transformation in the means of production, women’s social and political activism (including feminism), and Quebec nationalism are three main keys to understanding the history of Quebec women. Together, the three show that women’s history, far from being an adjunct to “general history,” is essential to a full understanding of the past. Originally published in French with the title Brève histoire des femmes au Québec.
Denyse Baillargeon is a professor in the History Department at the Université de Montréal. She is the author of Babies for the Nation: The Medicalization of Motherhood in Quebec, 1910–1970 (WLU Press, 2009) and Making Do: Women, Family and Home in Montreal during the Great Depresssion (WLU Press, 1999).
Donald Wilson joined the faculty of the University of Waterloo in 1970, where he remained until his retirement. A former chair of the Department of French Studies at UW, he is the translator of Denyse Baillargeon’s Babies for the Nation and, with Paul G. Socken, of Aaron: A Novel, by Yves Thériault (WLU Press, 2007).
By the same author
Making Do: Women, Family and Home in Montreal during the Great Depression, Denyse Baillargeon; Yvonne Klein, translator
Babies for the Nation: The Medicalization of Motherhood in Quebec, 1910-1970, Denyse Baillargeon and W. Donald Wilson
Aaron, Yves Theriault; W. Donald Wilson and Paul G. Socken, translators
Abuse or Punishment?: Violence toward Children in Quebec Families, 1850-1969, Marie-Aimée Cliche; W. Donald Wilson, translator