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Uncovering dress policy in Québec

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posted on 23.05.2021, 16:18 by Krista Raymer
By contrast with Canada, the provincial government of Québec has struggled to identify and articulate a "national" identity. The separatist Parti Québécois proposed the Charter of Values in 2013 in order to strengthen provincial claims to nationalism. Legislation within the charter potentially alters the appearances of the populace by defining acceptable forms of dress in a range of public spaces. It raises troubling questions concerning the role dress plays in the bodily display of values and creation of national identity. Through a biopolitical approach, it is evident the Charter of Values is designed to eliminate the presence of hair and facial covering practices in public space. The policy prioritizes the pure laine identity, while marking those bodies dressed in a way that reference non francophone traditions and cultures as threatening to the security and cultural values of Québec. The critique of the proposed legislation exposes the role public policy plays in creating, maintaining, and perpetuating dressed identities in public space. The Charter of Values has and will continue to stigmatize those citizens who communicate non- pure laine identities through dress. Key Terms: Dress, Public Space, Public Policy, Charter of Values , Québec, Biopolitics, Multiculturalism





Master of Arts



Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type