Are fragile majorities capable of opening themselves to deep-rooted and new ethnic and cultural pluralism? What role does education play in this process? Based on ten years of comparative research, Fragile Majorities and Education is a nuanced study of ethnic dominance, linguistic integration of immigrants, and diversity in education. Ethnic relations are often depicted in an oversimplified framework where a clear dominant majority exercises power over various minorities. In many societies worldwide, however, this model does not hold true. In some countries, two or more groups possess relatively equal power to control the state and impose their definitions of the nation, as is the case with Flemish speakers and French speakers in Belgium, and with Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland. In other instances, such as in Quebec or Catalonia, clearly identifiable majorities are nonetheless minorities at a larger nation-state level, which creates a situation of ambiguous ethnic dominance. Marie McAndrew analyzes and clarifies these complex situations through the lens of education as a means for both maintaining and transforming ethnic boundaries and identities. Deeply insightful and meticulously researched, Fragile Majorities and Education is a groundbreaking contribution to the field of ethnic studies.
Marie McAndrew is professor at the Faculty of Education at l'Universite de Montreal, where she also holds the Canada Research Chair on Education and Ethnic Relations. Her book Immigration et diversite a l'ecole won the Donner Prize and the original French