Franglais in a post-rap world: audible minorities and anxiety about mixing in Québec

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In the summer of 2014, the release of an album by a Montreal-based hip-hop group whose lyrics systematically combine words and phrases from English and French activated fears among the francophone majority about their future as a national minority. Neo-conservative nationalists responded to the album by criticizing youth for having “massacred” the French language and for giving in to the glamour of American rap music. By recalling Québec’s fragile status as a linguistic minority and its ongoing struggle to defend the French language vis-à-vis the rest of Canada, criticisms drew sharp lines between insiders and outsiders. This text takes inspiration from critical sociolinguistics and recent analyses of race relations in Québec to show that code-switching in popular music can create new opportunities for shared community among young people of diverse backgrounds, but these emerging forms of solidarity do not necessarily translate into belonging in terms of the larger political community.




White, B. W. (2019). Franglais in a post-rap world: audible minorities and anxiety about mixing in Québec. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 42(6), 957–974.

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