De mobilisatie van de nègres blancs d’Amérique | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 133, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163



In research on liberation movements, or other social movements, academics tend to look at rational and material motivations – economic, political, social, geographical, and demographic – for revolutionary action. In this article I want to emphasize the leading role of emotions in social action. A vivid example of this is the use of the nègre blanc metaphor in the liberation struggle in Québec in the 1960s and 1970s by the Front de Libération du Québec (FLQ). I argue that the devalued political, cultural, economic, and social position of Québec within Canada created a strong feeling of collective shame. To mobilize the Québécois people for its cause, the FLQ tried to address this collective shame by using the nègre blanc metaphor to describe the deplorable position of Québec. This identification led to active and passive support for the FLQ.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): decolonization; FLQ; Québec; shame; social movements
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