Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science


Michael B. Stein




The initial objective of this thesis was to provide an understanding of tile Quebec question. It begins by postulating that it is primarily a national question in that it involves the historical struggle of Quebecers towards achieving their own independent nation-state. It goes on to analyze the various social, political, economic, cultural and ideological forces which affect the Quebec case, from the perspective of class analysis.

The second major objective of the thesis was to provide an understanding of the nature of the Parti Québécois, and its role in the present conjuncture of relations in Quebec. On a theoretical level we addressed the "new petite bourgeoisie problematic" in neo-Marxist literature, asking: "What is the nature of the new petite bourgeoisie in contemporary capitalist society, and specifically in Quebec?"

We argued that the P.Q. is a party of the new petite bourgeoisie in Quebec and its program -- sovereignty-association-is primarily designed to satisfy the interests of this class, and not the interests of the Quebec collectivity. The implication is that the significance of its programme can only be conjunctural. Sovereignty-association, if successfully achieved, would bring about an ephemeral, symbolic independence for the Quebec nation; at best an incomplete solution to the Quebec national question.

McMaster University Library

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."