This thesis is an attempt to conceptualise nation and national identity in the context of Quebec, Canada. Earlier works by Handler (1988) and Bergheim (1997) compose an important part of the background of this thesis, which treats critically the ways national identity and ethnic identity in general, and national identity in Quebec especially, have been depicted, taking the prevailing anthropological theories on the subjects as its starting point. While acknowledging culture's discursive nature, seeing nation and national identity constituted in part by narratives, this thesis argues that nation in Quebec is also in part material. Rather than seeing nation as something that is exclusively a product of narratives, and discourses, focus is directed towards the implicit, non-discursive, and embodied aspects of culture, as this thesis propose that nation; national identity, is in the context of Quebec not solely a state of mind but also a state of body.
Compared to the works of Bergheim and Handler, this thesis' perspective, i.e. the way it employs a certain concept of culture in a Quebecois context, implies to a certain degree an attempt to depoliticise the concept of culture in the context of the nation or ethnic group. This comes about, as the focus empirically is in part directed to practices that are at once embodied and objects of discourse, material and conceptual, like greetings, general style, or comportment. Moreover, methodologically, because of the concept of culture employed, due consideration is granted informants' actions and utterances- utterances not explicitly self-representative. Accordingly, statements explicitly self-representative are treated as being fundamentally different, being of an other logic type than actions and utterances of the former type. Special attention is given to language. "Quebecois", the type of French spoken in Quebec, of which my informants' way of speaking- "joual"- represents a local, Montréalais version, plays an all-important role in Quebecois nationalism. This is so, this thesis suggests, because Quebecois is among "the stuff" "Quebecois culture" is made of as nationalist rhetoric has it, and is simultaneously to my informants The medium of expression (-and impression); indispensable in all walks of life.