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This research study on transnational secularism in the Francophone world includes media, legal and political analyses, but also interviews with Francophone immigrants to Quebec and Ontario, Canada.

Our contention is that an increasing number of secular-defined politics and ideas circulate and inform discussions about laïcité and facilitate the migration of certain groups of people in Canadian Francophone spaces. The SOM project thus quantifies and theorizes the circulation of secular peoples and ideas to Canada, with a special focus on Québec, and their movement to and from France, Switzerland, Belgium, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Lebanon.

In 2022-23

With support from the Secrétariat du Québec aux relations canadiennes and Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador, Jennifer Selby and Amélie Barras conducted over 100 personal interviews with first-generation immigrants from France living in Montréal and Toronto.

Now, in 2023-24

With support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, we are extending these interviews to include Francophones from six other contexts (Switzerland, Belgium, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Lebanon) in Montréal and Toronto.


Photo by Isaac Medina Alcazar, Getty Images

Interviews are being conducted in Montreal by Youssef Benzouine and Syrine Bouajila.


Photo by Getty Images

Interviews are being conducted in Toronto by Alanah Broomfield and Roshan Jahangeer.

This research is supervised by the Interdisciplinary Committee on Ethics in Human Research (ICEHR), and is in conformity with Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador’s ethics policies. If you have any concerns regarding research ethics (on the manner in which you have been treated or on your rights as a participant), you may contact the President of ICEHR at or by telephone at (1-709-864-2861).

To Participate in the Study

Please Contact Jennifer Selby or complete the form below.

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Please check back to this site for information regarding our knowledge dissemination efforts in relation to these interviews. More soon!

Podcast Project

Alongside journalism students from Concordia University, Jennifer Selby and Amélie Barras are developing two podcasts in French and in English. In these podcasts, French immigrants, interviewed by Selby and Barras, share their experiences migrating to Canada, and the importance that secularism and religion play in their lives. The podcasts are scheduled for release in autumn 2024!

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