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The Netherlandic Presence in Ontario

Pillars, Class and Dutch Ethnicity

By Frans J. Schryer
Subjects Social Science, Emigration & Immigration, Sociology
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Paperback : 9780889203129, 472 pages, February 1998

Table of contents

Table of Contents for
The Netherlandic Presence in Ontario: Pillars, Class, and Dutch Ethnicity by Frans J. Schryer

List of Figures

List of Tables




Part One: Shifting Ethnicity

Dutch Ethnicity: Genesis and Transfor mation

Dutch Society and the Pillar System

Postwar Migration: FromHolland to Canada

Part Two: Transported Pillars (with Fieldnote Interludes)

Adapting to Ontario

The Spatial Distribution of Dutch-Canadians

Dutch-Canadian Pluralism

The Fate of the Catholic Pillar

The Refor med Pillars

Regional and Inter-National Networks

Language Retention

Negotiating Class Standing

Gender and Dutch-Canadian Ethnicity

Dutch Business

The Dutch Credit Union Movement

Dutch-Canadian Social and Cultural Associations

The Elderly

Part Three: From Immigrants to Dutch-Canadians

Dutch-Canadian Dispositions: Identity and Culture

The Invisible Minority in the Ver tical Mosaic

A Reinterpretation of Immigration and Ethnicity


Glossary of Dutch Words and Acronyms (English)





Schryer’s central argument is that ethnic groups are as much modern “myths” as they are integral components of a socially constructed reality.

Focusing on the large cohort of immigrants from the Netherlands and the former Dutch East Indies who arrived in Canada between 1947 and 1960, Schryer shows how the Dutch, despite a loss of ethnic identity and a high level of linguistic assimilation, replicated many aspects of their homeland. While illustrating and illuminating the diversity among immigrants sharing a common national origin, Schryer keeps sight of what is common among them. In doing so, he shows how deeply ingrained habits were modified in a Canadian context, resulting in both continuities and discontinuities. The result is a variegated image reflecting a multidimensional reality.


``Frans Schryer's study has brought about a significant change, providing important new insights into the highly complex and often little understood dynamics underlying the patterns of cultural adaptation and preservation among Dutch Canadians as well as adding to our understanding of the formation and continuation of cultural minority groups in general. ...Schryer offers an extensive and insightful examination of the Netherlandic presence in Ontario that is both challenging and informative. ''

- Daisy Neijmann, University of Manitoba, Canadian Ethnic Studies

``The resulting mosaic of various communities provides a very insightful picture of immigrant life from arrival through third-and fourth-general experiences. ...I found Schryer's description and analysis helpful. ''

- Harry Boonstra, Calvin Theological Journal

``His book cannot help but become required reading for anybody wanting to understand the Ontario Dutch Canadians, their characteristics, their attitudes towards each other and towards the society they live in. ''

- Gerry Graaskamp, De Nederlandse COURANT

``The work is without question a valuable academic study and review and will serve as a detailed source of reference material. ''

- Martin Mol, De Nederlandse COURANT

``The Netherlandic Presence is a landmark in Canadian ethnic studies as well as an invaluable contribution to understanding Dutch Canadians. ''

- Terry A. Crowley, Canadian Book Review Annual

``. ..a thoroughly researched account of the Dutch presence in Ontario and a critique of myths prevalent in the field of ethnic studies. Historians, other social scientists, and Canadians generally can all learn from it. ... [I]t must be emphasized that the book makes a major contribution to our knowledge of the processes of immigration and adaption, of what happened to the many thousands of Netherlanders who came to Ontario after the Second World War, and of how they were changed by and helped to change their new homeland. ''

- Michiel Horn, York University, The Canadian Historical Review