Differences and Similarities in Attitudes towards Intellectual and Visual Culture within the Ukrainian-Canadian Community in Edmonton, Alberta

  • Susanna M. Lynn University of Alberta


Ukrainian-Canadians are a relatively well-established group in Canada. This paper draws on data gathered from ten interviews about ethnic identity discourses which I conducted with new and established members of the Ukrainian-Canadian community in Edmonton, Alberta. Using critical discourse analysis, I investigate the responses to nine of the original thirty-seven interview questions, which included two ranking questions; these questions inquired about participants’ opinions and evaluations of [Ukrainian] literature, language, music and important “kinds” and aspects of culture. Responses exposed some of the similarities and differences in attitudes the two groups held towards intellectual and visual culture, highlighting the evolving nature of this community, and providing detail that enhances understanding of these attitudes. I present key arguments as to why these similarities and differences may, at least in part, correlate to the unique socio-cultural environments in which each group has been developing culture since Ukraine’s Independence. In particular, I posit that “the linguistic factor” (a term I use to summarize the interconnected influence that language, literature, and linguistic ability have on each other) is one of the most salient forces in shaping and informing these similarities and differences in attitudes towards intellectual and visual culture.