Postdoctoral fellow at the Centre Urbanisation Culture Société
Award-winning publication: Vivre en quartier populaire. Saint-Sauveur, 1930-1980 (book, 334 pp.)
Published in: Éditions du Septentrion, Québec, February 17, 2015
"Little was known about the lives of residents of working-class neighbourhoods in the decades after the Second World War. Focusing on the poorly-researched district of Saint-Sauveur in Québec, I interviewed men and women who lived there and documented various aspects of life between 1930 and 1980, including personal and career trajectories, consumption patterns, recreational habits, community and parish life, neighbourly relations, assistance and modes of transportation. The book also sheds light on the determinants and manifestations of belonging to one's parish, which had never been thoroughly explored. I identified a series of locations, ways of living and representations that gave impetus to the connection between identity and the experience of space."
By tracing the evolution of daily life and outlining the roots of attachment to the living environment, Dale Gilbert's publication should inform reflections by authorities and citizen organizations on strategies to galvanize local life and public spaces, value the heritage of working-class neighbourhoods and stimulate the sense of belonging of area residents. The book also contributes to the discussion on the future of abandoned places of worship by revealing that parishes played a structuring social role for many years by fulfilling religious and community vocations and serving as a gathering place for recreational and support organizations. By portraying life in one of Québec's working-class neighbourhoods in the last century and attaching importance to testimonials, the research also helps preserve the memories of residents.