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Cross Consideration of Orphanages in France and Quebec in the 19th and 20th Centuries

Mathieu Peter

Though orphanages in Quebec and France share the same characteristics and ambivalences, the organization of the child welfare system differs from one State to the other. The differences between French and Quebec orphanages result from the place they occupy within their respective public assistance systems. On either side of the Atlantic, the level of Church and State involvement in social matters first affected the role played by the orphanages, and then, later, the way in which they were perceived. Orphanages, which after World War II were taken over by the hegemonic apparatus of the medico-social sector, no longer exist as such, and survive only through the collective imagination.