The John Bullen Prize
Amélie Bourbeau. “La réorganisation de l’assistance chez les catholiques montréalais: la Fédération des Œuvres de charité canadiennes-françaises et la Federation of Catholic Charities, 1930-1972” (Department of History – UQAM).
Amélie Bourbeau’s dissertation explores the transformation of Montreal’s French- and English-Canadian Catholic private charities by tracing the development of the Fédération des Œuvres de charité canadiennes-françaises and the Federation of Catholic Charities from 1930 to 1972. In particular, she stresses the crucial role played by the lay directors of these federations in the processes of bureaucratization, secularization and professionalization of social assistance in Montreal. She also highlights the development of tensions between the leaders of the federations and the front-line social workers, set against the backdrop of the growing state control over public assistance during the Quiet Revolution. Her work convincingly demonstrates that the modernization of public assistance in Quebec cannot be understood without going beyond the traditional Church-State dichotomy to take into account the key roles played by lay and private actors in this process.
Sensitive to issues of class, culture, and gender, Bourbeau presents an original and nuanced study. Based on an extensive array of research sources which bear in mind the international context, La réorganisation de l’assistance chez les catholiques montréalais makes significant contributions to the historiography of the modernization of social assistance in Quebec, the rise of the welfare state, the social dimensions of the Catholic Church, the development of the Anglo-Catholic communities of Montreal, and the Quiet Revolution.