The literature of scientific studies, either demographic, economic, or sociological, on Canadian families, is rather thin. Except for some valuable local monographs and theses interred in university libraries, one must rely almost exclusively on excellent but very few general studies of the Dominion Bureau of Statistics. Among such are the 1931 Census monograph on the Canadian family, the 1937-8 national survey on the Canadian family income and expenditure pattern and, more recently, the remarkable series of studies by Dr. Enid Charles on the trends and differences in Canadian family size as revealed by the last Census of 1941.
The French-speaking part of Canada geographically concentrated in the Province of Quebec represents, within the Canadian context, a culturally and politically conscious social structure. At present, this society, owing to rapid industrialization and concomitant adjustments, includes areas and communities of all the possible transitional shades from the solid, old-settled, rural type, to the more complex, dynamic, and urbanized variety. Studies of French-Canadian families in any of these differentiated areas are also scarce. The traditional type of French-Canadian rural family has been ably studied by the Canadian sociologist follower of the Le Play School of Social Science, Léon Gérin, especially in his monograph entitled the Habitant de Saint-Justin. More recently, Horace Miner scientifically analysed for the first time, the relationships between land and the family in rural Quebec. Both of these studies stress the following basic features of the traditional rural French-Canadian family: a high degree of familism and of internal solidarity, a fundamental functional relationship with the tenure system of large family-ownership of the farm as well as with a peculiar pattern of land inheritance which consists in the passing of the whole farm, undivided, to only one inheriting son in each family.