Massey Lectures 2014

Lecture 1 - Belonging: The Paradox of Citizenship

The 2014 CBC Massey Lectures by Adrienne Clarkson

This lecture airs on CBC Radio One on November 10.

It is society that makes it possible for us to develop ourselves as human beings. Personal relationships enrich us, work makes us feel useful, and goals give us purpose. We are part of a group, as we are all born biologically from a union. And it is as part of a group that we yearn to belong... The people in this village belonged to an entity, which gave them an idea of citizenship -- owning their own freedom, not being beholden to anyone..."

Adrienne Clarkson

In Part One of her CBC Massey Lectures, Adrienne Clarkson tells the story of the village of Eygalières in France: how it got its freedom in medieval times, and how this revolutionized society. For the first time the villagers had ownership of their lives, they were free to be citizens. As vassals to a great lord, personal identity was defined by this relationship; freedom brought with it a new concept: we can be who we want to be, both as a society and as individuals.

Listen online or purchase lectures on iTunes

Watch Adrienne Clarkson in conversation with Debra Arbec from CBC News Montreal

media clip

Related websites:

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.