Congress 2019

CSA Annual Conference and Congress 2019 of the Humanities and Social Sciences
Location: University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia
Dates: June 1 – June 7

5th Annual CSA Rural Sociology Research Cluster Meeting
Date: Monday, June 3rd
Time: 5:15 pm to 6:15 pm
Location: ANGU 434

2017 Rural Sociology RUSII:
Increasing Indigenous involvement in management: Meeting the demands of the 21st Century
Date: Monday, June 3rd
Time: 10:30 am to 12:00 pm
Location: ANGU 434


Chris Southcott, Lakehead University
“The Cost-Benefits of a Mine in Canada’s North: The Faro Mine from a Sociological Perspective”
While mining continues to be the most active type of economic development occurring in the Canadian North, there have been few studies that try to understand the overall cost/benefits of a mine on the people that live there. Building on the work of the Resources and Sustainable Development in the Arctic project this paper tries to present an overall understanding of these costs and benefits from a sociological perspective. This paper will use the example of a mine in Faro, Yukon for this purpose. Using available census and economic data, combined with archival material, we can start to see the complexities surround discussion of what are costs and what are benefits especially as concerns Indigenous peoples.

Satenia Zimmermann, Lakehead University; (M.A.) Peggy Smith, Lakehead University; Sara Teitelbaum, University of Montreal; Chris Southcott, Lakehead University; Jennifer Jarman, Lakehead University; Marie St. Amaud, Université du Québec à Montréal
“Reclaiming First Nation Lands and Forests: A Northern Ontario Case Study”
Throughout the 21stcentury federal, provincial and territorial courts have increasingly ruled in favour of First Nations who have sought the court’s assistance in their fight to protect their traditional lands and natural resources. As a result, governments, corporations and ENGO’s have been forced to amend legislation, policies, and practices related to natural resource management, while First Nations have responded by implementing their own local land and resource management policies, establishing Indigenous-owned businesses, and forging new partnerships with corporations and ENGO’s. Ontario is no exception. First Nations, who a decade ago existed on the periphery of the forest sector, are now key players in sustainable forest management. This paper examines the role of the Nawiinginokima Forest Management Corporation (NFMC), the first provincially owned Local Forest Management Corporation established in 2014 under the Ontario Forest Tenure Modernization Act, 2011, in ensuring local First Nations’ involvement in sustainable forest management. Using semi-structured interviews, a northern Ontario case study was developed with information gathered from representatives from Biigtigong Nishnaabeg First Nation, Pic Mobert First Nation, NFMC, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, industry, ENGO’s, and consultants. Participants discuss First Nations’ involvement in the development of the NFMC; the impact the NFMC has had on local First Nations; Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification on the Big Pic, Pic River, and White River forests; the implications of obtaining free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) in forestry; the role of First Nations in forest management planning; and the ways in which Biigtigong Nishnaabeg First Nation and Pic Mobert First Nation are reclaiming their lands and resources through sustainable forest management.

Gary Machan, Independent Researcher; Jennifer Jarman, Lakehead University
“Reimagining Delivery of Health Services in Rural Communities in the 21st Century: The Power of the Politics of Belonging”
Across Canada, many rural communities are facing “doctor shortages”.  This paper critically assesses a recent strategy to address the health care needs of rural residents that is not as focused on doctors and hospitals.   At its heart is a different model of community governance. To see how community governance influences health outcomes, we assess the model in use by the North Simcoe Community Health Link led by the Chigamik Community Health Centre to analyze how civic engagement is developed.  The Centre has adopted a  Social Prescribing approach to combat social isolation, alienation and anomie.  The proponents of this model suggest that patients and citizens alike have a voice in the delivery of their health care that goes beyond empty slogans.  Further, its advocates claim that the model is responsible for better levels of health and wellbeing of patients, increases community capacity through citizen involvement, and significant system impacts such as greatly reduced emergency room visits and hospital rates.

2017 Rural Sociology RUSI:
The Right to Be Rural: Citizenship Outside the City
Date: Monday, June 3rd
Time: 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm
Location: ANGU 434


Mary Aspinall, University of New Brunswick
“Manufacturing Consent for Rural Compliance with Corporate Development”
Almost 50% of the Atlantic province of New Brunswick identifies as rural, yet a dominant ideology exists in Canada that rural communities are in decline. Common perceptions are that urbanization, inclusive of technology and greater intelligence, is inevitable yet others argue that social distance between urban and rural residents support inaction towards rural needs (Florida 2003; High 2009; Kratke 2010). As news media is considered an influential tool towards public perceptions, we performed content analysis of editorials in New Brunswick’s monopoly news context, Brunswick News (BN). We coded for themes of rural communities as disappearing versus resilient, and corporate versus local community development. Results demonstrated that 87% of the editorials backed claims of rural disappearance, and 43% supported claims that corporate development of extractive industries provides the much-needed economic boost to rural regions of New Brunswick. In contrast, only 17% mentioned rural community development initiatives and only 20% portrayed rural communities as resilient and innovative. We speculate that the heavily one-sided argument of BN encourages rural residents to identify themselves as citizens aligned and compliant with corporate development. These perspectives contribute to the move to urbanization and ultimately to perceptions that community-based rural development is unsustainable.

Rachel McLay, Dalhousie University; Howard Ramos, Dalhousie University
“Embracing (in)difference in Atlantic Canada? Rural political citizenship in a multicultural society”
In recent decades, Atlantic Canada has seen increased urbanization, increased immigration, and—like many regions in the West—the steady decline of formal political participation. However, in rural areas, voter turnout has consistently remained higher than in cities and suburbs. Perhaps it is the “blasé attitude” of city-dwellers, noted by Georg Simmel, which keeps them from the polls. The autonomy and anonymity of the city has been contrasted with community and greater social control in rural areas; the openness, with prejudice; the diversity, with homogeneity. The implication is that openness to difference might also lead to _in_difference, and prejudice to increased political engagement. These connections have interesting consequences for how we theorize and study citizenship in urban and rural places alike. Many have mourned the loss of the collectivist spirit in contemporary “individualized” forms of political action, or have chronicled the negative consequences of this loss for political efficacy. We ask: can those living in rural Atlantic Canada maintain strong communities, exercise their political citizenship, and also embrace Canada’s multiculturalist values and policy? Our telephone survey on the political views and practices of Atlantic Canadians yields new data with which to consider this important question.

Kayla McCarney, Acadia University; Lesley Frank, Acadia University; Sarah Rudrum, Acadia University
Reproducing the rural citizen: Barriers to rural birthing and maternity care in Nova Scotia
This paper reports on empirical research conducted in Nova Scotia from July 2017 to July 2018 about pregnancy, birth, and early parenting as sites of rural resilience. Using interviews and focus groups from two distinct yet comparable rural areas (one that does not have midwifery service and one that does) the project explored the current state of maternity care from the perspective of mothers and other maternity care stakeholders, eight years after the province’s regulation of midwifery. Qualitative data analysis identified issues pertaining to the failure of upholding rural citizens’ rights to universal health care access. This was evident in a crisis of sustainability resulting in suspensions of the rural model sites, and in the program design from the onset, illuminating the urban/rural divide characteristic of health care access in the province. Data reveals the importance of local access to maternity care for maternal and family wellbeing, and for the reproduction of rural citizens which serve as a catalyst for building and sustaining rural life.

2017 Rural Sociology RUSIII:
Reshaping the Rural Economy
Date: Monday, June 3rd
Time: 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm
Location: ANGU 434


John Parkins, University of Alberta; Kristof Van Assche, University of Alberta; Kevin Jones, University of Alberta
“Reimagining craftsmanship for community development”
We seek to link contemporary thinking on craftsmanship to concepts in community development. We do this by contrasting craftsmanship with popular development dogmas such as innovation, planning and the knowledge economy. The main part of our paper reimagines craft as an aspect of tradesmen and blue-collar work but also blended with the creative economy, craft as a component of the innovation agenda, craft as a guild tradition but also forward-looking with attention to experimentation, learning and adaptation, and craft as a placemaking endeavour. We further illustrate notions of craftsmanship in micro-brewing, market gardens, and vineyards as examples of craft-based community development. This paper is situated within a context in which development is being driven by an increasingly narrow and homogenous range of one-size-fits-all development discourses and governance practices. Our aim, in other words, is to create space for a wider array of values and strategizing about rural community development, supporting more robust and secure relationships between local endeavours and participation within wider economic geographies.

Pallavi V Das, Lakehead University
“Climate Change and Rural Citizenship: The Case of Small fishers in Chilika, India”
Rural communities are highly dependent on natural resources for their livelihood making them particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Their vulnerability is exacerbated when they live in climate-sensitive areas such as mountains, sea coasts and are engaged in climate-sensitive activities such as fishing, agriculture, etc. Among these rural communities, it is the poor who are most vulnerable to the impact of climate change. This paper examines the impact of climate change on the lives of one such vulnerable coastal community of small fishers in Chilika lagoon in Odisha, one of the poorest provinces of India. Through an analysis of interviews, scientific reports, and government publications, this paper discusses the challenges of climate change facing the small fisher communities and their response as citizens to the unfolding crisis in their lives. While the focus of the paper is on the everyday and local modes of experiencing climate change, it also examines the factors that ordinary people such as small fishers perceive as responsible for and contributing to climate change and its impacts. Also, the paper will analyze what macro forces (e.g. global market, population growth) and activities of the elite (politicians, officers, big entrepreneurs) do the small fishers hold responsible for climate change, and why. Finally, the paper will examine the ways in which the fishers’ perception of climate change, in turn, influences their social-political action or response to climate change. An important research question that the paper raises is this: given that climate change is happening faster than expected and is a pressing issue affecting their lives, what steps have the small fishers of Chilika taken as active citizens to question existing political and economic systems and to change them.

Saara Liinamaa, University of Guelph
“Rural Citizenship and Precarious Status: Place-based Rights and Migrant Agricultural Workers in Canada”
In this paper, I will reflect on how thinking about rural challenges through the lens of citizenship can enhance our understanding of inequality and uncertainty within the larger project of citizenship formation and regulation. While acknowledging key themes from the scholarship on citizenship and spatial rights, this paper will advance a framework for understanding place-based rights as social, cultural and political entitlements, and in a way that seeks to fruitfully disarm the rural-urban binary without losing the specificity of either. As an illustration, I will consider if a place-based rights approach to understanding rural citizenship (broadly defined) can be productively applied to the case of migrant agricultural workers who already have restricted labour and citizenship rights. With reference to the substantial amount of existing research on this especially vulnerable category of temporary foreign worker in Canada, this paper will ask: can the concept of rural citizenship be meaningfully activated by those who hold precarious citizenship status in rural Canada? Specifically, to ground this discussion, I will discuss the case of migrant agricultural workers in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley.

Anelyse M. Weiler, University of Toronto
“Crafting livelihoods and conserving farmland: Young agrarians and hard cider”
Against the decades-long trend of aging farmers and farmland consolidation in the United States and Canada, craft cider production has been pitched as a lifeline to save small-and medium-scale apple orchards while providing meaningful livelihoods for young agrarians. Building on studies of young urban workers who reinvent traditionally low-status manual jobs as meaningful artisanal careers, this research examines how rural producers are using craft cider not only to strengthen the economic viability of their enterprises but to fulfill a broad set of symbolic rewards. These include non-alienation from the product of their labour, a strong relationship with the natural world, and a sense of community with consumers and other craft producers. Drawing on interviews and ethnographic data in British Columbia, Washington State, and Oregon, I analyze the implications of the craft cider industry for revalorizing manual and land-based livelihoods in the new economy, and how this revalorization intersects with race, gender and intergenerational wealth. In addition, I consider the effect of regional farmland and alcohol legislation across these three jurisdictions on the viability of farm-based cideries and agritourism. I conclude by identifying core interventions to support young producers, including promoting decent work and upward mobility for hired orchard workers. This study provides insight into how a broad set of actors can reconfigure symbolic value through environmental objects and manual livelihoods, along with opportunities to sustain agrarian livelihoods and farmland stewardship.