Congress 2016

CSA Annual Conference and Congress 2016 of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Location: University of Calgary, Alberta
Dates; May 30 to June 3, 2016

3rd Annual CSA Rural Sociology Research Cluster Meeting
Tuesday May 31, 2016
12:30 pm to 1:30 pm
Location: Science A-129

2016 CSA Rural Sociology Conference Session
Dynamics of Change in Rural Labour Markets and Communities
Tuesday May 31, 2016
1:45 pm to 3:15 pm
Location: Science A-129
Session Chair: Jennifer Jarman, Lakehead University


Alisa Garni, Kansas State University
“New Destination” Diaries? Immigration and Development in the U.S. Plains
As U.S. dairy farms grow and relocate to increasingly remote and less traditional dairy regions, dairy farmers struggle with labor shortages. Depopulated areas with few services and high poverty rates provide needed land and water, but few workers to perform physically demanding, monotonous, and round-the-clock animal care. How do farmers in these regions attract the immigrant workers upon whom they increasingly rely to sustain their operations? Although many farmers recruit immigrant families by trying to provide relatively high standards of living for their workers, their efforts are complicated by rural poverty that long ago eliminated many essential local services and growing state-level efforts to both criminalize immigration violations and discourage immigration more generally. Focusing on three adjacent dairy farms in Kansas, a “new destination” for both dairy farms and immigrants from Mexico and Central America, I examine how farmers navigate the challenges of sustaining their business with international migration. All three dairies rely on international immigration but have pursued distinctive labor practices in a policy context that is hostile to many of their workers. Understanding which practices are most successful is essential for determining what the prospects are for local economic development in remote, agriculture-dependent communities in North America.

Jennifer Jarman, Lakehead University
Understanding the Educational Career of Aboriginal Tradespeople from Remote Reserves in Northwest Ontario
This paper analyzes the outcomes from a recent training program aimed at upgrading the skillsets and credential levels of reserve-based Aboriginal carpenters, electricians and plumbers in Northwest Ontario in order to understand the reasons for success and failure to attain trade credentials that would be recognized off-reserve. The paper develops a model of the educational career path of Aboriginal students attempting to achieve educational credentials for their existing vocational skills developed as reserve-based carpenters, plumbers and electricians. It situates the findings in the broader literature on gender and ethnic inequality in the labour market.