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|Title:||UP-ALONG: NEWFOUNDLAND FAMILlES IN HAMILTON|
|Authors:||Martin, Elizabeth Anne|
|Department:||Sociology and Anthropology|
|Abstract:||<p>This study of Newfoundland families in Hamilton, Ontario, is based on a conceptualization of migration as an interactional (i.e., group-oriented) process, rather than an individual one which examines migrants in isolation from the family-kinship network. This orientation involves a consideration of the migrant's family-of-origin situation in Newfoundland, with whom he moved, and the family-household situation on the area of destination. The basis of this analysis is froderic LePlay's theoretical construct of the 'stem' and 'branch' families. The fundamental assumption here is that Newfoundlanders constitute a folk culture group representative of a traditionally oriented familistic society. In such a society, strong familistic bonds unite kin members in cohesive family groups and provide for a highly functional role for the extended family.</p> <p>Popular stereotypes and previous research present Newfoundland migrants as isolated, depressed, experiencing feelings of hopelessness which, combined with emotional immaturity, leads to problems of drinking and fighting. In short, Newfoundlanders are repeatedly unable to cope with life in urban, industrialized settings. This study challenges these notions. We propose that much of the stereotyped behaviour attributed to Newfoundland migrants is actually class-related behaviour. Contact with a relatively large number of Newfoundland families rather than the agencies which serve them, and with migrants from all socio-economic strata rather than merely lower-ranking movers, enables us to judge the accuracy of these stereotypes.</p> <p>The variables, presented either in the form of propositions or as guidelines for exploratory research, fell into three categories. These included (a.) such 'individual' characteristics as the migrant's age, sex, rural versus urban origin, educational attainment, occupational status, and socio-economic status; (b.) the kinship structure of the migrant, specifically to what extent the kin system facilitates, stabilizes, and channels the migration process; (c.) group cohesiveness among the migrants, particularly the extent to which being a Newfoundlander promotes feelings of consciousness of king and group identification.</p> <p>The findings generally supported our propositions. The analysis of 'individual' characteristics revealed that there are definite differences between upper, middle, and working class Newfoundlanders, and that one cannot ascribe certain characteristics to one class and presume that they are applicable to all. Of the respondents, the lower-ranking migrants most closely approximated the stereotyped image of the 'Newfie'. We further discovered that there 'individual' differences were reflected in the behaviour patterns of the different class groups. In terms of kinship ties, we found that a 'group' process of migration and a strong familistic orientation were generally class-specific, rather than cultural attributes of the migrants. Our analysis of formal community structure confirmed what the investigation of informal patterns of interaction had suggested: that no Newfoundland 'community' exists in Hamilton. No patterns of relationship pervaded their class differences, and being a Newfoundlander was not sufficient criterion to unite classes at either end of the socio-economic continuum.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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