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|Title:||Clerics, Fishermen, Farmers and Workers: The Antigonish Movement and Identity in Eastern Nova Scotia, 1928-1939|
|Authors:||MacInnes, William Daniel|
|Abstract:||<p>The central thesis of this dissertation is that the Antigonish Movement can be understood as an instance in the sacralization of identity process. The Antigonish Movement developed within Eastern Nova Scotia during the 1930's. It was a self-help social movement characterized by an emphasis on education, as experienced in a succession of small study clubs, and an emphasis on economic co-operation, as practiced in a network of producer/consumer co-operatives. The sacralization of identity thesis simply means that a particular way of life and interpretation of reality became firmly established as a known, predictable, and socially informative pattern of existence within the region of Eastern Nova Scotia during this period. The development of the thesis runs as follows. Identity formation is considered essential for social existence. Dramatic changes in the manner in which social existence is organized creates special problems in the maintenance of any identity formation. Turn of the century industrialization, within Eastern Nova Scotia, can be considered as that type of dramatic change which makes an identity formation precarious. The Antigonish Movement developed within the context of these changes. The way of life and interpretation of reality it sacralized reflected the identity formations of past experience, as well as the new social realities introduced by industrialization. My investigations indicate that the Antigonish Movement reflected both a tradition based on religious/ethnic cultural formation and the modern impetus of reform liberalism, scientific rationality and democratic participation. I argue that the movement synthesized these lifestyles and made their expression possible. The latter process is that of sacralization. People, in the movement, created beliefs that symbolically expressed their co-operative existence in terms of its being "God's own work" and "essential" to the construction of democratic society. In their day to day existence, they were emotionally committed to what they considered to be "rational and scientific" principles of co-operative production/consumption. They ritualized certain key practices that were endemic to the theory and practice of good co-operation. They developed myths to both account for what they were doing and to reconcile any apparent discrepancies in their chosen lifestyles. In this way, a co-operative identity was sacralized in Eastern Nova Scotia. At the level of consciousnes and within social structures, co-operative social existence assumed that predictability and permanence which is characteristic of a recognizable identity.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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