Crafting identities: masculinities, femininities and marriage in cod moratorium times

Caicedo, Silvia J. (2004) Crafting identities: masculinities, femininities and marriage in cod moratorium times. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Following the announcement of the groundfish moratorium for Atlantic Canada in 1992, fishing communities saw the loss of close to 40 000 jobs, making this one of the largest industrial layoffs in Canadian history. Men and women were not only displaced from the job market, but also from one of the most gendered sites in society. This thesis examines the changing gender identities and relations of men and women in June's Cove, a small fishery-dependent community in Newfoundland. The study is a snapshot of the changes in gender attitudes, experiences, notions and practices of women and men in relation to themselves and each other in a shifting climate mediated by the cod moratorium. -- Through a combination of participant observation and semi-structured, open-ended interviews conducted in the mid-1990s, I engaged twenty-three women and men from June's Cove in an exploration of notions, attitudes, perceptions and practices of femininity and masculinity. They narrated life stories imbued with their visions, and hopes while constructing meaning on gender identity, work, marriage and self. -- The findings of this research suggest that women and men in June's Cove are engaged in a process of redefinition of notions and values related to marriage, work, "roles" and responsibilities, as well as their attitudes towards femininity and masculinity. Redefining and re-creating social constructs are adaptive responses to and a result of changing social and economic conditions that came with new pressures and demands. Adaptive responses become new social practices, thus changing the local social discourse, which in turn is inscribed in larger changes in gender perceptions and attitudes coming from the wider Canadian society. -- The objective of this thesis is to contribute to the understanding of how women and men cope with social change and creates social meaning around gender identities. The disruption caused by the moratorium produced a loss of traditional sites that sustained traditional gender 'roles,' while creating new sites and new practices through processes of change, interpretation and adaptation. The personal experiences of gender interpretation show how women and men responded to the interplay of concurrent processes such as the cod moratorium, education, social policies, and the local values and institutions.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/10253
Item ID: 10253
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 148-162.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Sociology
Date: 2004
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Cod fisheries--Social aspects--Newfoundland and Labrador; Fishery closures--Social aspects--Newfoundland and Labrador; Fishery processing--Social aspects--Newfoundland and Labrador; Gender identity--Newfoundland and Labrador.

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