Work, household economy, and social welfare : the transition from traditional to modern lifestyles in Bonavista, 1930-1960

Heath Rodgers, Theresa (2000) Work, household economy, and social welfare : the transition from traditional to modern lifestyles in Bonavista, 1930-1960. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

This thesis provides first-hand accounts of the life experiences of some of Bonavista's oldest female residents, while also recording aspects of the history of the community as they lived it. As such, it documents a vital component of Newfoundland's history which has gained recognition in recent years but remains largely unwritten. Whereas much Newfoundland literature favors accounts of the lifestyle and work of self-employed inshore fishermen, this thesis primarily examines women's work experiences, both paid and non-paid, formal and informal, in the years before and after Newfoundland's Confederation with Canada. In the course of doing this research, other related aspects of women's life experiences, and of the history of Bonavista, were highlighted. For instance, this thesis also documents, at least in part, the history of health care in Bonavista; particularly women's experiences of health care via their work as bearers and rearers of children. -- From a theoretical perspective, the thesis examines Newfoundland's introduction to social welfare initiatives via Confederation, and argues that Bonavista women were not as significantly affected by Confederation, in financial terms, as much of the traditional economic and political historiography of Newfoundland suggests. Although many of the women interviewed indicated that Confederation had a positive effect on their lives, they often contradicted this by saying that the baby bonus/family allowance was too little to make any large difference in the household budget. Similarly, many stated that neither they nor their husbands received unemployment insurance for any significant periods of time. In fact, many respondents were adamant in expressing that they and their families did not rely on government money for their livelihood. Moreover, this thesis argues, Bonavista women were not so affected by Confederation because they had been raised to appreciate the value of hard work and, in turn, as adults they worked beyond the subsistence level to contribute to their household income.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/1409
Item ID: 1409
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 193-199
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > History
Date: 2000
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Bonavista
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Women--Newfoundland and Labrador--Bonavista--Social conditions--20th century; Women--Employment--Newfoundland and Labrador--Bonavista; Women's health services--Newfoundland and Labrador--Bonavista

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