Black Diamond Bay : a rural community in Newfoundland

Dillon, Leo J. (1983) Black Diamond Bay : a rural community in Newfoundland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

Black Diamond Bay, a rural community in Newfoundland, was found to have undergone a number of very fundamental changes, primarily within a period of approximately twenty years. In the place, there was a shift from a generalized, largely subsistence-oriented adaptation to a dependency upon wage labour. Accompanying this change in the organization of labour there has been a general easing of the traditional isolation of the community through an upgraded infrastructure, particularly paved roads, and through the introduction of readily accessible mass media, especially radio and television. One of the most apparent outcomes of these changes has been the emergence and a development of a regional identity and a corresponding reduction in the importance of community identity. -- Another important impact of the recent material changes which have affected the community has been the creation of what may be referred to as a "generation gap." This "gap" is acknowledged by residents of the community and is a frequent subject for their speculation. Upon closer examination, however, it was found that the "gap" seemed to actually represent the expression of traditional values a new idiom derived from the implements and symbols of mainstream North American culture. -- The traditional values were found to form a complex centering upon the male peer groups which cross-cut ties created by the formal kinship system. The values themselves largely emphasized equality and personal worth and served to sanction behaviour which denied, or threatened to deny, the important cultural emphasis on egalitarianism. -- It was further argued that egalitarianism, as a cultural ideal, seemed to operate in a dialectical manner with the tendency toward stratification inherent in the community's embeddedness in the wider society. It appeared to be a means by which a small, face-to-face community attempts to disrupt, or to render impotent, the divisiveness of stratification. It creates a local-level moral community and demands subscription to it. -- Prognosis for the continued adaptation of the traditional value system is not good. The increasing tendency toward stratification and the decreasing importance of relationships on the community level seems to indicate movement toward a larger scale, differently organized, regional form of social organization.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/3985
Item ID: 3985
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves [353]-362. -- Black Diamond Bay is pseudonym chosen to protect the identity of the community under study, a community found at the southernmost portion of Newfoundland's Avalon Peninsula (p. 5).
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Anthropology
Date: 1983
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Newfoundland and Labrador--Social life and customs; Newfoundland and Labrador--Social conditions

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