Aspects of contemporary courtship in a rural Newfoundland community

Kimiecik, Kathryn Mary (1987) Aspects of contemporary courtship in a rural Newfoundland community. 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

In this thesis, rural Newfoundland courtship is treated, not as one stage on the way towards engagement or marriage, but as a system of behavior that may be divided into marital and non-marital courtship. Male-female relationships in Newfoundland are characterized by strong nonverbal expressions. These expressions and correlated behavior may be referred to as a code courtship behavior. -- This behavior takes place in various contexts, most notably, at dances or when walking along community roads. Each of these contexts determines behavior specific to the structure of the event. The dances are a primary source of opposite sex interaction. "Walking the roads" is an evening's stroll along roads and lanes whereby young adults and adolescents come together to socialize and to confirm or deny mutual interest. Each of these social events is conducive for male-female interaction on both a group and individual level. Nonverbal signals are used to convey messages of interest and to encourage or discourage a potential partner, whether it is for sexual or emotional gratification. -- Love and friendship poetry is analyzed as it exists in one rural community but especially for one young man who has been both recipient and author of such poems. Relationships between author and recipient are of paramount importance as is the relationship between recipient and the third party to whom a poem is shown. Adolescent poetry is an intensely private tradition and its functions exemplify this. The poetry maintains the privacy so absolutely necessary for the conveyance of such intimate emotions without disturbing community standards. -- Newfoundland courtship communication is perhaps most indicative of a culture's desire for nonvocality when dealing with sensitive topics. In order for participants in courtship to communicate successfully an intricate and elaborate code of nonverbal signals is used.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5484
Item ID: 5484
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 173-180.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Folklore
Date: 1987
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Courtship--Newfoundland and Labrador; Newfoundland and Labrador--Social life and customs

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