What can be said of those who remain behind? : a historic, cultural and situational perspective on the Poplar Grove Scot

MacInnes, Daniel William (1972) What can be said of those who remain behind? : a historic, cultural and situational perspective on the Poplar Grove Scot. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

What Can Be Said of Those Who Remain Behind? A Historic, Cultural and Situational Perspective on the Poplar Grove Scot. -- The study of migration within North America has been a popular area of research for many sociologists. Their focus is frequently the rural to urban trend with particular emphasis on motivations for this type of migration. Overwhelming evidence from these studies now indicate that these rural peoples have consistently left their places of birth and socialization as a means of effecting the promise of affluence proffered by urban centers. -- The extension of the promise of affluence to the rural hinterland and its resulting migration is but one aspect of the more extensive phenomenon termed modernization. Modernization is the fulfillment of the ideology of the technological age. Those who fail to grasp the "evolving truth" and who remain behind in rural areas with neither affluence or even the promise of affluence are termed "losers" in the efforts to modernize. In the words of the poet writer Alden Nowlan; -- "They are the rural people in a world ruled by city dwellers. They inhabit regions that have been made the Horrible Examples and whipping boys of their respective countries...." -- In this research the effort was made to investigate those who remained behind in Poplar Grove, Cape Breton. Poplar Grove has been a veritable spring board for outmigrants and the present community is now collapsed by its long term effort. Had this study been conducted by questionnaires "sent out" from some urban academic center the residents of this collapsed community might have been studied as "losers" (victims). The strategy of participation in the culture allowed an experience of the life within Poplar Grove--a life with perceptions of reality existing long before the advent of modernization. In Chapters 2 through 4 of this dissertation the attempt has been made to present these perceptions against the background of modernization. -- There are three parts to these perceptions of reality presented herein: the historic, cultural and situational. Chapter 2 introduces those historic events that have shaped the present life of Poplar Grove people. This chapter deals especially with the socio-economic adaptation of the Scot Highlanders to the new land and their first encounters with modernization. -- Chapter 3 in detailing some of the elements of the traditional life depicts the distinctive culture of Poplar Grove. In this rather ethnographic chapter the colour of the traditional life is accented so as to provide the reader with this significant finding: social relationships in Poplar Grove still exist in a different manner than elsewhere in North America, a variety of gemeinschaft still predominates. -- Chapter 4 is the most restricted chapter of the dissertation dealing only with a small number of tactics that are locally employed to combat the insalubrious effects of modernization. In particular the tactic of occupational diversity is discussed and it is demonstrated that this tactic can be employed to allow local definitions of situation to prevail over those imposed by modernizing agents. -- Finally, a brief conclusion explains the use of the word "perspective" in the title of the dissertation.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5971
Item ID: 5971
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 121-131.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Sociology
Date: 1972
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Nova Scotia--Poplar Grove
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Sociology, Rural--Nova Scotia; Poplar Grove (N.S.)

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