"Roads less travelled": dependency and resilience in locally-owned trucking companies on the Great Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Acadian Peninsula of New Brunswick

Fleming, Michael A. (2014) "Roads less travelled": dependency and resilience in locally-owned trucking companies on the Great Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Acadian Peninsula of New Brunswick. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The Great Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Acadian Peninsula of New Brunswick have been shaped socially, culturally, and economically by cycles of natural resource extraction, unpredictable industrial output, and the continual threat of out-migration. Given these trends, locally-owned trucking companies on both peninsulas struggle to respond positively to a myriad of factors that militate against their ability to provide quality service to the communities in which they operate. The data presented in this research have uncovered that while some locally-owned companies flourish within uncertainty, others fail to become competitive. Accordingly, this dissertation examines the causes for and consequences of dependency and resilience within locally-owned trucking companies on the Great Northern and Acadian Peninsulas. On the one hand, their resilience is impacted significantly by the extent and quality of their integration with the broader national, and even international, trucking industry. On the other, these companies are influenced locally by the durability and quality of their community relationships. Woven through this are the unique cultural and challenging geographic environments with which they must contend. This research is informed by critical political economy, dependency theory and the emergent sociological literature on resilience in marginalized communities. Building on sociological research into regional inequality in Canada, this project modifies the theoretical framework established by Canadian dependency theorists by recognizing the ways in which social actors in underdeveloped regions like Atlantic Canada challenge the economic and social consequences of dependency. Locally-owned trucking companies on the Great Northern and Acadian Peninsulas operate in ways that reflect their varying ability to respond actively to the structural conditions of dependency that dominate the regions in which they operate. This research employs a mixed methodology including analysis of demographic profiles of both the Great Northern and Acadian Peninsulas, a critical review of regime change in Canadian transportation policy as it applies to the Atlantic Provinces, and comparative case studies of locally-owned trucking companies in both research locations. Taken together, these methods have allowed this project to advance sociological understanding of the relationship between dependency and resiliency by uncovering the social and economic circumstances under which limited local resilience can emerge within economically dependent regions.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/6490
Item ID: 6490
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 208-237).
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Sociology
Date: May 2014
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Great Northern Peninsula (N.L.); Acadian Peninsula (N.B.)
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Trucking--Newfoundland and Labrador--Great Northern Peninsula; Trucking--New Brunswick--Acadian Peninsula; Great Northern Peninsula (N.L.)--Social conditions; Acadian Peninsula (N.B.)--Social conditions; Great Northern Peninsula (N.L.)--Economic conditions; Acadian Peninsula (N.B.)--Economic conditions

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