Archaeology in Canada: an analysis of demographics and working conditions in the discipline

Jalbert, Catherine L. (2019) Archaeology in Canada: an analysis of demographics and working conditions in the discipline. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This dissertation examines the demographic composition and current working conditions among archaeological practitioners in Canada. Previous research documenting the archaeological population has occurred most readily in the United States and the United Kingdom; by contrast, little is known about the Canadian context. To explore this topic, I executed a mixed-methods research design that gathered longitudinal data pertaining to education and employment in archaeology, administered an online survey to the current archaeological population in Canada, and conducted semi-structured interviews with women currently situated within the discipline. The presentation of a long-term, gendered analysis (binary) of available datasets on the archaeological population revealed that more women are educated in archaeology/anthropology departments but are underrepresented in both academic and CRM workplaces. Using both quantitative and qualitative analyses, these structural data were supplemented and compared with the results yielded through the survey and interviews. While the quantitative analysis of survey data further contextualized these findings and aimed to facilitate an understanding of the dynamics at play in archaeological education and work, the qualitative, thematic analysis of interviews allowed these findings to be explored through lived experiences. By approaching this research through a feminist, intersectional lens, these data were used to attempt to develop relational understandings beyond the male/female dichotomy and explore the social composition of archaeology through other identity-based variables. The results of this study show that these data are consistent with broader literature on demographic compositions in other contexts; while women are entering the field at increased rates, they are not retained in upper level positions. Similarly, although gender remains the most discernible variable from which to draw conclusions about the archaeological population in Canada, it is also clear that demographics remain relatively homogenous; education and employment sectors lack diversity at all levels. I suggest that while the data in this dissertation provides a mechanism to discuss how various individuals are represented in the present-day discipline from a more intersectional perspective, additional efforts are needed to further understand and examine how exclusionary behaviours manifest and are sustained in archaeological education and practice.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
Item ID: 13879
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 247-274).
Keywords: Archaeology, Demographics, Gender, Feminism, Mixed Methodology
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Archaeology
Date: May 2019
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Archaeologists--Canada

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