Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

A Comparative Approach to the Study of Community and Work in Canadian Mining and Forestry Towns

Document type Thesis
Author Dignard, Louise
Degree M.A., Sociology and Anthropology
Publisher Carleton University; Ottawa
Date 1989
Pages 221 pages


The purpose of the thesis is to compare mining and forestry single-industry-towns in Canada in terms of their community and work structures. More specifically, what is examined is how these structures interconnect at local levels and impact upon social relations and class consciousness. Following a critical review of selected literature in political economy, labour and community studies, insights from Harold Innis' staple theory are expanded in order to link these three theoretical approaches and to justify the analysis of community and work in specific resource contexts. Drawing from this discussion, a comparative model of forestry and mining town structures is outlined. The main underlying idea is that the overall structure of forestry towns could be seen as more modern--in spite of its traditional elements--for it is more diversified and opaque, whereas that of mining towns is more archaic--despite the modern features of its industry--because of the greater control industry has on economic and community life. This theoretical model however needs further empirical testing.