Why Canadian Forestry and Mining Towns are Organized Differently. The Role of Staples in Shaping Community, Class, and Consciousness

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This book fills a gap in the existing scholarship on single-industry towns by reviewing an extensive literature and using it to build a theoretical framework focusing simultaneously on the spheres of industry, work, and community in these towns. It does so by building ideal types of forestry and mining towns drawn from efforts pertaining to political economy, community studies, labor history, geography and anthropology.


“This is a thorough, scholarly work which immerses itself in a sea of empirical and theoretical literature only to emerge with fresh insights that invigorate the field of resource community studies in a novel way. This study is both an excellent primer for those wishing to have a thorough survey of literature in the field and offers a fresh approach.”-Prof. Wallace Clement, Carleton University

“The manuscript breathes new life into various works and debates, most particularly H. A. Innis’s original formulation of the staples approach. I applaud the author for refocusing scholarly attention on a much-neglected aspect of Innis’s formulation…”-Prof. Ian Radforth, University of Toronto

“[The author] handles the interface between structure and agency quite well and within the framework of the typological tradition manages to bring staple theory back to life without discarding political economy.”-Prof. Emer. John D. Jackson, Concordia University

"Dignard's book provides an informative starting point to support her plea for more research into Canada's increasingly diverse SITS, which are the locus of important multi-polar policy challenges." -- Prof. Roger Hayter, Simon Frasier University

Table of Contents



Chapter 1
1.1 Historical and Empirical Relevance of the Topic
1.2 Methodological Orientations
1.3 Four Approaches Addressing SIT Issues

Chapter 2
The Study of the SITs' Institutions

Chapter 3
The Study of SITs as Collectivities

Chapter 4
Staple-izing the Study of Forestry and Mining Towns

4.1 The Study of the SITs' Class Relations and Networks
4.2 Staple Insights within Political Economy, Labour and Community Studies
4.3 Reconsidering and Extending the Staple Factor
4.3.1 Impact of the Geographical Dimension
4.3.2 Impact of the Historical Dimension

Chapter 5
Comparing the Work and Community Spheres
5.1 The Staple Factor
5.2 Work and Community Spheres
5.3 Comparative Theoretical Framework

Chapter 6
Labour Process
6.1 Characterizing the SITs' Varied Spheres and the Labour Process
6.2 Assessing Staple Neutral Approaches
6.3 Staple-izing the Study of the Labour Process

Chapter 7
Women's Experience
7.1 The Situation in Mining SITs
7.2 The Situation in Forestry SITs
7.3 Staple-izing the Analysis of Women's Experience


Appendix I. The Contribution of Susan A. Mann




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