ERIC Number: ED234925
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-May
Reference Count: 0
Strategies of Self-Reliance, Co-Reliance and Self-Sufficiency and Their Meaning for Rural Families in the 1980's.
Nicholls, William M.
A field study was conducted with a cross-section of the population in rural and urban Canadian regions to discover whether people were performing economic activities of significance to their well-being that differ from those society usually acknowledges as being economic in nature. In both rural and urban areas, the economy was viewed as being composed of formal (domestic) and informal (community) factions. Family networking and a mutual social support system were found to be essential characteristics of cooperative social and economic networks in the informal economy. In hard times and with uncertain futures, families were found to reassess their priorities and to revalue skills and knowledge for survival. Data indicated that people who were pursuing paths of greater self-reliance, co-reliance, and self-sufficiency were doing so either by choice or economic necessity. Three groupings of strategies employed by families choosing alternate patterns included changes made by (1) reestablishment of homes, occupations, and social environment; (2) cooperative living arrangements; and (3) development of new convictions concerning alternate living styles. Families living with fewer resources out of necessity revealed concern for essential elements such as food, clothing, shelter, and care for children and elders. Implications for rural development suggested that the informal economy has taken on special significance and that people need to develop their talents and capacities for self-reliance as well as to seek opportunities in their environments and relationships with others. (BJD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Vanier Inst. of the Family, Ottawa (Ontario).
Identifiers: Canada; Family Budgets; Self Reliance
Note: Paper presented at a workshop conducted at the Conference on "Approaches to Rural Development: A Look to the Future" (Guelph, Ontario, Canada, May 20-22, 1981).