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ERIC Number: EJ820596
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0743-0167
Reluctant Rural Regionalists
Hall, Peter V.; Stern, Pamela
Journal of Rural Studies, v25 n1 p67-76 Jan 2009
Recently, scholars have begun to explore questions of regionalism and regionalization in rural contexts. Regionalism is often understood and presented as a pragmatic solution to intractable problems of fragmentation, inefficiency, accountability, spillover and neglect in the face of economic restructuring and other external threats. These arguments have long been deployed in the top-down restructuring of rural public administration; for example, the amalgamation of service districts to keep schools, hospitals and other facilities open in the face of declining population. At the same time, regionalization may be understood as a "means" or process of becoming through the formation of new and shared regional identities, "structures of expectation" and institutions. Between 1996 and 2004 the number of municipalities in the Canadian Province of Ontario was reduced by more than 40 percent from 815 to 445. Evidence suggests that many of these amalgamations were undertaken reluctantly. In this paper we examine the issue of regionalism from the perspective of one rural municipality--the former silver mining centre of Cobalt, Ontario--that has resisted amalgamation. We argue that its resistance to amalgamation is a consequence of the conflictual social relationships that have been inscribed into the landscape over the past century. Using documentary and archival materials, supplemented by contemporary survey and ethnographic data, we trace how successive generations of miners, mine-owners, government officials, politicians and residents have constructed Cobalt as a distinct place. We show that this oppositional identity belies the extent to which the town and its citizens are embedded in regional housing, labour and consumer markets. (Contains 4 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada