Rural Life

Rural Life

Portraits of the Prairie Town, 1946

eBook - 2004
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In 1946, the Manitoba Royal Commission on Adult Education investigated directions for the modernization of the province in the new era of change. It was charged particularly with looking at rural Manitoba's cultural, educational, and leadership opportunities in the wake of new technologies, dwindling populations, and altered political and social affiliations. The commission engaged Jim Giffen, then a young sociologist from the University of Toronto, to undertake a detailed field study of three rural Manitoba towns in this context.

In 1946, the Manitoba Royal Commission on Adult Education investigated directions for the modernization of the province in the new era of change. It was charged particularly with looking at rural Manitoba's cultural, educational, and leadership opportunities in the wake of new technologies, dwindling populations, and altered political and social affiliations. The commission engaged Jim Giffen, then a young sociologist from the University of Toronto, to undertake a detailed field study of three rural Manitoba towns in this context.
Giffen's extensive study examined the towns of Carman, Elgin, and Rossburn, all significantly different in terms of their ethnic makeup and level of political and organizational sophistication. He remained in the province for a year and a half, at the end of which his report, an analysis of "education for leadership," was considered "too revealing" for public release. It remained in the Ontario Legislative Library until it was retrieved, 50 years later, by well-known historian Gerald Friesen, who has written an extensive postscript to the report.
As a snapshot of rural agricultural life in prairie Canada at a time of great change, the study is invaluable. Despite the differences in the three towns, they retain some common characteristics that define a particular socio-cultural view of the larger world. Giffen looks at characteristics such as leadership in the community, ethnic differences, hierarchy of roles, participation in organizations, and aims and activities of young people. Friesen's postscript provides a wider context to this study, and an assessment of what these differences and commonalities meant to the province.


Publisher: Winnipeg, Man. : University of Manitoba Press, 2004
ISBN: 9780887553639
088755363X
9780887556777
0887556779
Characteristics: 1 online resource (283 pages) : map
Additional Contributors: Friesen, Gerald

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