Politics and Territory: The Sociology of Regional Persistence in Canada

Politics and Territory: The Sociology of Regional Persistence in Canada

Politics and Territory: The Sociology of Regional Persistence in Canada

Politics and Territory: The Sociology of Regional Persistence in Canada

Excerpt

The present volume is a counterpoint to my previously published Public Opinion and Canadian Identity. The central concept in that book was national identity, by which I meant citizens' perceptions of their country in its relations with outside powers, internal arrangementsv for the distribution of resources and rewards, and the symbolic representation of the nation. One of the clearest findings from an examination of public opinion polls over a twenty-year period, was the continuing relevance of where people lived to their outlook on national problems. Since I did not believe this was owing to any form of geographic determinism, I argued that there was an uneven distribution of opinions because certain kinds of people had settled in particular areas and various economic consequences had become associated with regionally differentiated resource potentials and industrial developments. As post facto explanations for the opinion cleavages revealed by a secondary analysis of public opinion data, my conclusions had enough common-sense validity to be satisfying.

While at one level, my explanations for the lack of a uniform definition of the nation were sufficient, at others they provoked many more questions than my data could answer. Transferring my attention from the nation as a whole to its constituent regions, I wondered why they should be so distinctive in outlook. To some extent, I had already answered this question: special combinations of population and resources were interacting in a given place. But I was not convinced that I had fully uncovered the interplay between economy and population. It was apparent that other dimensions of regional differentiation were involved. For example, what kinds of political adaptations had been made within regions? How did locally determined viewpoints emerge and how were they related to the behaviour of residents and the responses of political leaders? Was it possible to discern some emergent properties associated with regionalism itself?

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.