Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




Dr. Tony Weis


Since the early 1980s, British Columbia’s forestry sector i has undergone

widespread restructuring in the face of increasing international competition, resulting in

the loss of thousands of relatively low-skilled but high-waged jobs in the province’s

logging and milling operations. For the dozens of communities throughout the province

which have historically been heavily dependent on the forestry industry, this restructuring

has been an extremely difficult process, resulting in high rates of unemployment,

increased poverty, and an array of social problems, which are complicated by significant cultural dimensions of economic dislocation, such as the loss of identity and changing


familial roles. The problems with this transition have tended to be compounded by existing characteristics of forestry-dependent communities, including low levels of educational attainment and the lack of local economic diversity. This thesis aims to explore the difficult transition beyond forestry dependence in Port Albemi, British Columbia, and argues that in order to understand the contemporary challenge of community re-development, it is important to appreciate the place-specific character of the profound social and cultural changes stemming from economic decline and transition. Given the concern with the social and cultural dimensions of transition, the research focussed on in-depth qualitative research with key informants who have extensive experience in social and employment services and education. Ultimately, through an assessment of these insights and interpretations, the thesis seeks to provide a critical examination of the process of community transition and to interpret the key constraints, current failures, and future opportunities which are laden in it.



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