'It's My Roots': Identity and Place as Sites of Resistance

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Places can be important sites of human meaning. For elderly long term residents place is often associated with a sense of 'home'. For the rural elderly, a strong rural ideology, personal and community histories and the role of stories and events associated with place all contribute to identities that are intimately linked with geographical place. This paper explores the responses of eight older rural New Brunswick women to the changing context in which they live. Although they view most of the changes to their communities in negative terms, as well as the changes they are experiencing due to their own aging process, the women are sustained by a strong rural ideology, their insider status, and a fierce sense of attachment to the places they call home.

Keywords: Rural, Rural Ideology, Place, Home, Identity, Insideness
Stream: Ethnicity, Difference, Identity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: ‘It’s My Roots’, 'It's My Roots'

Jane Elizabeth Oliver

Attawapiskat, Ontario, Canada

Jane Oliver graduated from the University of Guelph in 2005 with a M.Sc. in Rural Extension Studies. Her thesis explored notions of identity and place in the lives of older rural New Brunswick women who have been rooted in place for a long period of time. Jane has an eclectic background, including sheep farming in New Brunswick, teaching in rural Tanzania, and working with community based AIDS service organizations in Toronto. She is currently living and teaching in Attawapiskat, a remote fly-in Cree community on the western shore of James Bay in northern Ontario. She continues to be deeply intrigued with notions of identity and place, particularly in the lives of women living in rural and remote locations.

Ref: H08P0403