Consumption and Standards of Living of the Quebec Inuit: Cultural Permanence and Discontinuities

Consumption and Standards of Living of the Quebec Inuit: Cultural Permanence and Discontinuities

Consumption and Standards of Living of the Quebec Inuit: Cultural Permanence and Discontinuities

Consumption and Standards of Living of the Quebec Inuit: Cultural Permanence and Discontinuitiess

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Référence bibliographique [12189]

Chabot, Marcelle. 2004. «Consumption and Standards of Living of the Quebec Inuit: Cultural Permanence and Discontinuities ». La revue canadienne de sociologie et d’anthropologie / Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, vol. 41, no 2, p. 147-170.

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Fiche synthèse

1. Objectifs


Intentions :
«In 1975, the Inuit of Nunavik signed the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (JBNQA) with the provincial and federal governments. The implementation of the JBNQA has greatly contributed to the transformation of the Nunavik economy over the last 25 years, through substantial injections of public money into the local economies. Unlike the situation in developing countries, the Inuit of Nunavik are directly and much more intensively exposed to the values and goods of a dominant, wealthy society. What impact has this economic and social environment had on the diffusion of a new ethos among the Inuit? This paper seeks to explore this question by analysing the current consumption behaviours of Inuit households in Nunavik.» (p. 151)

2. Méthode


Échantillon/Matériau :
«This study is based on an analysis of Inuit household budgets for 1995. […] The data used in this study were collected during the summer of 1995 from 47 households in one small (population circa 500) and one medium-sized (population circa 1,000) village in Nunavik.» (p. 152)

Instruments :
Guide d’entretien semi-directif

Type de traitement des données :
Analyse statistique

3. Résumé


«Indeed, with the general improvement of living conditions, the population of Nunavik has increased considerably-according to Canadian Census data, by 60% between 1986 and 2001. However, in comparison to the previous decades, a major decrease in income-growth rate has been observed since the 1980s, and income-growth has not matched the increase in population. […] Furthermore, 41% of the population is less than 15 years old. This population category is more financially dependent than the previous generations, which puts increased pressure on families’ resources. This study has shown that the traditional values and norms of behaviour are enduring. However, there is no doubt that the traditional social order is being challenged. Many Inuit who did not have access to a television set in the 1980s are now intensively exposed, through all forms of information technologies, to an infinite number of images that propose new commodities and lifestyles. Although the prevailing values and material conditions do not allow individual desires to be satisfied, the exposure to mass consumption images and articles contributes nonetheless to modifying definitions of situations and aspirations. This can put pressure on the family budget, which may in turn create and even exacerbate social tensions.» (p. 166-167)