The Changing small town in Alberta: a regional analysis
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AbstractSmall towns and villages are an important aspect of the social milieu of Alberta. The common perception of small rural centers is that they are either dying, or at the very least, experiencing major decline. Although this might be the case for some towns and villages, it may not be a widespread phenomenon. This thesis examines a group of twenty-nine local small towns and villages surrounding the city of Calgary in order to see if, in fact, there is decline or if these centers are persisting and adapting to social circumstances that are different from any encountered in the past. Past academic work on the small town has tended to focus on the decline aspect of change and adaptation, resulting in both explicit and implicit suggestions that small rural centers are facing a very bleak future. In order to assess the validity of this notion it is the intent of this thesis to describe characteristics of the towns and villages under study so that a clearer picture of the contemporary rural center may be portrayed. More specifically, this thesis focuses on the economic base of these places using 1971 and 1986 as comparison years. In addition it looks at social structural characteristics of town and village residents such as household size, sex ratios, age composition, industrial employment, and educational attainment and compares them to the larger urban centers of Calgary and Drumheller as well as the province of Alberta. It is the writer's contention that the majority of towns and villages selected for this study are persisting in a modernized contemporary society.
Bibliography: p. 120-124.