Fishing communities and social and economic change: Learning, or unlearning, collectivist traditions?
Julie Satzman is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Adult Education and Community Development at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE). She also holds a degree in Law (LLB, University of New Brunswick, 2010), and has taught at secondary school level for several years. She has performed and supported research on a range of interrelated subjects: Indigenous identities within the academy, human rights, labour, mental health, often with focus in the Canadian Maritimes area.
Julie's doctoral research aims to shed light on an increasingly urgent question: why, with all the alarming news concerning the state of the environment and climate change, do some communities take progressive action, while others do not? It does so from an unusual perspective, the role of collective learning processes in times of economic and social change. It employs critical ethnography and a novel application of Jean Lave’s (1988) situated learning theory (SLT) and argues that the unique conceptual framework of this theory can help explain the unpredictability of collective learning described in adult education literature. The background to this study is the 1992 collapse of northern cod stocks off the coast of Atlantic Canada and the subsequent restructuring of the fishery by the Canadian government. The differing responses to the restructuring by two communities – the Mi’kmaq of Prince Edward Island, and a nearby Acadian community in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia – form the focus of this qualitative study.