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A Sheltered World: Remembering the Great Depression in Rural Québec and the Prairies

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A Sheltered World: Remembering the Great Depression in Rural Québec and the Prairies

Rosberg, Tyson (2016) A Sheltered World: Remembering the Great Depression in Rural Québec and the Prairies. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The Great Depression has been immortalized in song, film, photography, and novels. Much of this cultural production is American, spilling over into Canada shaping how we see our own history. This thesis examines the depression-era experiences of nineteen rural people from Québec and the Canadian Prairies whose life stories were either recorded for this project or whose earlier interviews were archived for future use. The eight men and eleven women seemed well aware that they lived sheltered lives during these hard times, at least compared to the experience of others and to the dominant narrative of the period. Some were even apologetic. They noted that they had a roof over their heads and were never hungry, as they were able to grow their own food or forage and fish in nearby woods and waters. Again and again, they insisted that they “didn’t starve.” Still, there was pride in what their families had to overcome. Resilience is a key trope in the interviews, confirming historian Michael Frisch’s suggestion that people remember the history of the 1930s as biography. In both sets of interviews, conducted decades later when rural life was in sharp decline, and where mass consumption had changed our eating patterns, stories of food and eating together around the dinner table resonated: harkening back to a time of self-sufficiency, family ties, and local community.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Rosberg, Tyson
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:History
Date:August 2016
Thesis Supervisor(s):High, Steven
ID Code:981867
Deposited By: TYSON ROSBERG
Deposited On:07 Jun 2017 17:23
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:54
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