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Archive of posts filed under the Labrador Networks Project category.

New paper on a network study of Nain Labrador and on the many Social Divisions discovered therein

“Sampling Social Divisions in a Rural Inuit Community.” Identities 21 (2): 134-151.
Kirk Dombrowski, Bilal Khan, Joshua Moses, Emily Channell, and Ric Curtis

This paper describes results from a network survey of Nain – a predominantly Inuit community of ~1200 people located on the northern coast of Labrador. As part of a larger social network research project, we used peer-referral sampling to recruit 330 residents for interviews about food sharing, housing, public health and community traditions. The peer-referral chains were analysed statistically to determine the presence and absence of social divisions in the community. The results of these analyses show that ethnic identification, relocation status and household income were the most significant social divisions in the community, while gender, education level and employment status show little or no effect on patterns of between-group interconnection. We argue that statistical patterns in the presence (and absence) of intergroup links offer novel ways to examine the interrelationship between recent economic development and the historical disruptions caused by Inuit community relocations in the 1950s.

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1070289X.2013.854718#.VxEUtPkrJD8

New Publication: Advances in Anthropology

Assessing Respondent Driven Sampling for Network Studies in Ethnographic Contexts

Kirk Dombrowski, Bilal Khan, Joshua Moses, Emily Channell, and Evan Misshula

Respondent Driven Sampling (RDS) is generally considered a methodology for recruiting “hard-to-reach” populations for social science research. More recently, Wejnert has argued that RDS analysis can be used for general social network analysis as well (where he labels it, RDS-SN). In this article, we assess the value of Wejnert’s RDS-SN for use in more traditional ethnographic contexts. We employed RDS as part of a larger social network research project to recruit n = 330 community residents (over 17 years of age) in Nain, a predominantly (92%) aboriginal community in northern Labrador, Canada, for social network interviews about food sharing, housing, public health, and community traditions. The peer referral chains resulted in a sample that was then analyzed for its representativeness by two means—a comparison with the Statistics Canada 2006 Census of the same community, and with house-by-house demographic sur- veys carried out in the community as part of our research. The results show a close fit with available community statistics and our own survey. As such, we argue that the RDS sampling used in Nain was able to provide a useful and near-representative sample of the community. To demonstrate the usefulness of the results, the referral chains are also analyzed here for patterns in intragroup and intergroup relation- ships that were apparent only in the aggregate.

Keywords: Respondent Driven Sampling; Labrador Inuit; Ethnographic Methods; Network Sampling; Arctic Social Science

New Publication: Journal of Anthropology

Out on the Land: Income, Subsistence Activities, and Food Sharing Networks in Nain, Labrador

Kirk Dombrowski, Emily Channell, Bilal Khan, Joshua Moses, and Evan Misshula

In recent Inuit ethnography, a major concern has been how and to what extent contemporary Inuit participate in and depend on subsistence activities, particularly in the context of increasing wage employment and growing participation in the cash economy. This paper provides an analysis of these activities in the predominately Inuit community of Nain, Labrador. Using social network data and demographic information collected between January and June 2010, we examine the interconnections between subsistence activities—obtaining “country food” through activities such as hunting, fishing, and collecting—with access to the means of obtaining subsistence resources (such as snow mobiles, cabins, and boats), employment status, and income. Our data indicate that individuals with higher employment status and income tend to be more central to the network of subsistence food sharing, but not because they have greater access to hunting tools or equipment (they do not).We conclude that those individuals who play the most central role in the network are those who are financially able to do so, regardless of access to hunting tools/means.

Recent Submission: Journal of Anthropology

“Out on the Land: Income, Subsistence Activities and Food Sharing Networks in Nain, Labrador”

Kirk Dombrowski
Emily Channell
Bilal Khan
Joshua Moses
Evan Misshula

Abstract: Throughout the history of Inuit ethnography, a major concern has been how and to what extent contemporary Inuk participate in and depend on subsistence activities, particularly in the context of increasing wage employment and growing participation in the cash economy. This paper provides an analysis of these activities in the predominately Inuit community of Nain, Labrador. Using social network analysis and demographic information collected between January and June 2010, we examine the interconnections between subsistence activities – obtaining “country food” through activities such as hunting and fishing – with access to the means of obtaining subsistence resources (such as snow mobiles, cabins and boats), employment status, and income. Our data indicate that individuals with higher employment status and income tend to be more central to the network of subsistence food sharing, but not because they have greater access to hunting tools or equipment (they do not). We conclude that those individuals who play the most central role in the network are those who are financially able to do so, regardless of access to hunting tools/means.
Keywords: Inuit, Subsistence, Employment, Social Network Analysis, Labrador

New Submission to Advances in Anthropology

Assessing Respondent Driven Sampling for Network Studies in Ethnographic Contexts

Kirk Dombrowski (Social Networks Research Group, CUNY)*
Bilal Khan (John Jay College and SNRG)
Joshua Moses (McGill University)
Emily Channell (CUNY Graduate Center)
Evan Misshula (CUNY Graduate Center)
*kdombrowski@jjay.cuny.edu

December 18, 2012

Abstract: Respondent Driven Sampling (RDS) is generally considered a methodology for recruiting “hard-to-reach” populations for social research. More recently, Wejnert has argued that RDS analysis can be used for general social network analysis as well (where he labels it, RDS-SN). In this paper, we assess the value of Wejnert’s RDS-SN for use in more traditional ethnographic contexts. We employed RDS as part of a larger social network research project to recruit n=330 community residents (over 17 years of age) in Nain, a predominantly (92%) aboriginal community in northern Labrador, Canada, for social network interviews about food sharing, housing, public health, and community traditions. The peer referral chains resulted in a sample that was then analyzed for its representativeness by two means—a comparison with the Statistics Canada 2006 Census of the same community, and with house-by-house demographic surveys carried out in community as part of our research. The results show a close fit with known available community statistics and our own survey. As such, we argue that the RDS sampling used in Nain was able to provide a useful and near-representative sample of the community. To demonstrate the usefulness of the results, the referral chains are also analyzed here for patterns in intragroup and intergroup relationships that were apparent only in the aggregate.
Keywords: Respondent Driven Sampling, Labrador Inuit, Ethnographic Methods, Network Sampling, Arctic Social Science