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Paper Submitted: Identities

Network Sampling of Social Divisions in a Rural Inuit Community
Kirk Dombrowski (corresponding author)
Bilal Khan
Joshua Moses
Emily Channell
Nathaniel Dombrowski

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 in the recruitment of 330 respondents for interviews about food sharing, housing, public health, and community traditions. The peer-referral chains were analyzed to determine the extent to which recruitment patterns demonstrate 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 inter-relationship between recent economic development and the historical disruptions caused by Inuit community relocations in the 1950s. The representativeness of the sample data is established by comparison with Statistics Canada Census figures for Nain.
Keywords: Inuit, Labrador, Respondent Driven Sampling, Social Network Analysis, Inequality, Sampling