Hellenic female migration and a Greek Canadian legacy: social networks, cultural continuity and economic development of the women of the Halifax Greek code

Alexandrou, Penelopi (2013) Hellenic female migration and a Greek Canadian legacy: social networks, cultural continuity and economic development of the women of the Halifax Greek code. (PhD thesis), Kingston University, .

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Abstract

This thesis explores the dynamic social networks, economic development and cultural continuity of the female members of the diasporic Greek community of Halifax, Nova Scotia. In an effort to address a gap in gendered and regional Greek Canadian community studies, this study utilizes the intersection of gender and place through time for a defined social group, as it investigates the development of diverse social and economic relationships in addition to forms of cultural communication. Using an ethnographic approach, this study attempts to understand the lives and interactions through time, which constitute the social and economic networks and define the identities of the female members of the Halifax Greek community. Approximately forty people, mainly women, who indicated participation or membership in the Halifax Greek community, were recruited for life history interviews, while informal unstructured conversations or interviews were conducted with additional participants during participant observation. The participants ranged in age and represented both migrants and subsequent generations. This approach to fieldwork, conducted intermittently, provided an opportunity to witness and acquire diverse data on various community events and aspects of daily life. Moreover, with ethnographic engagement, the way people, particularly women, negotiated their identities across time and space was considered. The study supports the greater agency of post-World War 11 Greek female migrants in the decision-making process of their migration and rejects their migration as consequential or secondary; their shift from sponsored to sponsors facilitated further migration for co-ethnics of extended kin networks and their status as co-breadwinners was essential to the well-being of the Greek migrant family units. Socioeconomic networks have shifted from highly gendered and ethnic networks, initially established out of necessity to ones defined by individual preferences and needs, which do not discard the significance of kin and ethnic connections in their entirety. Concerns for cultural continuity persist for the dynamic community as they continue to redefine their unique hyphenated Greek-Haligonian identity, much like the Halifax donair delicacy, a variation of a Greek dish, influenced by characteristics of Halifax.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Physical Location: This item is held in stock at Kingston University library.
Research Area: Communication, cultural and media studies
Geography and environmental studies
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing (until 2017) > School of Geography, Geology and the Environment
Depositing User: Niki Wilson
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2014 16:16
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2018 10:15
URI: http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/id/eprint/30009

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