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Building a Community-Controlled Economy

Building a Community-Controlled Economy: The Evangeline Co-operative Experience

Copyright Date: 1996
Pages: 198
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  • Book Info
    Building a Community-Controlled Economy
    Book Description:

    Focusing on four co-operatives in the Evangeline region, an Acadian community on Prince Edward Island, the authors discuss why some co-operatives succeed while others fail.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7161-4
    Subjects: Business

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-2)
  4. 1 The Evangeline Co-operative Tradition
    (pp. 3-34)

    In April 1990, fifty-one years after the incorporation of their first co-operative store, eight hundred people from the Evangeline region of Prince Edward Island turned out in minus twenty degree weather to celebrate the opening of their new supermarket. The speaker for the occasion, Reverend Eloi Arsenault, stressed the significant role that co-operatives have played in the life of Evangeline people: ʹCo-operatives have been the key to the social and economic development of the communityʹ (Van Vliet 1990, 23). Indeed this twenty-square-kilometre area, with only twenty-five hundred residents, has been called ʹthe uncontested co-operative capital of North Americaʹ (R. Arsenault...

  5. 2 Four Case Histories
    (pp. 35-76)

    This chapter contains case histories of the development of four Evangeline region co-operatives, all initiated since 1985. Chez Nous and the Community Communications Co-operative, with community-wide memberships, were organized to provide services to the community. The Prince Edward Island Potato Chip Co-operative and Les Pʹtits Acadiens, with membership limited to workers, were created to provide employment through the production of goods for sale outside the region. The case histories that follow tell the stories of the co-operativesʹ formation, the support they received, and the difficulties they faced. The case histories are based upon interviews with key participants, analyses of important...

  6. 3 Interpreting the Case Histories
    (pp. 77-118)

    This chapter examines how the factors associated with the formation of the four case studies discussed in chapter 2 have operated to support or limit the co-operativesʹ formation and development. Six factors have been identified: (1) the attitudes, perspectives, and actions of initiators and members of organizing committees; (2) the response of community members and organizations to initiatorsʹ actions; (3) the contributions of institutional leaders; (4) the contributions and limitations of community development organizations; (5) the role of external agencies and organizations; and (6) the manner of project preparation.

    Sense of attachment to, and identification with, fellow community members served...

  7. 4 A Theoretical Framework
    (pp. 119-144)

    Using the analysis of the case studies as the primary data, a theoretical framework of community economic development now is proposed. There are three essential elements: community consciousness, empowering activities, and supportive structures. This framework (Elements for a Framework of Community Economic Development) is depicted in the figure on page 120.

    The three essential elements – community consciousness, empowering activities, and supportive structures – are shown in the left-hand column of the figure and elaborated upon in the middle column. For example, components of a community consciousness are community attachments and a movement perspective; empowering activities include involvement strategies and...

  8. 5 From Theory to Practice
    (pp. 145-162)

    The theory presented in chapter 4 differs from many others on cooperative formation in so far as it focuses on the actual process of developing co-operatives, not in isolation but rather in the context of a community with a tradition for such initiatives. The theory is based on a combination of structural and intentional factors, and in that respect differs from the emphasis in the literature on structural conditions that are believed to determine development. While there is some disagreement on specifics, much of the literature stresses the importance of inadequacies or conflicts in the economic system as major determinants...

  9. APPENDIX: Methodology
    (pp. 163-170)
  10. References
    (pp. 171-178)
  11. Index
    (pp. 179-186)