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Set Adrift

Set Adrift: Fishing Families

Copyright Date: 2002
Pages: 248
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  • Book Info
    Set Adrift
    Book Description:

    Explores the role of social origins, family and social networks, and the availability of employment opportunities and social services on fishing households, including the daily dependence of husbands upon their wives? labour and ability.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7979-5
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Tables and Figures
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-2)
  5. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 3-21)

    Set Adriftbegan in 1992 as an empirical study of the experiences of fishermen’s wives, but the research was soon set against the backdrop of a fishery in crisis in the 1990s.² This book compares the adaptations of two groups – the wives of coastal fishermen and the wives of deep-sea fishermen – in response to the extraordinary pressures put on their households by the changing nature of their husbands’ work. It also examines the ways Nova Scotian fishing-dependent households differed, and focuses on women’s contributions to these households as they attempted to cope with the economic and social restructuring...

  6. CHAPTER TWO Living the Dream
    (pp. 22-42)

    In the coastal fishery, the fishing enterprise was based within the household (Andersen 1979; Andersen and Wadel 1972; Faris 1966; Stiles 1971). As Trudy has indicated above, in this fishery men’s and women’s work spheres overlapped to a greater or lesser degree. The men ran the fishing enterprises while the women ran the households, took care of the children, and in varying degrees directly supported the household’s fishing enterprise through their labour. In times of financial difficulty women also frequently engaged in wage labour to augment the household’s income and support the fishing enterprise. Throughout their marriages husbands and wives...

  7. CHAPTER THREE Two Separate Worlds
    (pp. 43-64)

    In the deep-sea fishery, fishing enterprises were dominated by large international vertically integrated companies which resembled other industrial settings where men’s and women’s work spheres remained virtually separate (Binkley 1995a,b). However, the nature of deep-sea fishermen’s work, directly and indirectly, compromised their wives’ domestic labour and paid employment (Binkley and Thiessen 1988; Danowski 1980; Thompson 1985). The organization and type of work done by deep-sea fishermen required that these men be at sea for prolonged periods with only a few days ashore before returning to the sea. This defining feature of deep-sea fishermen’s employment meant that women had to take...

  8. CHAPTER FOUR Running the Household
    (pp. 65-90)

    Both wage and domestic labour were needed for the survival of the fishing-dependent household. Livelihood strategies employed by members of these households, whether based in the coastal or the deep-sea fisheries, defined and constrained domestic labour.¹ In many cases the demands of the fishing industries and women’s paid labour outside the home conflicted with the demands of domestic labour. Husbands and wives in fishing-dependent households, like all households, tried to balance these demands in such a way as to meet their households’ domestic and financial needs while maintaining their own individual autonomy. Through domestic labour each member of the household...

  9. CHAPTER FIVE Family, Friends, Acquaintances
    (pp. 91-111)

    Women’s domestic labour goes beyond household responsibilities and the physical care of dependent children. Their responsibilities and obligations also include the emotional and psychological aspects of caregiving and support within the household (Finch 1989). However, women’s responsibilities and obligations change dramatically over the life course, extending as well to other members of their families and across generations. As parents they looked after their young children; as adults they take on the responsibility for their ageing parents. Throughout the life course, demands of husbands, parents, grandparents, grandchildren, and in-laws vie for women’s labour, with volunteer work, employment outside the home, and...

  10. CHAPTER SIX Just Having Fun
    (pp. 112-133)

    In fishing-dependent households women’s leisure involved squeezing time from their double if not triple day of labour (Berk 1979; Chambers 1986; Harrington, Dawson, and Bella 1992; Shaw, Bowen, and McCabe 1991; Wellman 1985, 1999). This meant grabbing a few quiet moments after the children went to school to have a cup of coffee while scanning the local newspaper, or watching the soaps while doing the mending or ironing, or chatting with a friend in her home while knitting lobster heads for traps, or going to town with a sister to do the weekly grocery shopping, or rushing out with a...

  11. CHAPTER SEVEN Going to Work
    (pp. 134-157)

    Women’s paid employment outside the home has become the norm among Canadian households (Canada, Statistics Canada 2000). In fishing-dependent households in our study, just under 50 percent of wives had paid employment. Both the nature of their husbands’ work and the stages of the life cycle influenced these women’s participation in the workforce. Approximately 95 per cent of all the women surveyed had at one time or another been engaged in the labour force. Most of these women left the workforce prior to or during the early stages of their marriages, but many returned to the labour market when their...

  12. CHAPTER EIGHT Our Money, Your Money, My Money
    (pp. 158-185)

    Every fishing endeavour assumes that all players – captains, crews, helpers, and owners – take the risks and either reap the benefits or share the losses. In the coastal fishery, the captain/owner paid the crew on a ‘share’ basis. Each fisherman or ‘shareman’ received a specific portion, or share, of the profits of the catch after expenses had been deducted from these proceeds. Expenses included all joint costs such as food, fuel for the boat, or labour for baiting trawl. The boat’s share, usually 25 per cent of the profits, covered the capital costs related to the boat – mortgage...

  13. CHAPTER NINE Conclusions
    (pp. 186-194)

    I wouldn’t change him one bit. We look like we come from two different worlds, and a lot of people think that, but he has a lot of special, tender things about him that makes him special to me. And I’m very lucky to be married to a very easy-going, laid-back individual when he’s on his own time. But when he’s in the fishing industry and making his living, he’s a hard worker trying to survive in an industry that I have my doubts about (laughter), but he doesn’t. They’re all that way. They all believe that it’s going to...

  14. Appendix
    (pp. 195-198)
  15. Notes
    (pp. 199-204)
  16. References
    (pp. 205-214)
  17. Index
    (pp. 215-219)