De-Isolation in the Backwater

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Fishneck, a small and isolated fishing community in the Chesapeake Bay area, has been characterized by low education levels, few suprafamilial organizations, and little participation in institutions outside the community. Community members have resisted proletarianization through barter, exchange, supplemental wage labour, fill-in work, and family mutual aid.

These patterns are changing as contact increases with the wider society. Leisure is identified as the strongest pull toward participation. Results of greater contact include a more positive image to outsiders, a sharpened sense of community and community boundaries, and greater participation in the educational, economic, and political arenas. Whether this community changes toward a small-town fishing hamlet depends first on moving from clan-based to community-based internal organization.

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Maritime Policy & Management, v. 11, issue 2, p. 113-121