Chapter 6. Capacity and Social Capital in Rural Communities

Bill Reimer and Masashi Tachikawa

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The revitalization of rural communities depends on their capacity to identify and reorganize assets. In this chapter we consider how such reorganization takes place by focusing on the characteristics of the social networks and norms that structure local relations. We examine how different types of social networks and relations can modify these available assets to produce new assets and new outcomes. This is a largely unexplored feature of capacity.

In keeping with the objectives of the book, our focus will be on wealth-related outcomes and their contribution to the revitalization of rural areas. We provide frameworks for understanding capacity and social capital, and then apply these frameworks to the analysis of data from the field sites of the New Rural Economy (NRE) project. In the process we demonstrate the relevance of social capital for economic outcomes and corroborate the value of the frameworks used in that demonstration.

The Capacity Framework
The traditional approach to rural revitalization has emphasized sectoral shifts and the retraining of labour to accommodate changes in the new economy. In rural Canada, this has meant an emphasis on the movement from primary to service occupations and considerable support for training individuals in small business and self-employment (Wallace, 2002; Chaykowski, 1997). Unfortunately, this has had only limited success within the rural context (Bollman, 1999) and has given the impression that rural people lack motivation or resist learning in many rural locations.

Our research has revealed that this impression is inappropriate. Rather rural citizens have demonstrated considerable interest, activity, and innovation directed to their revitalization. Since many of the traditional indicators and programs for small areas are limited to economic and largely individual-based outcomes, this characteristic has largely gone unrecognized.

Our framework focuses on the processes by which rural people produce their valued outcomes from the assets available to them (see Figure 1). It emphasises the types of social relationships required to do so and in the process highlights the important role of social capital and social cohesion alongside the more traditional emphasis on natural resources and human skills. Framing the issues in this way has opened up new insights regarding the strengths of rural people and identified new opportunities for action and policies.

Capacity is the ability to get things done. It can be attributed to a wide range of actors, but for our purposes we focus on individuals, groups, or organizations. Individuals or groups that display high levels of capacity are those that can collectively assess new situations, access and organize assets to meet or anticipate new conditions, and coordinate their actions effectively to meet their objectives. Capacity is a necessary ingredient for revitalization. High capacity may not always contribute to revitalization, however, since the reorganization of assets may undermine sustainable objectives or support particular interests at the expense of others. The relatively high bureaucratic capacity of urban in-migrants to rural areas, for example, can lead to local conflict when it is applied to circumventing municipal by-laws (Sutherland, 2004). One of our research objectives, therefore, is to identify the conditions where capacity facilitates or impedes revitalization in the new economy.


Figure 1. Capacity Framework


Most authors acknowledge that capacity is dynamic, even if they treat it as an inherent condition of specific groups (Jackson et al., 2003; Labonte & Laverack, 2001; Goodman et al., 1998). Even within the same group, the level of capacity is likely to change over time and with respect to the particular outcomes being considered.

We also share the view that capacity is subject to influence from conditions and processes beyond the group being considered (Freudenberg, 2004; Jackson et al., 2003; Labonte & Laverack, 2001; Wilkinson, 1989; 1970). These factors can condition the capacity process by altering the availability or nature of the assets, modifying the characteristics of the relationships or norms among group members, influencing the relative value or nature of outcomes considered, or affecting the nature of the feedback process between outcomes and assets. For this reason, our research includes the analysis of contextual conditions for the capacity process (Reimer, 2006).

Most authors define capacity as having positive outcomes (Flora & Flora, 2004; Jackson et al., 2003; Gibbon et al., 2002; Smith et al., 2001; Morrisey, 2000; Goodman et al., 1998; Kusel, 1996; Freudenberg et al., 1995; McGuire, 1994; Wilkinson, 1989; 1970). This approach is evident throughout the capacity literature even within frameworks that acknowledge internal and external impediments (Freudenberg, 2004; Jackson et al., 2003; Wilkinson, 1989). In our approach, however, we assume that high levels of capacity can also harm certain people or groups – by design or unintended consequence. High capacity may be positive for one community or group while having negative implications at a regional level, or vice versa. Similarly, high capacity may have positive consequences for certain outcomes within the same community while creating negative effects for other outcomes. In one of our Quebec sites, for example, the success of a tourism initiative created conditions that were disliked by many of the local residents as their village became overcrowded by visitors during the festival season (Morin, 2005). To highlight these issues, much of our research investigates questions such as: “Under what conditions is high capacity positive or negative?”, “For what groups or organizations is high capacity positive or negative?” Such questions remain unformulated for other capacity frameworks.

High capacity may not always be actualized. Similar to characteristics such as strength, energy, or ability, it becomes manifested only through changes in other objects or systems. If individuals or groups do not act on their capacities, they remain potential. It took over five years for one of our western field sites to acknowledge and use their community networks as an effective basis for local development after the stress of mill closures (Halseth & Sullivan, 2002). For this reason, unlike many other capacity researchers (Chaskin, 2001; Labonte & Laverack, 2001; Goodman et al., 1998), our approach and procedures for measuring levels and types of capacity remain indirect, focusing on the conditions that have contributed to capacity outcomes in the past to assess current or future capacity levels.

Social Capital
Social capital is a type of asset or resource when used by individuals and groups to produce outcomes (see Reimer, 2002b; 2008). As capital, it is a part of production that is reinvested into future production. As social capital, it refers to social forms as reflected in organizations, collective activities, networks, and relationships. Like its other forms, social capital requires investment and attention to avoid depreciation and obsolescence, sometimes at considerable expense (Buchanan & Musgrave, 1999).

From this viewpoint, social capital is a relational, as opposed to an individual characteristic (Woolcock, 2001; PRI, 2005; Reimer, Lyons, Ferguson, & Polanco, 2008). It functions not only as a tangible asset for individuals to call upon for support, but its relational qualities can also function to facilitate exchanges and transactions, organize activities, and support identities. One may use social capital networks, for example, to find a job, solicit medical support, or reinforce ideological beliefs. Its successful utilization also builds trust thereby reinforcing its capacity for future use (Goodman, Speers, McLeroy, Fawcett et al., 1998; Glanville, 2002; Putnam, 2000; Paxton, 1999; Fukuyama, 1995; Coleman, 1988).

Four Types of Normative Structures
The social reorganization of assets is rooted in relations and networks. Considerable research has been conducted regarding the structures of those networks and their relationship to community development. Researchers have investigated the ways in which bonding, bridging, and linking networks contribute to local social and economic development (Flora et al, 2004; Woolcock, 2001). This has also been elaborated with respect to other network characteristics such as density, shape, and intensity (Wellman, 1999).

Very little attention has been directed to the normative structures of these networks, however. These refer to the different ways in which individuals govern their relationships to accomplish tasks, legitimize their actions, allocate resources, and sanction deviation. To this end, we have found it useful to focus on four types of normative structures, treating each as ‘ideal types’ in the tradition of Weber (Gerth & Mills, 1967) that represents the key elements by which each type of relation is organized. The four types include: market, bureaucratic, associative, and communal.

Market relations are those based on the exchange of goods and services among relatively free actors. Participation in this type of action is primarily driven by costs and benefits, and resources are allocated by supply and demand. Market-based interactions are guided by norms that minimize misrepresentation of goods and services and failure to complete a transaction. Whereas Biggart and Delbridge (2004) focus more closely on direct exchange relations and not on collective action in general, our understanding includes the latter while also accepting that they are facilitated by access to tradable goods or services, anonymity, adequate information about markets and prices, and a relatively predictable forum for exchange (see Fiske, 1991). Market relations predominate in commercial exchanges, housing, and wage labour exchanges – at least within the Canadian and Japanese contexts.

Bureaucratic relations are based on a rationalized division of labour and the structuring of authority through general principles and rules. Participation is primarily driven by functional imperatives and outcomes, with the distribution of resources based on status positions rather than on productivity (Weber, 1978; 1947). The articulation and enforcement of objectives, strategies, and structures requires a context where the rule of law is legitimized and mechanisms for its enforcement are in place. This type of social relation requires individuals and groups to meet the personal and collective conditions of formal structures. These include the ability to operate in terms of roles and generally applied principles, and the facility to frame individual and collective interests in terms of those principles. Bureaucratic-based collective action predominates in most government, corporate, and formal organizations.

Associative relations are primarily based on shared interests whereby individuals come together in order to accomplish goals and express concerns common to the group. These relations are characterized by norms of equality, where resources are equally distributed to members with relatively little reference to need. Since membership becomes an important element for accessing resources, the issue of boundary maintenance (who is a member, who is not) becomes an important basis for sanctions. The threat of exclusion, for example, is an important social control mechanism. Associative relations are likely to be found where information about others’ interests is easily available, interests merge, where the symbols of commitment to the goals are clear, and where members have access to forums for interaction. Clubs, social action groups, internet chat rooms, spectator events, hobby groups, and food banks are examples of these relations. Rituals and symbols of membership typically play important parts in these types of relations.

Communal relations are based on strongly shared identity as when members are identified by birth, ethnicity, ancestry, or other ascribed characteristics. Strong communal relations can also form around shared sentiment created by living in the same place from generation to generation, as is conveyed in the Japanese expression “Chi-En” that reflects the norms emerging out of location-focused social bonds due to the irrigation demands of rice farming, or by holding common religious or ideological beliefs. Members have access to commonly held resources distributed according to need or articulated with respect to ascribed characteristics such as age or gender. Honour and loyalty to the group are typically important norms within communal relations. Shaming and ostracizing are important control strategies. Exchanges usually take the form of generalized reciprocity as articulated by anthropologists (Sahlins, 1972). Family, friendship, gang, and clan relationships are common examples of such relations.

These four normative structures operate with considerable internal coherence. Norms of behaviour, values, perspectives, and ways of operating surround each type so that specific expectations emerge to reinforce the legitimacy of action and the particular criterion for distributing resources. In many cases, these norms become formalized in law with associated methods of enforcement. As a result, people come to depend on the secure operation of the system for access to resources and services. Threats to the operation of the system will activate resistance, and those who benefit from it are likely to champion its survival and expansion. In this respect it can become self-regulating in a weak or strong sense.

Moreover, these modes of relating are not isolated. All four usually operate in a specific situation, although only one or two may be dominant. In one of our Japanese sites, for example, the communal relations among a group of women interested in herbs provided the inspiration and social capital for the creation of a restaurant that now serves meals to visitors from both rural and urban centres. Reimer et al. (2008) discuss how the women used the trust and networks of their communal-based relations to overcome the gender restrictions of municipal grants, to fulfill the accountability requirements of regional bureaucratic policies, and to develop the market skills necessary to make the venture a success. In this example the four types of social systems generally supported one another, but this is not always the case. Several members of the original herb exchange group dropped out of the venture as it became more bureaucratic-like and took on greater financial risk.

Developing Indicators
Our research in rural Canada provides a valuable opportunity to explore this approach to capacity, social capital, and social cohesion in an empirical context. Since 1997, the NRE project has been working with 32 rural Canadian and 2 rural Japanese field sites to investigate changes in communities and households (Reimer, 2002a). We have collected information regarding the history, enterprises, voluntary and third sector organizations, public institutions, major events, governance structures, and a variety of social action activities in these sites. In the summer of 2001 we gathered information on the demographic and labour force characteristics of randomly selected households in 22 sites (2 of them in Japan), their use of public and private services, the major changes they faced, and the responses they made to those changes, social cohesion, and informal economic activities. The resulting database has allowed us to conduct hierarchical analysis at the household, field site, and regional levels while linking the sites to important national and global conditions.

The multi-level nature of our data also allowed us to avoid two limits of the individual-level data most often found in the literature. First, researchers such as Putnam (2000) and Campbell et al. (2002) frequently use participation in voluntary organizations to measure social capital. These indicators assume that the use of particular social resources is equivalent to the availability of those resources. From our perspective this difference is very important. People may have access to social capital that they do not use. In fact, considerable effort on the part of community development programs is directed to identifying and learning to use social capital that goes unrecognized. The use of that social capital may be seen as the actualization of capacity within a community.

Second, using site-level data makes it possible to represent the institutional and network manifestations of social relations. For example, the social capital embedded in a school, hospital, or food bank is often overlooked because its existence is difficult to infer from information provided by individuals. We suggest that such institutions and organizations (both formal and informal) are potential sources of social capital. These institutions consist of highly coordinated social relations, strong (often formalized) norms, and well-structured mechanisms of social control – all features of social capital but they may remain dormant if they are never used for economic (or other) objectives.

Measuring Social Capital
We measure the availability of social capital using site-level institutions and networks, including enterprises, organizations, associations, groups, networks, and family relations found in rural sites and communities (see Table 1). We measure the use of social capital by the extent to which individuals and households use such institutions and networks (both inside and outside the site) to accomplish their objectives (see Table 2). Respondents reported about their involvement in employment, communication and social services, voluntary organizations, family, and informal groups as well as their use of various types of communication infrastructure. Each index was computed by summing across the items within each site (for availability) and averaging across individuals (for use).

Measuring the institutional manifestations of social capital required two other specific assumptions. First, since all four types of relations are found to varying degrees in most institutions, we classified each institution according to its predominant norms for social relations. Second, we required a criterion for identifying the availability of the institution to the local population. Several of our field sites have access to hospital or higher education facilities, for example, but only after lengthy travel. In order to identify the institutions that were nearby, we included only those that were within 30 minutes travel. This period of time reflects a common perception of proximity, and it translates well across the years and into an urban-based context.

Table 1. Indicators for Availability of Social Capital - 4 Types of Relations
N Min Max Mean Std. Deviation
Availability of Market-Based Social Capital
# of market-based services within 30 min 19 0.0 5.0 1.74 1.76
# of market communication services 19 1.0 8.0 6.00 1.73
log of number of businesses in site 19 1.4 5.8 3.54 1.20
Index of Market Social Capital for site (standardized) 19 0.7 4.5 3.00 1.00
Availability of Bureaucratic-Based Social Capital
# of bureaucratic-based services within 30 min 19 0.0 31.0 8.79 8.40
# of bureaucratic communication services 19 1.0 3.0 2.68 0.75
Index of Bureaucratic Social Capital for site (standardized) 19 1.9 5.6 3.00 1.00
Availability of Associative-Based Social Capital
# of associative-based services within 30 min 19 0.0 18.0 6.68 5.20
# of associative-based communication services 19 1.0 11.0 7.58 2.55
Index of Associative Social Capital for site (standardized) 19 1.3 5.0 3.00 1.00
Availability of Communal-Based Social Capital
# of communal-based services in site - no churches or events 19 0.0 2.0 0.95 0.85
log of number of religious groups 19 0.7 3.4 1.45 0.88
log of number of events 19 0.7 1.6 1.21 0.30
Index of Communal Social Capital for site (standardized) 19 1.8 5.7 3.00 1.00
Index for Total Availability of Social Capital for site 19 5.8 18.5 12.00 3.08

Table 2. Indicators of the Use of Social Capital - 4 Types of Relations
N Min Max Mean Std. Deviation
Market-based Use
log of # of HH members who own a business 1995 .00 2.0 0.31 0.43
log of # of HH members employed FT or PT 1995 .00 2.2 0.73 0.53
log of uses of Internet for market relations 1995 .00 1.6 0.27 0.45
log of market public services used 1995 .00 2.6 1.88 0.20
log of # of market participation groups 1995 .00 1.6 0.05 0.19
log of receipt of income from market sources 1995 .00 1.6 0.79 0.44
summary indicator for market-based use (standardized) 1995 0.38 5.6 3.00 1.00
Bureaucratic-based Use
log of uses of Internet for bureaucratic relations 1995 .00 2.0 0.27 0.49
log of bureaucratic services used 1995 .00 2.7 1.78 0.40
log of # of bureaucratic actions taken 1995 .00 0.7 0.09 0.23
log of receipt of income from bureaucratic sources 1995 .00 2.1 0.74 0.52
summary indicator for bureaucratic-based use (standardized) 1995 0 6.7 3.00 1.00
Associative-based Use
log of uses of Internet for associative relations 1995 .00 0.7 0.04 0.16
log of associative services used 1995 .00 1.1 0.20 0.32
log of # of associative participation groups 1995 .00 3.1 0.83 0.82
log of associative actions taken 1995 .00 1.8 0.73 0.52
summary indicator of associative-based use (standardized) 1995 1.6 7.2 3.00 1.00
Communal-based Use
log of uses of Internet for communal relations 1995 .00 1.1 0.30 0.43
log of types of sharing with family and friends 1995 .00 2.5 1.03 0.62
summary indicator of communal-based use (standardized) 1995 1.25 6.0 3.00 1.00
Index for Total Use of Social Capital 1995 4.67 21.4 12.00 2.76

Social Capital Embedded in Market Relations
The site-level data is used to measure the availability of social capital in market-based relations. Among the most obvious repositories for market-based social capital, enterprises and commercial businesses represent the organization of financial, labour, and commercial markets for both owners and workers. Rural sites having a large number of such enterprises were considered to be relatively high with respect to market-related social capital. Since access to information required for making choices in market relations, we included media and communication tools that are available to people in the sites – particularly those that inform them of market-related events and services. Table 2 shows data from the household surveys to measure the use of social capital. This index relies on information regarding the extent to which household members make use of commercial enterprises, the Internet, private services, and market-based types of social support in their daily activities.

Social Capital Embedded in Bureaucratic Relations
Proceeding from the rationale used above, we used the number of bureaucratic institutions and organizations to measure the availability of bureaucratic-based social capital. When selecting such institutions, we concentrated on those organizations that operate on the basic norms of bureaucracy as identified above. Each requires the participants to be skilled in dealing with the forms, appointments, regulations, and communication mechanisms that these institutions demand. As with market-based relations, we used the household survey data to indicate the use of bureaucratic-based social capital. This focussed primarily on the extent to which household members used bureaucratic-based relations for services, social support, and public action activities.

Social Capital Embedded in Associative Relations
An indicator for available social capital was constructed using the list of voluntary and social services offered in each field site. Services that were likely to be largely organized on associative norms were selected. The use of associative-based relations was indicated by the extent to which these groups were used for services, social support, and public actions.

Social Capital Embedded in Communal Relations
The indicator for available social capital focuses on social characteristics relating to family life. Family structure is a key feature of communal relations for it usually serves as a centre of identity and multi-lateral obligations. Although the definition of communal relations goes beyond family, it is very difficult to create indicators for the less visible relations such as those found in ethnic groups, clans, gangs, or other very close-knit groups. The use of communal-based social relations was indicated by the extent to which household members shared goods and services with family and close friends.

Data Analysis
The NRE results demonstrate the extent of and relations between these indicators. Overall, the data suggest that social capital makes a contribution to economic performance in our field sites. The simple correlations between available social capital and median household income and the unemployment rate, however, are low and statistically insignificant. On the other hand, the correlation for the use of social capital and median household income is 0.37, while the one for employment of at least one person in the household is 0.41. The relative importance of the use of social capital for median household income remains even when we control for a measure of human capital (level of education).

When we introduce the four-fold relational distinctions into our empirical analysis, we gain some valuable insights, however. First, we find considerable variation in the types of social capital among the field sites in our sample. This variation is most pronounced with respect to the availability of social capital (see Figure 1) over its use (see Figure 2). These data suggest that different sites may find themselves with considerably different capacities when it comes to the availability and use of these different types of relationships. The variation in these different capacities has become an important direction of our work, resulting in new representations and hypotheses for analysis (Beckley et al., 2002).

Second, we find that the various types of relationships are differentially associated with economic outcomes (see Table 3). As expected, social capital built on market relations has the strongest relationship with income and employment. Market-based social capital is also related to most of the other outcomes. The use of social capital related to bureaucratic relations has its strongest correlation with the receipt of government transfers and education. Its negative relationship to employment reflects the role these transfers play as safety net and retirement support. The use of associative-based social capital is related to most of the outcome variables, confirming the other literature showing the correlations between voluntary association participation and various economic outcomes (Putnam, 2001). Associative-based social capital does not appear to provide backup support for the very poor, however, as indicated by the negative relationship with households below the low income cut-off (see Table 3). Instead, it is communal and bureaucratic types of social capital that are likely to be used by people in those low income households.

Figure 1. Availability of Four Social Capital Types by 19 NRE Sites (sites ordered by decreasing total availability

Figure 2. Average Use of Four Social Capital Types in 1995 Households by 20 NRE Sites (sites ordered by decreasing total use)

Table 3. Spearman Rho correlations between the Use of Social Capital and Outcomes — NRE HH Survey (Minimum N=1699; p < .05 only)
Market Bureaucratic Associative Communal Total
Government transfer payments -0.23** 0.31**
Below low income cut-off estimate 0.08** -0.05** 0.06**
Income 0.42** 0.15** 0.05** 0.27**
Education 0.29** 0.14** 0.16** 0.11** 0.27**
Employment (at least 1 PT or FT) 0.61** -0.06** 0.08** 0.12** 0.34**
Participation rate+ 0.22** 0.10** 0.13**
Unemployment rate+ -0.20** -0.08** 0.07** -0.11**
Median household income+ 0.23** 0.04** 0.15** 0.18**

** Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).
+ These variables are from site-level information, and thus they represent characteristics of the sites in which the households are located and will likely underestimate the variance.

These results point to the importance of social capital for economic outcomes. In general, high levels of social capital are positively associated with improved economic performance (see Total column in Table 3). However, the strength of that association depends on the type of social relations in which the social capital is embedded. Market-based social capital, for example, shows the strongest relationship to income, education, and employment.

We are unable to examine the relationships for social capital with the Japanese sites. The household survey used in their analysis did not include many of the questions required for constructing these indexes. Of all the items, only the question regarding the use of the Internet can be used to compare between the two countries. It reveals some differences between them that are likely to be the result of services offered. In the Japanese sites, for example, no one indicated they used the Internet for online banking or government services (federal or prefecture). In Canada, respondents indicated that they made use of the Internet for all these purposes.

This analysis reinforces the point that we may underestimate the role of social capital and capacity by focussing too closely on one type of social relation. The preoccupation with associative-based social capital in the literature is likely to overlook the important role of market, bureaucratic, and communal relations for achieving economic and social outcomes.

This line of investigation is now one of the principle foci of our research (Jean & Épenda Muteba Wa, 2004; Beckley, Nadeau, Wall, Reimer, & Martz, 2002; Jean, 2002; Beckley et al., 2002). We are exploring the ways that the traditional strengths of rural areas (primarily in associative and communal types of relations) may be reorganized as market and bureaucratic relational frameworks come to dominate the New Economy. We have identified many places where associative and communal-based social capital have been used as a basis for developing businesses, for example, often with the strategic use of government or corporate support (Reimer et al., 2008).

This framework provides a rich basis for examining the social assets of rural communities and their relationship to rural revitalization. Our preliminary analysis provides evidence for the importance of these social factors on the more economic-focussed outcomes that are so crucial for rural communities. Social capital shows important correlations with several of these outcomes, including income, education, employment, and poverty.

The results also support our claim that social capital should be differentiated with respect to the four types of social relations on which it is based. Each of the types we have identified bears a different pattern of correlations to the outcomes, suggesting important variations in the processes linking them. By developing indicators that are sensitive to these various types of relations we set the stage for a more detailed analysis of the processes supporting and contributing to rural revitalization. Economic development, for example, need not always depend on economic assets or market-based social relations alone. As demonstrated by the Japanese herb group, economic ventures may also be served by using other forms of social capital and reorganizing them into new relations.

Two important lessons for policy-makers emerge from this analysis. First, the results demonstrate how one type of policy will not fit all circumstances. Each site in our sample shows a different profile of social relations. Programs that address only one type of social capital are likely to fail in those sites where the type is relatively underdeveloped. In addition, since our results show how initiatives usually make use of more than one type of social capital, a narrowly-focused program may overlook the supporting relations that make the use of social capital possible. In both cases, an appropriate policy would be sufficiently flexible to take advantage of all types of social capital in a combination that is adaptable to each community.

Second, the results should provide hope to policy-makers. We have found how one type of social capital may provide the conditions for enhancement of another. This opens up options for rural revitalization. In those locations where market or bureaucratic-based relationships are weak, for example, it may be possible to work through associative or communal ones. First Nations self-government in Canada and the herb group from Japan both provide good illustrations of the way in which this might work in practice. It requires, however, sufficient flexibility in our bureaucratic and market-based institutions to recognize and work with the different norms reflected in associative and communal-based relations and the policies that provide imagination and support as new learning takes place.

We thank the many people in the New Rural Economy Project (NRE) of the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation (CRRF) and our colleagues in OUR, for their contributions, insights and inspiration. Tara Lyons, Victoria Bell, Angela Briscoe, Becky Lipton, and Moses Tiepoh have been particularly helpful with the preparation of these materials. We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Rural Secretariat of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Health Canada, Natural Resources Canada, the Co-Operative Secretariat of Industry Canada, Statistics Canada, and the many rural people in our field sites and meetings.


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