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Community-based sustainability and the construction of difference on Galiano Island, British Columbia Rowson, Juliet Mary 1997

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Community-Based Sustainability and the Construction of Difference on Galiano Island, British Columbia by Juliet Mary Rowson B . S c , The University of Durham, 1991 M . S c , The University of British Columbia, 1993 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T OF T H E REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in T H E F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES (Department of Geography) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard T H E UNIVERSITY^OF BRITIS^ C O L U M B I A August 1997 ©Juliet Rowson, 1997 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) Abstract: The 'community-based sustainability ideal' is a North American brand of sustainability which envisions place-based communities as the ideal forum for the achievement of sustainability. There are three linchpins to the ideal: place, community, and sustainability. According to the ideal, community is place-based, and is the site in which the goals of ecological integrity, economic well-being and social cohesion can best be advanced, rendering it the ideal locus for sustainability. As such, the three linchpins are seamlessly bound together as a 'common sense' package. I argue, however, that these linchpins are thus-far ill-conceived because they romanticize local social relations, systematically erasing any sense that there may be difference and conflict generated in place-based communities attempting sustainability. My position is that any desirable and attainable vision of community-based sustainability must be grounded in the discursive realities of the present. Given that difference and conflict are unlikely to disappear from place-based communities in the foreseeable future, these issues must therefore be explicitly incorporated in any vision of community-based sustainability. To this end, I deconstruct the representations of place, commumty and sustainability embedded in the 'community-based sustainability ideal' and suggest an alternative, less problematic way in which community-based sustainability can be imagined. My arguments are filtered through, and shaped by, a case study of Galiano Island, British Columbia, which constitutes a place-based community attempting sustainability. The thesis argues that the 'community-based sustainability ideal' should be reworked such that place is de-essentialized, so that it is possible to recognize multiple, conflicting representations of place. Similarly, the assumption that commumty members are united through a shared unity of purpose needs to be challenged so that difference and conflict are recognized as integral aspects of community. Finally, sustainability advocates need to acknowledge that there is not one, but multiple ways in which sustainability can be interpreted in place-based communities. From here, advocates of community-based sustainability are in a position to suggest how differences can be articulated and positions negotiated, such that workable, desirable visions of sustainability can be pursued. Table of Contents: Page Number: Abstract i i Table of Contents iv List of Tables vi List of Figures vii Acknowledgements vii i Chapter 1: Introduction 1 1.1 Introduction 1 1.2 Approach 5 1.3 Research Contributions 11 1.4 Outline of Thesis 13 Chapter 2: The 'community-based sustainability ideal' 14 2.1 Sustainability 14 2.2 The 'community-based sustainability ideal' 22 2.3 The 'community-based sustainability ideal' 26 2.4 Place and the 'community-based sustainability ideal' 42 2.5 Summary 48 Chapter 3: Research methods and introduction to case study 50 Part 1: Research methods 50 3.1 Case study selection 51 3.2 Fieldwork methods 56 3.3 Analysis 65 3.4 My place on Galiano Island 67 3.5 Summary 70 Part 2: Introduction to case study 71 3.6 Island histories 71 3.7 Island geographies 86 3.8 Summary 95 Chapter 4: Placing Galiano Island 97 4.1 Why study place? 99 4.2 A non-essentialist sense of place 102 4.3 Scaling place-identities 104 4.4 Contesting Galiano's past 108 4.5 Galiano: rural or urban? 118 4.5.1 The pastoral myth 120 4.5.2 Positioning Galiano Island within the pastoral myth 123 4.6 Senses of place on Galiano 132 4.7 Discussion and conclusions 136 iv Chapter 5: Community: gemeinschaft or factionalized? 139 5.1 Why study communities? 140 5.2 An approach to community 143 5.3 Community on Galiano Island 151 5.4 Community as gemeinschaft 155 5.4.1 The spatial and social limits to gemeinschaft 163 5.5 Community as factionalized 168 5.6 Critiques of gemeinschaft 174 5.7 Discussion and conclusion 187 Chapter 6: Representations of sustainability on Galiano Island 191 6.1 Reconceptualizing sustainability 196 6.2 Sustainability and the Official Community Plan 198 6.3 Erasing difference and conflict from sustainability: discourses on 204 environment and economy 6.3.1 'Jobs versus environment'discourse 207 6.3.2 'Economic growth and environment' discourse 212 6.3.3 'Economic self-reliance and environment' discourse 217 6.4 Multiple readings of 'to preserve and protect' 225 6.5 Discourse, place-based politics and Galiano Island 230 6.6 Discussion and conclusions 233 Chapter 7: Conclusions 236 7.1 Summary 236 7.2 Prospects and recommendations 241 7.3 Research contributions and limitations 245 References 251 Appendices 1 Galiano Island survey 266 2 Sample interview and focus group questions 276 V List of Tables: Page Number: 3.1 Occupational categories 67 3.2 Opinions of the Islands Trust 78 3.3 Age statistics for the Southern Gulf Islands 85 3.4 Education levels for the Southern Gulf Islands 86 6.1 Opinions of the OCP 201 List of Figures: Page Number: 3.1 Galiano Island and Location Maps 53 3.2 The Gulf Islands, British Columbia 72s Acknowledgments A study such as this is, in many ways, asymmetric. Whilst accepting that any errors or omissions in this thesis are mine and mine alone, I cannot claim the same for all the ideas or material incorporated in the next 250 odd pages. Instead, many people have contributed enormously in the production of this thesis. First and foremost, my thanks extend to the many Galiano Islanders who downed tools, pens, paint brushes, garden implements and many more things in order to fill in questionnaires and participate in interview and focus group discussions. Whilst I acknowledge that the arguments incorporated in the thesis may not necessarily be shared by those who participated in this study, the inspiration for them came from my fieldwork experiences. The time and enthusiasm Islanders generously gave me has been invaluable and without it there would be no thesis. Thank you. I will not forget the two lovely months I spent living on Galiano Island. I would also like to warmly thank those who have served on my supervisory committee, Maureen Reed as supervisor, Brian Elliott, David Ley, Gerry Pratt and Graeme Wynn. You have all provided me with invaluable help along the way. Maureen especially, has provided me with much support, valued feedback, enthusiasm and encouragement, and was always there when it all seemed a bit much. I have also been very fortunate in receiving both encouragement and friendship from many people during the four years taken to complete this study. My thanks go particularly to Laura Beattie, Alison Blunt, Hayley Britton, Elizabeth Bronson, Es Cabral, Emma Coe, Neil Coe, Robyn Dowling, Averill Groeneveld-Meijer, Nicky Hicks, Philip Kelly, Richard Phillips and Jenny Salmond. Throughout the four years taken to conduct this study, I have been generously funded by the Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan. I gratefully acknowledge their support. Finally, I would like to thank Martin Evans, my most ardent supporter and best friend who, as ever, has been with me through thick and thin. A true friend and partner. Chapter 1: Introduction 1.1 Introduction: From Utopian writings and practices to government policy, the empowerment of local communities has been constructed as the solution to various social, environmental and economic problems in society.1 This turn towards community is non-partisan. On the right, political parties and / or platforms aim to downsize government and 'return' political, economic and social responsibility to the local community. Similarly, academics such as Bryan and McClaughry argue that empowering communities would enable welfare to be removed from the state's responsibility with a simultaneous reintroduction of charity to the 'deserving' poor at the local scale.2 Political parties on the left also advocate decentralization and self-reliance at the local scale3 whilst left communitarian democratic theorists such as Michael Sandel and Alisdair Maclntyre have also argued for a return to community living, warning of morally unsatisfactory consequences without it . 4 Perhaps nowhere has this language of community been more popularized than in discourses of sustainability. Sustainability is a broadly-interpreted concept, however, a 1 Witness, for example the rhetoric of 'community development' and 'community policing' which are so popular with government today. 2 Bryan, F. and McClaughry, J. (1989) "The Vermont Papers: Recreating Democracy on a Human Scale" Chelsea Green Publishing Company: Vermont 3 For example, the German, Ontario and British Columbia Green parties. See, Boggs, C. (1986) "Social Movements and Political Power: Emerging Forms of Radicalism in the West" Temple University Press: Philadelphia; Sandilands, K. (1992) "Ecology as Politics: The Promise and Problems of the Ontario Greens" in W. K. Carroll (ed.) "Organizing Dissent: Contemporary Social Movements in Theory and Practice" Garamond Press: Toronto; and Tester, F. J. (1991) "The B.C. Greens: The Ecology of an Improbable Politics" 149-167 in R. Lorimer, M. M'Gonigle, J. Reveret, and S. Ross (eds.) To See Ourselves / To Save Ourselves: Ecology and Culture in Canada" Association for Canadian Studies: Montreal 4 See, for example, Avineri, S. and de-Shalit, A. (eds.) (1992) "Communitarianism and Individualism" Oxford University Press: Oxford; and Sandel, M. J. (ed.) (1984) "Liberalism and its Critics" New York University Press: New York for reviews of communitarian writings. definition which captures most of its diversity is provided by Robinson and Van Bers who argue that it involves: the maintenance over the long term of the health and viability of human societies and the natural environment of which they are a part.5 Sustainability is generally considered to have three components, the ecological, the social and the economic: The Ecological Imperative: Human development must proceed in a way that maintains the long-term health and productivity of natural systems. ... The Social Imperative: The well-being of individuals and communities is paramount in a sustainable society. ... The Economic Imperative: A sustainable society would ensure an adequate material standard of living for all its members.6 Under the rubric of sustainability, international commissions,7 policy makers,8 academics,9 environmental advocates10 and practitioners11 have become joined in their rhetoric of the importance of empowering the local community to reach sustainability. This 'turn' to the local community can perhaps be explained in terms of the meaning currently assigned to 'community' and the 'local' in society. In the 1980s and 90s, western democracies began a programme of decentralization, reversing an earlier trend 5 Robinson, J. and Van Bers, C. (1996) "Living within our Means: The Foundations of Sustainability" The David Suzuki Foundation: Vancouver page 9 6 Robinson and Van Bers (1996) ibid, page iii 7 For example, the World Commission on Environment and Development (1987) "Our Common Future" Oxford University Press: Oxford; United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (1992) "Agenda for the 21st Century" Report from the UNCED conference, Rio De Janeiro 8 For example, British Columbia Round Table on Environment and Economy (1993) "Strategic Directions for Community Sustainability" British Columbia Round Table on Environment and Economy: Victoria 9 See, for example, Truman, K. and Lopez, E. C. (1993) "The Community: Perspectives for its Sustainability" Technological Forecasting and Social Change Vol. 44 291-314; and Gardner, J. and Roseland, M . (1989a) 'Thinking Globally: The Role of Social Equity in Sustainable Development' Alternatives Vol. 16, 26-34 1 0 For example, whilst conducting indepth interviews with 37 environmental activists in the 'Save the Georgia Strait Alliance,' Robert Feagan found that interviewees made a strong connection between issues of sustainability and encouraging greater community cohesiveness and involvement in decisions affecting their locale. See Feagan, R. B. (1993) "Interpretations of Sustainability: Worldviews of Environmental Activists in the 'Save the Georgia Strait Alliance' of British Columbia" Ph. D. SFU: Geography 1 1 See for example, the writings of bioregionalist practitioners Christopher and Judith Plant in (1990) "Turtle Talk: Voices for a sustainable future" New Society Publishers: Philadelphia towards centralizing governance decisions by extending the welfare state. The 'local' was thus associated with a reduction in the inefficiencies and bureaucratization so frequently associated with the welfare state, and was represented as a means of serving more directly the needs of the populace. Similarly, 'community' was constructed in a positive light, as a site for caring and sharing and came to stand for a lost moral order.1 2 As a result, government policies such as 'community care' and 'commumty stewardship' were used to invoke positive qualities despite the realities of their standing for a cheap alternative to current arrangements.13 This trend towards the 'community' and the 'local' has, however, taken place in a context in which the overarching rhetoric is towards the 'individual' and the 'global'. Indeed, the trend towards the 'local' and the 'community' can be thought of as a weak current heading in a counter-direction to the powerful tide of globalization and individualism. Indeed, writers such as David Harvey have suggested that the swing to the local is in reaction to the relatively disempowering construct of the global 1 4 whilst a turn to community could equally be framed as a rejection of the social and cultural isolationism associated with individualism. Nevertheless, the combined rhetoric of 'community' and the 'local' is very appealing and consequently, there has been remarkably little popular debate or criticism of policies, rhetoric, or social ideals which mesh these concepts. However, before these discourses become more popular, it is important that they are critically evaluated in order that we may understand the cultural, social, economic, environmental and 1 2 Potter, J. and Reicher, S. (1987) "Discourses of Community and Conflict: The organization of social categories in accounts of a 'riot'" British Journal of Social Psychology vol. 26 25-40; Crow, G. and Allan, G. (1994) "Community Life: An Introduction to Local Social Relations" Harvester Wheatsheaf: New York 1 3 Reed, M . G. "The Provision of Environmental Goods and Services by Local Non-governmental Organizations: An Illustration from the Squamish Forest District, Canada" Journal of Rural Studies Vol. 13 No. 2 177-96; and Potter, J. and Collie, F. (1989) '"Community Care' as Persuasive Rhetoric: A Study of Discourse" Disability, Handicap and Society vol. 4 no. 1 57-64 1 4 Harvey, D. (1989) "The Condition of Postmodernity" Basil Blackwell: Oxford 3 political implications of this trend. This current study can be situated as an initial contribution towards such a deconstruction of the 'local community'. It is set within the specific context of community-based sustainability. My focus is on a particular discourse of sustainability, one I term the 'community-based sustainability ideal' which is advocated by sustainability writers (largely Canadian) such as Julia Gardner, William Rees, Mark Roseland and Robert Gibson as well as by members of the North American bioregionalist movement. This ideal constructs the 'local community' as the means for achieving sustainability. In this ideal, community is frequently assumed to be a geographical place where the ideals of ecological integrity, economic well-being and social cohesion can best be advanced, rendering it the ideal locus for the achievement of sustainability. Having developed within the context of this broad 'turn' to the local community, the three linchpins of the 'community-based sustainability ideal', namely place, community and sustainability, are bound together as a 'common-sense' package. The purpose of this thesis is to unpack the 'community-based sustainability ideal' in an attempt to reveal some of the undesirable and unattainable assumptions incorporated within it, and to suggest an alternative way in which community-based sustainability could be reimagined. In particular, three clusters of research questions guide this purpose: • According to the 'community-based sustainability ideal', what is meant by the terms community and sustainability? How are they linked? Given community is assumed to be place-based, what is the role of place in this ideal? • What is problematic about the representations of community, place and sustainability incorporated in the 'community-based sustainability ideal'? 4 • H o w d o m e m b e r s o f a l o c a l c o m m u n i t y a t t e m p t i n g s u s t a i n a b i l i t y a c t u a l l y c o n c e p t u a l i z e p l a c e , c o m m u n i t y a n d s u s t a i n a b i l i t y ? H o w c a n i n s i g h t s g a i n e d f r o m a n e m p i r i c a l s t u d y h e l p u s to r e c o n c e p t u a l i z e l o c a l s u s t a i n a b i l i t y i n o r d e r t o a v o i d the p r o b l e m s i d e n t i f i e d a b o v e ? 1.2 A p p r o a c h : I n t he f o l l o w i n g c h a p t e r s , I a r g u e that the th ree l i n c h p i n s o f the ' c o m m u n i t y - b a s e d s u s t a i n a b i l i t y i d e a l ' , n a m e l y , p l a c e , c o m m u n i t y a n d s u s t a i n a b i l i t y , a re t hus f a r i l l -c o n c e i v e d b e c a u s e t h e y s y s t e m a t i c a l l y e r a s e a n y sense tha t t he re m a y b e d i f f e r e n c e a n d c o n f l i c t g e n e r a t e d i n p l a c e - b a s e d c o m m u n i t i e s a t t e m p t i n g s u s t a i n a b i l i t y . A d o p t i n g a t r a d i t i o n a l v i s i o n o f c o m m u n i t y , t h e y a s s u m e tha t m e m b e r s o f a c o m m u n i t y s h a r e a u n i t a r y v i s i o n o f p u r p o s e . T a k e n to i ts e x t r e m e , it is the c o m m u n i t y as a c o l l e c t i v e w h i c h i s a s s i g n e d a g e n c y a n d has a c o m m o n in te res t w h i c h i s s h a r e d b y a l l i ts m e m b e r s . S i m i l a r l y , p l a c e is a l s o a s s u m e d to h a v e a u n i t a r y m e a n i n g to e v e r y o n e i n t he p l a c e - b a s e d c o m m u n i t y . T h r o u g h o u t , p l a c e a n d c o m m u n i t y a re c o n f l a t e d a n d i t i s a s s u m e d tha t t h o s e l i v i n g i n p l a c e b e l o n g to a c o m m u n i t y a n d v i c e v e r s a . G i v e n tha t i t is a s s u m e d tha t p l a c e has a u n i t a r y m e a n i n g a n d t he re is a g r e e m e n t as to t he c o m m u n i t y ' s c o m m o n g o a l s , i t is no t s u r p r i s i n g that a d v o c a t e s o f the ' c o m m u n i t y -b a s e d s u s t a i n a b i l i t y i d e a l ' a s s u m e a s i n g u l a r , u n c o n t e s t e d v i s i o n o f l o c a l s u s t a i n a b i l i t y w i l l b e p r o d u c e d b y c o m m u n i t y m e m b e r s . C o n s e q u e n t l y , a d v o c a t e s o f the ' c o m m u n i t y -b a s e d s u s t a i n a b i l i t y i d e a l ' h a v e b u i l t a sense o f h o m o g e n e i t y i n t o t h e i r r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s o f c o m m u n i t y , p l a c e a n d s u s t a i n a b i l i t y , r e s u l t i n g i n a l a c k o f c o n s i d e r a t i o n tha t d i f f e r e n c e a n d c o n f l i c t m a y a c t u a l l y c h a r a c t e r i z e r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s o f t hese c o n c e p t s i n p r a c t i c e . T h i s n o t o n l y r a i s e s q u e s t i o n s r e g a r d i n g the d e s i r a b i l i t y o f the ' c o m m u n i t y -b a s e d s u s t a i n a b i l i t y i d e a l ' , b u t a l s o i ts a t t a i n a b i l i t y . 5 The terms difference and conflict appear throughout this study and I employ both terms together to suggest that not all differences in opinion necessarily result in conflict, but nevertheless, conflict is frequently associated with difference of opinion. In addition, by using both concepts simultaneously, I am recognizing that these terms are subjective and it is not possible to clearly distinguish as to when one meshes into the other. Instead, by regarding difference and conflict as an integral component of community-based sustainability today, I argue that they do not have to be viewed negatively as threats to community or as evidence of failure to produce a workable vision of sustainability. Instead, it is possible to incorporate both difference and conflict within visions of community-based sustainability constructively. Although I am critical of the 'community-based sustainability ideal', my purpose is not an outright rejection of community-based sustainability. Indeed, it would be hard to argue with the concept of sustainability, and I have two reasons for why I find communities a suitable locus in which to tackle sustainability. First, community, to some degree, involves a sense of shared identity, and hence encourages both collective action and a concern for other community members, both of which are important precursors to sustainability. Second, community-based sustainability involves a degree of decentralization to the community scale. This is beneficial because it helps foster a sense of collective and individual responsibility which furthers sustainability. Therefore, rather than rejecting community-based sustainability outright, I want to argue that this lack of conceptualization of difference and conflict requires that the three linchpins of the 'community-based sustainability ideal', namely, place, community and sustainability, be reconceptualized. From such a reconceptualization, a new, more desirable and attainable vision of community-based sustainability can be realized. It is to this end that I attempt to contribute to the community-based sustainability literature. Theoretical: I approach these issues from a cultural perspective, and in particular, my arguments have been shaped by two theoretical strands, that of 'new' cultural geography and the theory of discourses. 'New' cultural geography was developed in reaction to the perceived deficiencies of earlier cultural geography which either conceptualized culture as a residual category or fixed readings of landscape as stable and uncontested, as in the Sauerian tradition.1 5 Instead, 'new' cultural geographers emphasize the omnipresent and constructed nature of culture, as is evident in Cosgrove and Jackson's definition of culture: [C]ulrure is the medium through which people transform the mundane phenomena of the material world into a world of significant symbols to which they give meaning and attach value. 1 6 Rather than regarding community, place and sustainability as having any inherent meaning, a cultural approach enables me to recast them as being repeatedly constructed, negotiated and resisted over time. As such, current meanings ascribed to them in the 'community-based sustainability ideal' can potentially be broken down and reworked.1 7 Within this broad cultural approach, however, the theoretical tack I adopt has been largely shaped by my research experiences and findings. Whilst analyzing interviews, I came to realize that participants were representing place, community and sustainability discursively (that is, as discourses). Similarly, the representation of these concepts embedded in the 'community based sustainability ideal' can also be framed as 1 5 Cosgrove, D. and Jackson, P. (1987) "New Directions in Cultural Geography" Area Vol. 19 No. 2 95-101 1 6 Cosgrove and Jackson (1987) ibid, page 99 1 7 For reviews of 'new' cultural geography, see Jackson, P. (1991) "Mapping meanings" Environment and Planning A Vol. 23 215-228; and Shurmer-Smith, P. and Hannam, K. (1994) "Worlds of Desire Realms of Power: A Cultural Geography" Edward Arnold: London and New York. 7 discourses. Consequently, the approach adopted in this study can be classed as a discourse analysis. My use of the term discourse is Foucauldian and can be defined in the following ways: a system of statements which constructs an object.18 The ensemble of social practices through which the world is made meaningful and intelligible to oneself and to others.19 As Burr notes, discursive representations may be evident in speech, the written word and images for instance, and can be noted because they construct an object or an event in a particular manner.20 Verbal, pictoral or written presentations may be said to belong to the same discourse to the extent that they are painting the same general picture of the object or event in question. People use discourses both subconsciously and deliberately in order to represent an object or an event in a particular light. There are three important features of Foucault's theory of discourses. First, they are never fixed or permanent, but are always open to contestation and negotiation.21 Second, embedded in Foucault's conception of discourse is a new meaning for power: power is not a discrete, exchangeable commodity that gets transferred between social objects, nor is it a delegated right or duty from the sovereign state.22 Instead, relations of power are embedded in all social relations and where there is power thefe is always resistance.23 These relations of power and resistance are constituted through discourse, as Foucault explains: We must make allowance for the complex and unstable process whereby discourse can be both an instrument and an effect of power, but also a 1 8 Parker, I. in Burr, V. (1995) "An Introduction to Social Constructionism" Routledge: London and New York page 48 1 9 Gregory, D. (1994) "Discourse" in R. J. Johnson, D. Gregory and D. Smith (eds.) "Dictionary of Human Geography" page 136 2 0 Burr, V. (1995) "An Introduction to Social Constructionism" Routledge: London and New York 2 1 Gregory (1994) op. cit. 2 2 Brown, M . P. (1993) "The possibility of local autonomy" Urban Geography Vol. 13 no. 2 257-279 page 257 2 3 Foucault, M . (1990) "The History of Sexuality: Volume 1" Vintage Books: New York 8 hindrance, a stumbling-block, a point of resistance and a starting point for an opposing strategy. Discourse transmits and produces power; it reinforces it, but also undermines and exposes it, renders it fragile and makes it possible to thwart i t . 2 4 Therefore, although certain social groups and individuals may use a given discourse for particular ends, they do not 'own' it, and others can also use it as a mode of resistance. Finally, what constitutes 'knowledge' in society is discursively produced. That is, particular readings are naturalized and constructed as 'truths'. For example, as Harvey explains: The function of discourse is to create 'truths' that are in fact 'effects of truth' within the discourse rather than the universal truths they claim to be. 2 5 He goes on to note that: [Foucault's] main aim is to undermine these 'effects of truth' and to show how truth in discourse is always an internalized effect of other moments in the social process.26 Similarly, by framing representations of place, community and sustainability as discourses rather than the 'truth', I am also able to accept that there may be multiple representations of each of these concepts and none is more 'truthful' than any other. The object of a discourse analysis is to identify various discourses in use and to investigate their implications, namely to consider the consequences of representing a given object in a particular manner.27 From here, the researcher is in a position to reveal the power / knowledge relationships implicated in the discursive representation. A n example of such a discourse analysis was provided by Macnaghten who investigated representations of nature at a public inquiry. His approach was to analyze the texts in terms of the variety of discourses used before identifying how these discourses of 2 4 Foucault (1990) ibid, page 101 2 5 Harvey, D. (1996) "Justice, Nature and the Geography of Difference" Blackwell: Cambridge, Mass. Page 95 2 6 Harvey (1996) ibid, page 95 2 7 Burr (1995) op. cit. 9 nature were used as argumentative strategies. Then he linked these discourses to the different realities legitimated, and finally looked at the relationship between discursive representations and the material outcome of the inquiry. 2 8 As such, he was able to identify the discursive strategies which were most effective in shaping the outcome of the inquiry. Empirical: I use discourse analysis to challenge the representations of community, place and sustainability incorporated in the 'community-based sustainability ideal'. Rather than develop abstract arguments, however, as has so often been the case with advocates of the 'community-based sustainability ideal', as well as with those whose work can be used to critique it, my arguments are filtered through, and shaped by, a case study of a 'place-based community'2 9 attempting to achieve sustainability. I am therefore attempting to critique and rework this ideal on its own terms, in a place which meets the criteria of this ideal. A justification for an empirically-based approach is provided by Iris Marion Young: Such a model of the good society as composed of decentralized, economically self-sufficient, face-to-face communities functioning as autonomous political entities is both wildly Utopian and undesirable. To bring it into being would require dismantling the urban character of modern society, a gargantuan physical overhaul of living space, work places, places of trade and commerce. A model of a transformed better society must in some concrete sense begin from the concrete material structures that are given to us at this time in history, and in the United States these are large-scale industry and urban centres.30 (my emphasis) 2 8 Macnaghten, P. (1993) "Discourses of nature: argumentation and power" in E. Burman and I. Parker (eds.) "Discourse Analytic Research: Repertoires and Readings of Texts in Action" Routledge; London and New York 2 9 Throughout, the term 'place-based community' is used to denote community which is place-based rather than being, for example, interest group based. By flagging the term place, it also signals the fact that place and community are not synonymous. 3 0 Young, I. M . (1990) "The Ideal of Community and the Politics of Difference" in Nicholson, L. J. (ed.) "Feminism / Postmodernism" Routledge: London and New York page 316 10 Although she is referring to U.S. cities, the general applicability of her comments can be appreciated. Young is arguing for a vision of the future which is rooted firmly in the realities of the present. Similarly, I believe the 'community-based sustainability ideal' must be evaluated in terms of its attainability, as much as its desirability. My empirical study will thus enable me to develop a firmer grasp as to how members of place-based communities envision place, community and sustainability and, meshing these insights with my theoretical approach, I am in a position to evaluate the 'community-based sustainability ideal' as well as produce an alternative way in which community-based sustainability can be conceptualized. I chose Galiano Island as a case study because it meets the criteria of a place-based commumty attempting sustainability as outlined in the 'commumty-based sustainability ideal': Galiano Islanders generally represent themselves as 'a community' and through their 1995 Official Community Plan, they have been grappling with the issue of the sustainability of the Island. Galiano Island is located in the Strait of Georgia between Vancouver and Vancouver Island and has a population of about 950 permanent residents with approximately 1100 non-resident property owners. In February and March 1996, I lived on Galiano and conducted a mail questionnaire, focus group discussions and interviews with Islanders. 1.3 Research Contributions: This thesis makes five contributions to the 'community-based sustainability ideal' literature and one to the cultural studies literature. First and most importantly, I have brought together two very different bodies of literature, that of the 'community-based sustainability ideal' and the cultural / discourse literature. To my knowledge, these literatures have not been merged before and as I will demonstrate, there is much that n the sustainability literature can borrow from the cultural approach. The cultural approach not only provides an insightful critique of the 'community-based sustainability ideal', but suggests an alternative way in which the concepts of place, community and sustainability can be rebuilt. Consequently, as I will argue, we are left with a more desirable and attainable conceptualization of community-based sustainability. Second, my discussion highlights the need for the literature on community-based sustainability to be more empirically grounded. Currently, it tends to be abstract in conceptualization and, as is illustrated throughout this study, this has resulted in an impoverished understanding of how place, community and sustainability are actually formulated and experienced in place-based communities. Investigation into how people living in a place-based community actually conceptualize place, community and sustainability would help advocates develop a more attainable, less romanticized vision of how community-based sustainability is best achieved. Third, my study highlights the benefits of adopting multiple research techniques for exploring meanings of place, community and sustainability within a case study context. Through the use of questionnaires, interviews, focus groups and archival research, I have been able to develop and substantiate my arguments more fully. Fourth, I have found the 'community-based sustainability ideal' literature inadequately theorizes the difference between place and community, and they are often conflated. I discuss how such an approach is unacceptable and suggest how they can be prised apart conceptually. Fifth, I argue that people's representations of place help to shape their visions of sustainability. This link has not been made before, and it furthers our understanding of how sustainability is envisioned in place-based communities. Finally, my study serves as a contribution to the cultural studies literature. To date, cultural geographers have almost completely ignored the topic of sustainability, something which should not continue given its increased social relevance. This study serves as an early attempt to investigate the 'cultures of sustainability'. 1.4 Outline of Thesis: In the next chapter, I introduce the 'community-based sustainability ideal', highlighting how place, community and sustainability are represented in this ideal. Borrowing from elements of cultural, environmental and feminist literatures, I develop a theoretically-based critique of this ideal, concluding that the representation of place, community and sustainability in the ideal require reworking. Chapter three then introduces my research methods and case study, thus providing an important contextualization for subsequent chapters. Chapters four, five and six then investigate the concepts of place, community and sustainability respectively. In each chapter, I attempt to characterize Galiano Islanders' representations of each concept, whilst simultaneously highlighting the inadequacies of the 'community-based sustainability ideal' in capturing these representations. I argue that a discursive approach to place, community and sustainability is not only useful in characterizing what is actually being represented by Islanders, but that it is also enables an alternative conception of community-based sustainability to be formulated. Finally, in chapter seven, based on both the theoretical and empirical insights gained from the research, I make some suggestions as to how community-based sustainability could be reconceptualized. 13 Chapter 2: The 'community-based sustainability ideal' The 'community-based sustainability ideal' is a particular discourse of sustainability and can be characterized as the vision that place-based communities are the ideal locus for the achievement of sustainability. This ideal is very seductive, meshing concepts which today are highly appealing - sustainability, commumty and the local. It is precisely because of its attractiveness that it must be interrogated and dismantled in order to ascertain whether it really is as desirable and attainable as it appears. I argue that despite its apparent straightforwardness, embedded within the ideal are some complex, deep-seated assumptions which I not only wish to bring to light, but also to critique. In the following, I begin with a broad outline of the sustainability concept so that the 'community-based sustainability ideal' can be contextualized. I go on to detail how the three linchpins of this ideal, sustainability, community and place, have been formulated. After describing each linchpin, I use elements of existing cultural, environmental and feminist literatures to develop a theoretically-based critique of each. 2.1 Sustainability: One of the most popular terms currently circulating amongst environmental advocates is that of 'sustainability' or 'sustainable development'. Through the notion of Gaia, the concept of sustainability goes back at least to the time of the Ancient Greeks,1 while the 1 O'Riordan, T. (1988) "The Politics of Sustainability" in R. K. Turner (ed.) "Sustainable Environmental Management: Principles and Practice" Belhaven Press: London. For discussions of the roots of sustainability, see O'Riordan (1988); Vaillancourt, J. (1995) "Sustainable Development: A sociologist's view of the definition, origins and implications of the concept" in M. D. Mehta and E. 14 more recent use of the term dates from the 1970s.2 Sustainability became a household term after the 1987 publication of the Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED, otherwise known as the Brundtland Report). This report defined sustainable development as: "... development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."3 The report argued that not only did the biophysical realm need sustaining, but so did social and economic life and importantly, they were interrelated. The report ended with ' A Call For Action, ' 4 requesting a U N Program of Action on Sustainable Development and the organization of sustainable development conferences at the regional scale. Countries throughout the world have responded to this 'call for action'. For example in Canada, governments,5 academics6 and advocates7 have risen to this challenge of establishing and implementing policies and practices in support of sustainability. Given the current popularity of the sustainability concept, it is not surprising that there is now a vast sustainability literature and that many diverse perspectives have now come to exist under this one umbrella. As a result, Colby has characterized sustainability as a 'political pseudo-consensus.'8 Others have attempted to prize apart Ouellet (eds.) "Environmental Sociology: Theory and Practice" Captus Press: York, Ontario 219-230; and Pierce, J. T. (1992) "Progress and the biosphere: the dialectics of sustainable development" The Canadian Geographer Vol. 36 No. 4 306-20. 2 Robinson and Van Bers have noted that the need for sustainability was first articulated by Goldsmith in "Blueprint for Survival" in 1972, whilst the term 'sustainable development' was first coined in the 1980 World Conservation Strategy. Robinson and Van Bers (1996) op. cit. 3 World Commission on Environment and Development (1987) op. cit. page 43 4 WCED (1987) op. cit. page 343 5 For example, Canada's Green Plan and National Round Table for the Environment and Economy at the federal level; Round Tables for the Environment and Economy at the provincial level; and the Islands Trust in British Columbia at the local level. 6 For example, Gardner and Roseland (1989a); (1989b) 'Acting Locally: Community Strategies for Equitable Sustainable Development' Alternatives Vol. 16, 36-48; Robinson, J. and Francis, G. and Legge, R. and Lerner, S. (1989) "Defining a Sustainable Society: Values, Principles and Definitions" Alternatives Vol. 17 No. 2 36-46 7 See Roseland, M . (1992) "Toward Sustainable Communities: A Resourcebook for Municipal and Local Governments" National Round Table on Environment and Economy: Canada 8 Colby, M . E. (1990) "Environmental Management and Development: The Evolution of Paradigms" Discussion Paper no. 80 World Bank: Washington, DC 15 this pseudo-consensus in order to characterize different conceptualizations of sustainability. For example, Marien notes: There are different notions as to what [sustainability] means, ranging from a fairly tepid establishment view of 'sustainability' as modest adaptation, to a more radical view of sustainability as extensive rejection of industrial society in favour of a decentralized, self-sufficient ideal.9 More concretely, there are three specific areas of disagreement regarding sustainability: whether economic growth is a factor of sustainability or a contradiction to it; what is to be sustained; and who will make the decisions regarding what is to be sustained.10 Those holding the more 'establishment' view tend to advocate that economic growth is compatible with, if not essential to, sustainable development. For example, one of the Brundtland report's recommendations is a call for the world's economic growth to rise to a level of five to ten times the current output.11 In addition, their main focus is on previously existing institutions, such as national governments and international commissions to decide what is to be sustained and how. Often, emphasis is placed on passing new laws and regulations in an effort to achieve sustainable development. In contrast, at the more radical end of the spectrum, advocates dismiss the relatively conservative approach taken by the Brundtland Report. For example, John Robinson, Peter Boothroyd, William Rees and Mark Roseland reject the WCED's reliance on economic growth, arguing that it should be replaced with a more broadly defined 'development.'12 In addition, Robert Gibson has argued that the Brundtland Commission's assumption that we can have economic growth, environmental 9 Marien, M . "Environmental Problems and Sustainable Futures" Futures October 1992 731-757 1 0 Arnold, S. H. (1989) "Sustainable Development: A Solution to the Development Puzzle?" Development Vol. 2 No. 3 page 23 1 1 Korten, D. C. "Sustainable Development" World Policy Journal 1991 Vol. 9 no. 1 157-190 1 2 See: Robinson et al. (1990) op. cit.; Rees, W. E. and Roseland, M . (1991) "Sustainable communities: planning for the 21st century" Plan Canada vol. 31 no. 3; and Boothroyd, P. (1991a) "Distribution principles for compassionate sustainable development" in A. H. J. Dorcey (ed.) "Perspectives on Sustainable Development in Water Management: Towards Agreement in the Fraser River Basin" Westwater Research Centre: UBC 16 sustainability and eliminate global poverty is in the realm of fantasy and delusion,1 3 whilst Roseland has argued that such an unrealistic approach actually contradicts Brundtland's stated goals of equity, social justice and environmental sustainability.14 This critique has led some writers to reject the 'development' in sustainable development due to its economistic interpretation which justifies more of the status quo and advocate the term sustainability instead.15 The focus in this thesis is on a particular ideal which I term the 'community-based sustainability ideal' that is popular with many writers at the more radical end of the sustainability spectrum and assumes that sustainability is best achieved in place-based communities. Inherent in this ideal is a rejection of much of the anonymity and individualism associated with large scale urban industrial society in favour of people living in egalitarian, face-to-face, place-based communities in which they are reconnected with one another and non-human nature. When this has been achieved, sustainability is possible. The ideal has communitarian roots, rejecting the liberal conception of liberty 1 6 adopted by people such as John Rawls which prioritizes individual rights and liberty, in favour of the common good. 1 7 M y focus is on two important groups of writers who embrace this ideal. The first group have written largely in response to the Brundtland Report and although they have embraced some of its ideas, for example, equity and a consideration of future 1 3 Gibson, R. B. (1991) "Should Environmentalists Pursue 'sustainable development'?" Probe Post 22-25 1 4 Roseland, M . (1990) "Social equity and sustainable development: the implications of global thought and local action" in R. Lorimer, M . M'Gonigle, J. Reveret and S. Ross (eds.) "To see ourselves I to save ourselves: ecology and culture in Canada" Association for Canadian Studies: Montreal 1 5 See for example, Gardner and Roseland (1989b) op. cit.; and Reed, M . G. (1991) "Sustainability and Community: Still Searching for Meaning" Environments Vol. 21 No. 2 48-52 1 6 For a review of the liberal / communitarian debate see Mouffe, C. (1992) "Democratic Citizenship and the Political Community" in C. Mouffe (ed.) "Dimensions of Radical Democracy: Pluralism, Citizenship, Community" Verso: London 225-239 1 7 The term 'common good' is clearly not being used in the individualistic utilitarian sense which seeks to produce the 'greatest good for the greatest number'. Instead, it refers to the idea that a community has a singular, substantive 'common good'. 17 generations, they have also been very critical of it. Writers in this tradition include Susan Wismer, Mark Roseland and Julia Gardner; their vision of sustainability incorporates a more anarchistic, anti-liberal strand of environmentalism. These latter characteristics stem from the literature's two other roots. First, this literature reflects the work incorporated in a series of 'landmark' publications from the 1970s including Schumacher's 'Small is Beautiful'1 8 and Goldsmith's 'Blueprint for Survival, ' 1 9 and works by Bookchin 2 0 which advocate a rejection of urban industrial society and a 'return' to an environmentally less harmful small-scale society. According to Goldsmith, this consists of: decentralized, self-sufficient communities, in which people work near their homes, have the responsibility of governing themselves, of running their schools, hospitals and welfare services21 The imperative of taking the environment into account when describing a vision of the future was strengthened in Canada by the Conserver Society concept of the 1970s, which strove to turn Canada from a 'consumer' society to a 'conserver' one. 2 2 Valaskakis et al. describe the meaning of the concept: we define conserver society as a societal organization in which high priority is placed on the objectives of: waste reduction in the throughput process, greater harmony with nature, and a longer time horizon as a basis for decision making. 2 3 This distinctly Canadian root to this literature may account for the fact that most of the advocates for this type of community-based sustainability are Canadian. 1 8 Schumacher, E. F. (1973) "Small is Beautiful" Harper and Row: New York 1 9 Goldsmith, E. (1972) "A Blueprint for Survival" Penguin: Harmondsworth 2 0 See for example, Bookchin, M . (1974a) "Our Synthetic Environment" Harper and Row: New York; and (1974b) "The limits of the city" Harper and Row: New York 2 1 Achterberg, W. (1994, 172) "Sustainability, community and democracy" in B. Doherty and M . de Gaus "Democracy and Green Political Thought" Routledge: London and New York 2 2 Orfald, D. and Gibson, R. (1985) "The Conserver Society Idea: A History with Questions" Alternatives Vol. 12 No. 3-4 37-44 2 3 Valaskakis, K. Sindell, P. S. Smith, J. G. and Fitzpatrick-Martin, I. (1979) "The Conserver Society: A Workable Alternative for the Future" page 88 1 8 A second, arguably more radical group of writers are bioregionalists. Examples of bioregionalists include Kirkpatrick Sale, Christopher and Judith Plant, and Gary Snyder. The concept of bioregionalism arose on the west coast of North America in the early to mid 1970s24 and Fike and Kerr provide the following description of bioregionalism: The bioregional model calls for economic and political decentralization and diversity, participatory and small-scale democratic decision making, regional self-determination and control of resources, and a physical and spiritual reconnection to life on earth that would allow industrialized humans to regain the knowledge necessary to live wisely and sustainably.25 Bioregionalists advocate that humans live bioregionally, that is, largely within the confines of their bioregion, which is an ecologically-defined unit such as a watershed. Bioregionalists, however, rarely engage directly with the ideas of more mainstream sustainability, but instead single-mindedly pursue their vision of small-scale, decentralized place-based communities in which people live sustainably 'with nature' not against it. Unlike the above group, bioregionalists are rarely academics, preferring to spread their convictions by living through example. The roots of bioregionalism are threefold. First, the self-reliant, decentralist strand of the movement stretches back into the last century to the anarchistic writings of Kropotkin, Geddes and Mumford. 2 6 Second, the focus on living organically in and with nature can be traced back to the North American preservationist movement of John Muir, Aldo Leopold and others. Finally, it was the more recent publications of people such as Schumacher and Bookchin in the 1970s which provided the impetus for the movement. Bioregionalism is a North American movement, predominantly located in the west, which is probably a legacy of the (largely western) preservationist movement. 2 4 Frenkel, S. (1994) "Old Theories in New Places? Environmental Determinism and Bioregionalism" The Professional Geographer Vol. 46 No. 3 289-295 2 5 Fike, M . S. and Kerr, S. (1995) "Making the Links: Why Bioregionalism needs Ecofeminism" Alternatives Vol. 21 No. 2 page 24 2 6 Gardner and Roseland (1989b) op. cit. 19 My focus therefore, is on advocates of the 'community-based sustainability ideal' who are producing strategies or conceptual models for achieving sustainability. However, this ideal is also embraced by those who are both more abstract in focus (for example, some ecofeminists and deep ecologists27) as well as those who are more practical, focusing on mechanisms to achieve sustainability (for example, the Community Economic Development and co-management literature28). A consideration of either the more abstract literature or sustainability mechanisms is beyond the scope of this study. However, many of the conclusions generated here apply equally to these literatures. In the remainder of the chapter, I introduce how advocates of the 'community-based sustainability ideal' have represented sustainability, community and place and produce literature-based critiques of these concepts as incorporated in the ideal. The critiques presented will not be systematically addressed in this study, but are raised in order to highlight some of the problematic aspects of the ideal's representation of place, community and sustainability. Consequently, in my empirical chapters, I develop an alternate conceptualization of these concepts. At this point, however, it is important to sound a note of caution about the 'community-based sustainability ideal' literature and my reading of it. This literature can most easily be characterized by its absences and this has had a strong impact on how it is represented here. Dotted throughout this chapter are instances where I have had difficulty characterizing this ideal, simply because so many assumptions and 2 7 See for example, Devall, B. and Sessions, G. (1985) "Deep Ecology" G. M . Smith: Utah; and Hessing, M . (1992) "Women and Sustainability: Ecofeminist Perspectives" Alternatives Vol. 19 no. 4 14-21 2 8 For example, M'Gonigle, M . (1989/90) "Developing Sustainability: A Native / Environmentalist Prescription for Third-Level Government" BC Studies No. 84 65-99; Perry, S. E. and Lewis, M . (1994) "Reinventing the local economy: what 10 Canadian initiatives can teach us about building creative, inclusive, and sustainable communities." Centre for Community Enterprise: Vernon, British Columbia; Tester, F. and Drover, G. (1996) "Offsetting Corporate Trade: Free Trade, Community Development and Alternative Trade in the South Pacific" Alternatives Vol. 22 no. 116-22; and Pinkerton, E. (ed.) (1989) "Co-operative Management of Local Fisheries: New Directions for Improvement Management and Community Development" University of British Columbia Press: Vancouver 20 connections made are implicit ones. However, here I elaborate on one crucial absence that has affected my analysis throughout this study: that of time periods. Rarely, if ever, are advocates of the 'community-based sustainability ideal' explicit as to when they believe widespread community-based sustainability will occur; it could be in a hundred years or tomorrow.2 9 This gap has two implications. First, it is unclear how contemporary global phenomena such as capitalism feature in this ideal. Do sustainable place-based communities represent broad sweeping social, economic and environmental change or are they to be pockets of resistance to capitalism? Second, I do not know whether the ideal assumes a change of 'consciousness' is required before people attempt community-based sustainability, or whether simply by living in the manner advocated, sustainability will follow automatically. Given that these issues are not addressed, I have assumed that community-based sustainability is being envisioned for the present and that at this time-scale its practice represents nodes of resistance to international capitalism. In addition, given the lack of reference to any change of consciousness, it must be assumed to be a minimal component - perhaps conceived simply as the desire to live in a place-based commumty and strive for sustainability. Consequently, advocates of the 'community-based sustainability ideal' are presenting a naieve position in their published material and I am well aware that in fact, such authors are likely aware of these concerns. For example, I argue that advocates of the ideal assume that when people live in place-based communities, they are more likely to respect their local environment. Probably, most advocates would not think that this is always the case, yet, whilst I found plenty of instances which argue the former position, I have failed to find any acknowledgment of the latter, making me unable to substantiate this latter point. However, my focus is on their published material, not 2 9 This can be contrasted with other approaches to sustainability which explicitly consider time-frame. See for example, Robinson, J. B. (1996) "Life in 2030: Exploring a Sustainable Future for Canada" UBC Press: Vancouver t h e i r p r i v a t e t h o u g h t s as i t is these w h i c h a re c r u c i a l i n s h a p i n g d i s c o u r s e . T h e r e f o r e , a l t h o u g h m y p u r p o s e w a s n o t to c a r i c a t u r e the ' c o m m u n i t y - b a s e d s u s t a i n a b i l i t y i d e a l ' , d u e to the a b s e n c e s i n th i s l i t e r a t u r e , i t h a s at t i m e s b e e n h a r d n o t t o . T h i s is a c r u c i a l p o i n t t o b e a r i n m i n d t h r o u g h o u t th i s s t u d y . 2.2 T h e ' c o m m u n i t y - b a s e d sustainability i d e a l ' : A l t h o u g h b o t h b i o r e g i o n a l i s t a n d n o n - b i o r e g i o n a l i s t a d v o c a t e s o f the i d e a l e n t e r t a i n s i m i l a r c o n c e p t i o n s o f s u s t a i n a b i l i t y , t h e y a re p r e s e n t e d i n v e r y d i f f e r e n t w a y s . R e f l e c t i n g t h e i r ' B r u n d t l a n d ' r o o t s , n o n - b i o r e g i o n a l w r i t e r s a re v e r y e x p l i c i t as t o w h a t s u s t a i n a b i l i t y i n v o l v e s . F o r e x a m p l e W i s m e r p r o v i d e s the f o l l o w i n g d e f i n i t i o n o f t he c o n c e p t : S u s t a i n a b l e d e v e l o p m e n t is a c o m m u n i t y - b a s e d p r o c e s s d i r e c t e d t o w a r d a c h i e v i n g o p t i m u m states o f h u m a n a n d e n v i r o n m e n t a l w e l l - b e i n g w i t h o u t c o m p r o m i s i n g the p o s s i b i l i t y f o r o t h e r p e o p l e , at o t h e r t i m e s a n d p l a c e s t o d o the s a m e . C o m m u n i t y - b a s e d s u s t a i n a b l e d e v e l o p m e n t is a l o c a l l y i n i t i a t e d p r o c e s s d i r e c t e d t o w a r d s u s t a i n a b l e d e v e l o p m e n t w i t h i n a c o m m u n i t y c o n t e x t . 3 0 G a r d n e r a n d R o s e l a n d o u t l i n e the p r i n c i p l e s i n v o l v e d : the f u l f i l l m e n t o f h u m a n n e e d s , m a i n t e n a n c e o f e c o l o g i c a l i n t e g r i t y , p r o v i s i o n f o r s o c i a l s e l f - d e t e r m i n a t i o n ( w h i c h i n c l u d e s e c o n o m i c s e l f - r e l i a n c e , d e c e n t r a l i z a t i o n a n d d i r e c t p a r t i c i p a t o r y d e m o c r a c y ) , a n d a c h i e v e m e n t o f s o c i a l e q u i t y . T h e y a s s u m e t h e y a re m e t w i t h i n s m a l l , f a c e - t o - f a c e , p l a c e - b a s e d c o m m u n i t i e s . 3 1 T h e s e p r i n c i p l e s a re n o t w e i g h t e d , b u t t r ea ted as e q u a l l y i m p o r t a n t a n d a re r e g a r d e d h o l i s t i c a l l y . It is a s s u m e d that e a c h is i n h e r e n t l y 3 0 Wismer, S. (1990, 23) "Planning for Sustainable Development in Canada: A Community-based Approach" Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, Waterloo, Regional Planning and Resource Development, University of Waterloo 3 1 Gardner and Roseland (1989a) op. cit. 22 compatible; taken singly they are necessary but insufficient conditions for achieving sustainability.32 In contrast, bioregionalists produce neither sustainability definitions nor principles. Instead, they are much more reticent about painting a vision of sustainability, leaving it up to people in place-based communities to design their own sustainable futures. Kirkpatrick Sale, a renowned bioregionalist makes this abundantly clear: [Bioregionalism] does not mean that every region in the north-east, or North America, or the globe, will construct itself upon the values of democracy, equality, liberty, freedom, justice, and other such like desiderata. It means rather that truly autonomous bioregions will likely go their own separate ways and end up with quite disparate political systems - some democracies, no doubt, some direct, some representative, some federative, but undoubtedly all kinds of aristocracies, oligarchies, theocracies, principalities, margravates, duchies, and palatinates as wel l . 3 3 (original emphasis) Although I have not encountered any bioregionalists who have criticized Sale's views in print, I am not convinced that all advocates would go along with them to this extreme and other writers have emphasized direct democracy and equity as integral aspects of bioregionalism. For example, Doug Aberley emphasizes social justice in his conceptualization of bioregionalism: [Bioregionalism aims] to wed dynamic human populations to distinct physical territories defined by continuities of land and life. The promise is that these bioregions will be inhabited in a manner that respects ecological carrying capacity, engenders social justice, uses appropriate technology, and allows for a rich interconnection between regionalized cultures.34 In the following inaccurate characterization of ecology, Sale contradicts himself by advocating a democratic vision of bioregionalism: The lessons of the law of complementarity from the animal world and traditional societies seem obvious enough as applied to a bioregional polity. 3 2 Saward, M . (1993) "Green Democracy?" in A. Dobson and P. Lucardie (eds.) "The Politics of Nature: Explorations in Green Political Theory" Routledge: London and New York page 63-80 3 3 Sale, K. (1991) "Mother of Al l " in A. Dobson (ed) "The Green Reader" Andre Deutsch: London page 80-1 3 4 Aberley, D. (ed.) (1993) "Boundaries of Home: Mapping for Local Empowerment" New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island, BC and Philadelphia page 3 23 Hierarchy and political domination would have no place; systems of ruler-and-ruled, even of elected-president-and-electing-people, are nonecological. So at the community level most decisions affecting people's daily lives would be both made and carried out by those with competence and experience in this task or that service, guided by the voice of the body as a whole and the principles of ecology. 3 5 In addition, it is assumed by all bioregionalists that decentralization, self-reliance and ecological integrity are integral to achieving sustainable, place-based communities at the scale of the bioregion. Therefore, although bioregionalist writers are much less explicit as to their image of a sustainable, place-based community, decentralization, self-reliance and ecological integrity are key factors. For some, democratization and equity are also considered important. The two strands of the 'community-based sustainability ideal' therefore do exhibit similarity in how they envision sustainability. Very little has been written from within the broader environmental literature that critiques or questions this representation of sustainability. The only critiques that have been levied revolve around the potential incompatibility of various sustainability principles. For example, both Campbell and Lele have argued that there is no reason to assume that equity is compatible with attaining ecological integrity, and Lele has gone on to argue that participation is not inherently compatible with equity. 3 6 Finally, Saward has questioned the necessary link between democracy and ecological integrity.37 Nevertheless, there has been no systematic, empirically-based critique of these principles and this is something I intend to contribute in chapter 6. 3 5 Sale, K. (1986) "Dwellers in the Land: The Bioregional Vision" Sierra Club Books: San Francisco page 101 3 6 See Campbell, S. (1996) "Green Cities, Growing Cities, Just Cities? Urban Planning and the Contradictions of Sustainable Development" American Planning Association vol. 62 no. 3 296-312; and Lele, S. M . (1991) "Sustainable Development: A Critical Review" World Development Vol. 19 No. 6 607-21 3 7 Saward (1993) op. cit. 24 To these critiques, I would add that there is very little indication in the 'community-based sustainability ideal' that there may be multiple, conflicting visions of sustainability circulating in place-based communities. The majority of writers take a tack similar to that of Gardner and Roseland who, whilst writing about co-management note: With a true devolution of decision-making responsibility to the community level, co-management has the potential to bolster the beliefs, traditions and support structures that hold a community together and meet the needs of its members, both material and non-material, for this generation and those to come. 3 8 No mention is made as to whether there are differences of opinion regarding the content, meaning and importance of either the 'beliefs, traditions and support structures' of the commumty or regarding the material and non-material 'needs of its members'. Achterberg is unusual in that he goes one step further to suggest that in communities, there is likely to be shared understanding as to the meaning of sustainability: The required co-ordination and voluntary co-operation at different levels pre-suppose that citizens are sufficiently involved with each other, an involvement which, in turn, is based on a shared understanding of the meaning and value of sustainability in general, and of sustainability specific to particular contexts of activity. This type of mutual concern on the basis of a shared acceptance of certain values is an important component of what traditionally has been understood by community.3 9 There is therefore no mention that there may be difference or conflict regarding the definition or operationalization of sustainability in place-based communities. Reed has suggested that conflicting interests have tended to be ignored in much research on local-level involvement in environmental resource allocation because writers have presumed that a balance between conflicting interests and objectives can be achieved.40 A 3 8 Gardner and Roseland (1989b) op. ch. page 44 3 9 Achterberg (1994) op. cit. page 175 4 0 Reed, M . G. (1995) "Co-operative Management of Environmental Resources: A Case Study from Northern Ontario, Canada" Economic Geography Vol. 71 No. 2 132-149 25 discussion of my empirical findings on Galiano Island in chapter 6 illustrates how unfounded such an assumption is. The representation of sustainability embedded in the 'community-based sustainable ideal' can therefore be critiqued on two counts; there is no reason to assume the sustainability principles are inherently compatible and there is no space for difference or conflict in the current conceptualization. Instead, I suggest that an alternative approach to sustainability be adopted, the 'sustainability as multiple meanings' discourse which enables me not only to recognize the existence and legitimacy of multiple conceptions of sustainability circulating in place-based communities but also to accept that people may prioritize some principles at the expense of others in their interpretations of sustainability. 2.3 The 'community-based sustainability ideal': Although 'community' strikes at the very heart of the community-based sustainability ideal, the concept is rarely defined. Those who do provide a definition tend to suggest that it is place-based and there is at least some degree of individual identification with i t . 4 1 In addition, communities are assumed to be of a size to enable face-to-face social relations, ideally 500-1000 people according to Kirkpatrick Sale 4 2 and certainly no more than 5000 people, according to Papworth.4 3 To bioregionalists, community is also defined by its ecological boundaries, for example, the watershed. 4 1 Boothroyd, P. (1991b) "Community Development" in Kirwin, B. (ed.) "Ideology, Development and Social Welfare: Canadian Perspectives" Canadian Scholar's Press: Toronto; Reed, (1991) op. cit.; Truman and Lopez (1993) op. cit. 4 2 Sale (1986) ibid. 4 3 Papworth, J. (1992) "The Best government comes in small packages" in J. Plant and C. Plant (eds.) "Puttingpower in its place: Create Community Control!" New Catalyst Book: Philadelphia and Gabriola Island and Boothroyd, P. (1991b) op. cit. 26 In the following, I want to highlight how community is constructed as the ideal locus for the achievement of the sustainability principles outlined above. Furthermore, community is represented as a 'lost' or 'forgotten' past as well as a natural, ideally rural place with a singular voice or interest. Selecting illustrations to demonstrate this is nevertheless difficult because communities are only implicitly connected to these characteristics.44 While presenting a dilemma for critique, it also demonstrates how embedded and naturalized this construct of community is among advocates of the 'community-based sustainability ideal'. Nevertheless, by drawing on representations of community embedded in this literature, I argue that it has been interpreted in a gemeinschaft fashion. The classic method of conceptualizing 'community' is through the lens of Tonnies' gemeinschaft / gesellschaft dichotomy.45 Tonnies' concepts of gemeinschaft and gesellschaft were intended as descriptors of relationships between people;, gemeinschaft being based on 'natural wi l l ' , where people associate because they consider their relationship an end in itself; gesellschaft is dependent on 'rational wi l l ' , in which people associate in order to achieve some end. 4 6 Examples include friendships as opposed to business contacts. Nevertheless, his characterization has popularly come to represent two distinct forms of society, the urban, transaction-based gesellschaft and the rural, organic gemeinschaft. For example, here are 'typical' contemporary definitions of the concepts. Gemeinschaft is a "natural tradition-based, essentially rural, community in which people feel bonded together,"47 it frequently involves face-to-face democracy and are often 'organic' in form. 4 8 In contrast, gesellschaft is an "open, 4 4 Only Wouter Achterberg explicitly justifies why community is the ideal locus for achieving sustainability. See Achterberg (1994) op. cit. 4 5 Tonnies, F. (1957) "Commumty and Society" The Michigan State University Press: East Lansing 4 6 Loomis, C. P. and McKinney, J. C. (1957) "Introduction" in Tonnies, F. "Community and Society" The Michigan State University Press: East Lansing 1-30 4 7 Boothroyd, P. (1991b) op. cit. (original emphasis) 4 8 Mouffe, C. (1991) "Democratic Citizenship and the Political Community" in Miami Theory Collective (ed.) "Community at Loose Ends" University of Minnesota Press: Minneapolis 27 mobile, essentially urban, society in which people calculatingly contract with each other."49 It is this contemporary, reworked sense of gemeinschaft as a form of society that I employ throughout this study. In the 'community-based sustainability ideal', community has been framed as being highly compatible with the achievement of ecological integrity. For example, William Rees makes this connection as part of an obvious link in an argument: By contrast, sustainable development places a priority on the need to maintain ecological diversity and productivity in developing regions. It therefore favours increased community control over development decisions affecting local ecosystems, which in turn fosters increased regional self-reliance.50 (my emphasis) A couple of reasons are given to explain why community living helps maintain ecological integrity. First, and most popularly, CUSO, M'Gonigle, and Gerin argue that those who are physically closest to nature should know best how to preserve and protect i t . 5 1 Second, Wouter Achterberg has argued that the reduction in production and consumption of goods necessary to achieve sustainability is best met in communities because it is in communities that the required co-ordination and co-operation can most easily be achieved.52 Bioregionalists take this position one step further by advocating an ecocentric-based vision of community where humans and non-humans co-exist harmoniously.53 For example, Berg and Dasmann describe the process of reinhabitation, that is, becoming an ecological citizen: 4 9 Boothroyd (1991b) op. cit. (original emphases) page 103 5 0 Rees, W. E. (1989) "Defining 'Sustainable Development'" UBC Centre For Human Settlements Research Bulletin page 6 5 1 See Gardner and Roseland (1989a) op. cit. (CUSO is a Canadian charitable organization devoted to third world development); M'Gonigle, (1989-90) op. cit.; and Gerin, in Orfald and Gibson (1985) op. cit. 5 2 Achterberg (1994) op. cit. 5 3 Most simply defined, "[e]cocentrism views humankind as part of the global ecosystem, and subject to ecological laws." Pepper, D. (1984) "The Roots of Modern Environmentalism" Routledge: London and New York 28 Reinhabitation means learning to live-in-place in an area that has been disrupted and injured through past exploitation. It involves becoming native to a place through becoming aware of the particular ecological relationships that operate within and around it. It means understanding activities and evolving social behaviour that will enrich the life of that place, restore its life-supporting systems, and establish an ecologically and socially sustainable pattern of existence within it. Simply stated it involves becoming fully alive in and with a place. It involves applying for membership in a biotic community and ceasing to be its exploiter.5 4 (original emphasis) Community is also considered to meet the requirements of another crucial 'ingredient' of sustainability, that of decentralization. For example, Christopher and Judith Plant make a direct link between community empowerment and sustainability: There is a widely-felt need, therefore, to transform the very nature of power, to put it back in place, to empower local communities and, on that basis, to confederate and create a newly powerful form: a truly ecological and sustainable whole. 5 5 (original emphasis) As Andrew Dobson notes, decentralization is assumed to involve the devolution of political responsibility to communities rather than individuals.5 6 Associated with decentralization is direct democracy which many consider to be integral to sustainability. Once again, the community is envisioned as the vehicle in which it will be achieved. For example, Jacobs, Gardner and Munro comment: True grass-roots participation in sustainable development can be achieved only through human agencies that do not seek governmental or economic power, but try instead to limit the power of dominant social structures and enlarge that of individuals and communities.57 Self-reliance is also considered to be ideally met at the level of the community. Morris provides an economic rationale for this connection: 5 4 Berg and Dasmann in Alexander, D. (1990, 162-3) "Bioregionalism: Science or Sensibility?" Environmental Ethics vol. 12 no. 2 161-73 5 5 Plant, C. and Plant, J. (1992) "Brush Fires, or the Bioregional Vision? An Introduction" in J. Plant and C. Plant "Putting Power in its Place: Create Community Control!" New Society Publishers: Philadelphia and Gabriola Island (page 8) 5 6 Dobson, A. (1990) "Green Political Thought" Unwin Hyman: London 5 7 Jacobs, P. Gardner, J. and Munro, D.A. (1987, 28) "Sustainable and Equitable Development: An Emerging Paradigm" in P. Jacobs and D. A. Munro "Conservation with Equity: Strategies for Sustainable Development" 29 The primary benefit of local self-reliance is ... [that] it improves decision making because the costs of the decision and the benefits from the decision begin to fall on the same community. We do not separate the productive process over long distances. Psychologically, we improve the self-confidence and the security of our communities by miniaturizing the economy.58 Finally, social equity is deemed to be achieved in communities. Gardner and Roseland note that: True equity in the meeting of people's needs depends not only on the sharing of wealth but the sharing of power (an egalitarian social order). Power is best shared under conditions of peace, effective citizen participation in decision making, 'human scale communities, ' 5 9 and decentralization of management and political control - in other words, conditions of social self-determination. 6 0 (my emphasis) Communities have been constructed as an ideal site for achieving equity because "face-to-face communities encourage a sense of social responsibility which is lacking in the anonymity of large-scale industrial and city life. " 6 1 Writers concerned with sustainability also tend to have ways of representing community above and beyond the principles of sustainability. For example, communities are framed as place-based. In addition, the term community has come to represent a romanticized vision of the past, when people lived sustainably 'in harmony' with the land. This interpretation of community is common in social science literature more broadly. 6 2 Bioregionalists have exemplified this practice by frequently placing indigenous American cultures on this ecological pedestal. For example, Sale has noted: Imagine, if you will , the joy of knowing, as we can imagine from the scholarly record, what the American Indians knew: the meaning of the changes of wind on a summer afternoon; the ameliorative properties of everyday plants; the comfort of tribal, clannish and community ties throughout life; the satisfaction of been rooted in history, in lore, in place; the excitement of a culture 5 8 Morris, D. (1990) in Roseland (1992) op. cit. page 218 5 9 The authors' term 'human-scale communities' is referenced to Kirkpatrick Sale (1980) who uses the term to refer to communities where an individual is an acquaintance to everyone else. The term 'human scale' also implies that such communities are compatible with human nature, an assumption which I discuss in more detail below. 6 0 Gardner and Roseland (1989a, 29) op. cit. 6 1 Dobson, A. (ed.) (1991) "The Green Reader" Andre Deutsch: London page 73 6 2 Crow and Allan (1994) op. cit. 30 understandable because of its imminence in the simple realities of the surroundings.63 Helen Forsey makes a similar point, noting: The traditional ways of life of native peoples, reflected in their origin stories and in the peaceful development of their societies, embody such wisdom in the context of what could certainly be called bioregional community.64 (original emphasis) A strong connection is being made between traditional 'sustainable' cultures of the past and community living. Accordingly, to reclaim community may enable a reclaiming of these (romanticized) lifestyles. There is also evidence that advocates of the ideal assume community living is more 'natural'.65 Two examples illustrate this point, the first from Edward Goldsmith's book 'Blueprint for Survival' and second from bioregionalist Helen Forsey: The small community not only is the organizational structure in which internal or systemic controls are most likely to operate effectively, but its dynamic is an essential source of stimulation and pleasure for the individual. Indeed it is probably that only in the small community can a man or woman be individual. 6 6 ... when communal experiments appear to fail, what is at fault is not human nature itself, but rather the stifled and distorted attitudes and alienated behaviour that w/matural and oppressive societies have cultivated.67 (original emphasis) Writers have also tended to represent community as having a singular voice or interest. Farvar does this through his inference that a community has agency - discussing the community's 'needs' and the 'self-confidence' of the community.68 Sustainability advocates Truman and Lopez are much more explicit, noting that: 6 3 Sale in Dobson (1991, 82) ibid. 6 4 Forsey, H. (ed.) (1993) "Circles of Strength: Community Alternatives to Alienation" New Society Publishers: Philadelphia and Gabriola Island page 3 6 5 Examples include Gardner and Roseland (1989a); Truman and Lopez (1993) op. cit.; Gibson, R. B. (1975) "The Value of Participation" in P.S. Elder (ed.) "Environmental Management and Public Participation" Canadian Environmental Law Association: Toronto; Forsey (1993) ibid.; Edward Goldsmith (1972) in A. Dobson (1991) op. cit.; and Sale (1986) op. cit. page 74 6 6 Edward Goldsmith (1972) in A. Dobson (ed.) (1991) op. cit. page 74 6 7 Forsey, H. (ed.) (1993) op. cit. page 7 6 8 Farvar, M . T. (1987) "Local Strategies for Sustainable Development" in P. Jacobs and D.A. Munro (eds.) "Conservation with Equity: Strategies for Sustainable Development" 31 Community performance implies the ability to create a shared unity of purpose of the social group through consensus building and to give a sense of achievement in the pursuit of the goals and objectives of the group. 6 9 (original emphasis) Ted Trainer has also argued that people should prioritize the 'common good' over individual interests: At times a particular path will not suit the initial interests of some individuals. Ideally any 'vote' should not be about what option suits the majority of individuals but about what most people believe is likely to build the solidarity and security of the community, to increase people's ability to work together, to arrive at sound plans, to take effective action, to resolve conflicts, to enrich members' lives, to increase readiness to share and to come to the aid of any member. Decision-making in a good community would therefore involve individuals reconsidering their initial desires and perspectives in view of the emerging understanding of what would be best for the solidarity and effectiveness of the whole, and it would therefore be a process in which the individual participants experience significant personal development.70 Feagan provides a possible reason for the representation that communities have a singular voice. He assumes that "sustainability implies a radical shift from a rationality focussed on the individual to one emphasizing community and the biosphere."71 He is thus inferring that in order to achieve sustainability, we need identify our interests as coinciding with those of our community. The implication is that individuals identify solely with the (necessarily singular and place-based) community to which they belong and that they have no other conflicting interests. Finally, Michael Saward argues that there is an anti-urban sentiment that is frequently found in such representations of community.72 It must be emphasized however, that this sentiment is more common in the bioregional literature73 and that other advocates of sustainability, for example Mark Roseland,7 4 are actually committed to enacting 6 9 Truman and Lopez (1993) op. cit. page 292 7 0 Trainer, T. (1995) "The Conserver Society: Alternatives for Sustainability" Zed Books: London and New Jersey page 136 7 1 Feagan (1993) op. cit. page 101 7 2 Saward (1993) op. cit. 7 3 See for example the writings of Kirkpatrick Sale and Wendell Berry 7 4 See Roseland (1992) op. cit.; and (1997) (ed.) "Eco-City Dimensions: Healthy Communities, Healthy Planet" New Society Publishers: Gabriola Island, British Columbia 32 sustainability within the city. Those that do embrace an anti-urban sentiment do so because they argue that cities use up more resources per capita than rural places,7 5 and that rural people occupy a privileged position due to their connection to the land and community which makes rural areas ideal for effecting sustainability.76 In the 'community-based sustainability ideal', community is therefore represented as an ideal site for achieving the principles of sustainability, namely ecological integrity, social equity, self-determination and meeting human needs. In addition, it is represented as being natural, rural and having a singular interest. The link between representations of community incorporated in the 'community-based sustainability ideal' and gemeinschaft are apparent. In both cases, communities are represented as rural, natural, having a singular interest, and evoking some 'lost' past. In addition, both concepts assume face-to-face human contact and democratic decision making. Boothroyd argues, however, that the sustainability conception of community is different from gemeinschaft in that it is "created as opposed to natural, open as opposed to parochial, and urban as well as rural." 7 7 Mike Robinson extends this by noting: The old notions of progress, modernization and industrialization are everywhere under attack. Boothroyd calls not for a return to gemeinschaft, but rather a creation of a new 'community in non-gemeinschaft forms'. In essence this is a community based upon the best of both worlds - face-to-face association in caring neighbourhoods which retain individual liberty to act, open access to knowledge, and global inter-connections. The goal of nongemeinschaft communities is fulfillment of basic human needs and promotion of sustainable economies with reduced dependence on the industrial economy and the state.78 (my emphasis) In his conception of community, Boothroyd is thus challenging the liberal / communitarian notion that we can have either community or liberty, arguing that both 7 5 For example, see Goldsmith in A. Dobson (1991) op. cit. page 74 7 6 See Andrew Dobson (1990) page 120-1; and Berry, W. (1990) "The Work of Local Culture" in "Essays by Wendell Berry: What are People For" North Point Press: San Francisco page 168 7 7 Boothroyd (1991b) op. cit. page 103 7 8 Robinson, M . (1995) "Towards a New Paradigm of Community Development" Community Development Journal Vol. 30 No. 1 page 22 33 are indeed possible in community. Although this may represent his views on community, I have demonstrated above that other writers in this tradition have adopted a gemeinschaft-style conception of community. Therefore, although I agree with Boothroyd that sustainable communities are not identical with gemeinschaft, and important adaptations have occurred such as an emphasis on equating community with equity, ecological integrity and self-reliance, I still contend that the predominant representation of community in the 'community-based sustainability ideal' is largely an extension of the gemeinschaft notion of community. I now develop a critique of a gemeinschaft-style representation of community. Critiquing Community: Several advocates of the 'community-based sustainability ideal' do raise concerns regarding the representation of community incorporated in this ideal and I begin by reviewing their critiques and highlighting their 'solutions'. I then engage with aspects of cultural, environmental and feminist work to develop a more thorough critique. Although none of the cultural or feminist literature cited here was written with the representation of community incorporated in the 'community-based sustainability ideal' in mind, I highlight how many insights are applicable. A handful of bioregionalists have voiced concern about aspects of an idealized gemeinschaft-style community. Helen Forsey has noted that community life has been a bitter experience for some, whilst Janet Biehl warns of the gendered and parochial potential of communities (parochialism can lead to homophobia and racism, for example).79 Gary Snyder also picks up on the dangers of parochialism whilst Van 7 9 Forsey (1993) op. cit.; and Biehl, J. (1993) "Community Ethics: A Word of Warning" in H. Forsey (1993) "Circles of Strength: Community Alternatives to Alienation" New Society Publishers: Philadelphia and Gabriola Island 56-7 34 Andruss and Eleanor Wright note that conflict can arise even in communities.80 A l l except Forsey provide 'solutions' to these problems. Biehl argues that: The only way that community can be restored in a liberatory way is if people can make decisions about the life of the community as a whole. 8 1 Snyder simply argues that bioregionalists have to be aware of the parochial potential of communities: But all this could easily be taken as a simple return to cultural orthodoxy, or personal or regional parochialism. Those tendencies are dangerous, to beware of. It's this side of cultural regeneration, and bioregionalism, that makes sharp urban leftist socialists leery of it. ... We're steering in very subtle waters here, and you have to be psychologically, historically and anthropologically precise about what you're doing. 8 2 Finally, Andruss and Wright argue that processes of consensus in communities are the solution to counter conflict. 8 3 Although these critiques of community as represented in the ideal are important, they hardly engage with the mass of important social critiques contained in cultural, feminist and other environmental literatures. Neither do they seriously question the desirability of gemeinschaft. Instead, they continue to assume community is 'natural' or consistent with 'human nature' rather than being produced and reproduced over time. 8 4 In contrast, feminist writers such as Rose, Bullock and Fiske have criticized such an approach and have instead focused on how community is constructed by individuals, groups and the state in order to serve certain interests.85 By ignoring the constructed 8 0 Snyder, G. (1990) Interview in Plant and Plant (1990) op. cit.; and Andruss, V. and Wright, E. (1993) "A People of Place" in H. Forsey (ed.) "Circles of Strength: Community Alternatives to' Alienation" New Society Publishers: Philadelphia and Gabriola Island page 105-11 8 1 Biehl (1993) op. cit. page 57 8 2 Snyder (1990) op. cit. page 15 8 3 Andruss and Wright (1993) op. cit. 8 4 Lee (1993) and Crow and Allan (1994) note that such a representation of community is relatively pervasive in society today. See, Lee, J. (1993) "Organizing with Immigrant Women: A Critique of Community Development in Adult Education" The Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education Vol. 7 No. 2 19-42; and Crow and Allan (1994) op. cit. 8 5 For example, Rose (1990) discusses how the Poplar Labour Party were instrumental in constructing community and Bullock (1990) and Fiske (1990) provide two Canadian case studies of how the state has been instrumental in shaping community. See: Rose, G. (1990) "Imagining Poplar in the 1920s: 35 nature of community, current power relations become fixed and naturalized, rendering it very difficult, if not impossible, for academics, practitioners and members of community to challenge them. In addition, advocates of the ideal make no reference to community forming one subject identity amongst many. Instead, it is assumed that community is a sanctuary in which the individual can enter as a whole person. Lee, Kenny and Young criticize such an assumption because it tends to suppress internal differences in a community.8 6 For example, Kenny comments that ecological communitarianism suggests that the processes of 'overdetermination' can be transcended by a new, dominant identity - the ecological. In practice greens accept that these other identities will not wither away in the sustainable future and will play a key role in constituting the vitality and plurality of community life. Ultimately, though, they remain subordinate to the 'general ecological wil l ' of the community.87 This suppression of internal difference can have the effect of producing intra-community consensus and from here it is a short step to allocate community agency and a singular voice. However, if consensus is produced to some degree, does it represent an equitable compromise between all parties in the community? This leads to a consideration of social equity. Advocates have represented community as an ideal site for achieving social equity. Such a representation of community is not uncommon, and in his analogy of nationhood and community, Benedict Anderson argues:. Contested concepts of community" Journal of Historical Geography Vol. 16 No. 4 425-437; Bullock, A. "Community Care: Ideology and Lived Experience" in R. Ng, G. Walker and J. Muller (eds.) "Community organization and the Canadian State" Garamond Press: Toronto; Fiske, J. (1990) "Native Women in reserve politics: strategies and struggles" in R. Ng, G. Walker and J. Muller (eds.) ibid. 8 6 Lee (1993) op. cit.; Kenny, M . (1994) "Paradoxes of Community" in Doherty, B. and De Geus, M . "Democracy and Green Political Thought: Sustainability, Rights and Citizenship" Routledge: London and New York; Young (1990) op. cit. page 303 8 7 Kenny (1994, 22-3) op. cit. 36 [nation] is imagined as a community, because, regardless of the actual inequity and exploitation that may prevail in each, the nation is always conceived as a deep, horizontal comradeship.88 (original emphasis) Assuming community to be a site of social equity therefore masks many intra-community inequities. Many ecological writers who adhere to this vision of community either ignore power relations or assume that they could be eradicated in communities.89 Given the existence of hierarchies in society more broadly, there is no reason to believe that such inequities disappear at the community scale.9 0 Therefore, rather than the supposed community consensus being reached in an egalitarian manner, it seems likely that the views of those who sit at the top of the community hierarchy will form the consensus. There is a large political economy / political ecology literature which has drawn attention to these issues but appears to have been ignored by advocates of the ideal. 9 1 By representing community as embodying a consensus or single interest, the researcher is in danger of being (albeit perhaps unintentionally) complicit with the more powerful elements of the community by retelling their accounts of community and silencing other representations. Feminist scholars and practitioners have been very critical of the gender-blind approach to community adopted by communitarians.92 Like the communitarian literature more broadly, the sustainability representation of community embedded in the ideal tends not 8 8 Anderson, B. (1991) "Imagined Communities" Verso: London and New York (first published in 1983) Page 7 8 9 Kenny (1994) op. cit.; and Lewis, M . (1992) "Green Delusions" Duke University Press: Durham and London 9 0 Indeed, as far back as the 1970s, community studies writers such as Howard Newby have been aware of social hierarchies within communities. See for example, Newby, H. (1977) "The Deferential Worker: A Study of Farm Workers in East Anglia" Allen Lane: London; Newby, H. (1980) "Green and Pleasant Land? Social Change in Rural England" Penguin: Harmondsworth 9 1 See for example, Davis, A. and Bailey, C. (1996) "Common in Custom, Uncommon in Advantage: Common Property, Local Elites, and Alternative Approaches to Fisheries Management" Society and Natural Resources Vol. 9 251-265; Mosse, D. (1994) "Authority, Gender and Knowledge: Theoretical Reflections on the Practice of Participatory Rural Appraisal" Development and Change Vol. 25 497-526 9 2 For examples of such critiques see chapters by Penny Weiss, Marilyn Friedman and Jane Mansbridge in Weiss, P. A. and Friedman, M . (eds.) (1995) "Feminism and Community" Temple University Press: Philadelphia 37 to consider gender, and is therefore also open to this feminist critique. Dominelli has commented: Until feminists highlighted the genderblind nature of community work, its theory and practice took women's contribution for granted and scarcely mentioned women's actions . . . . 9 3 Many examples of gendered community work have been given. For example, Mansbridge notes how it is the women who miss large proportions of the local New England Town Meeting she studied because they were in the kitchen making lunch for everyone.94 The men, in contrast, were at the meeting, actively recreating their community. Dehli also notes how parental involvement in a local Toronto Board of Education parents' program resulted in mothers attending the meetings and doing the more invisible work while the minority of fathers carried out the more overtly public tasks, actively presenting the community to the outside.95 The focus on place-based communities as the vehicles for achieving sustainability has two further problems. First, as Friedman has noted, it privileges place-based communities at the expense of others.96 Crow and Allan have noted three forms of community, 'place community', 'interest community' and 'communities of attachment' and a focus on the former renders the latter two secondary or less authentic at best and invisible at worst.9 7 Second, focusing on communities as being place-based obscures exclusions in place, as Joanna Bourke comments: At what stage did the Indian, the woman who did not adhere to certain cleaning norms, the homosexual, the prostitute, the Roman Catholic, the handicapped girl, the aged, the very young, the unmarried woman and so on 'belong', and 9 3 Dominelli, L. (1995) "Women in the Community: Feminist Principles and Organizing in Community Work" Community Development Journal Vol. 30 No. 2 133-143 page 134 9 4 Mansbridge, J. J. (1974) "Conflicts in a New England Town Meeting" Massachusetts Review Vol. 17 631-663 9 5 Dehli, K. (1990) "Women in the Community: Reform of Schooling and Motherhood in Toronto" in R. Ng, G. Walker, and J. Mueller (eds.) "Community Organization and the Canadian State" Garamond Press: Toronto 9 6 Friedman, M . (1995) "Feminism and Modern Friendship: Dislocating the Community" in Weiss, P. A. and Friedman, M . (eds.) (1995) "Feminism and Community" Temple University Press: Philadelphia 9 7 Crow and Allan (1994) op. cit. 38 who decided whether an individual would be accepted? Living in a particular neighbourhood does not simply entitle an individual to access to specific spatially restricted resources, such as friendships, schools, shops, and leisure activities. Rather it enables individuals to bid for these resources , . . . 9 8 (original emphasis) As I discuss in more detail in chapter 5, a focus on community as place-based precludes paying any attention to these exclusions in place. In addition, face-to-face social relations are privileged in gemeinschaft-type representations of community. It is assumed that face-to-face relations are more 'natural' and 'unmediated' than other types of human interactions. Iris Marion Young however, is critical of this assumption,99 arguing that in fact all social relations are mediated, "(e)ven a face-to-face relation between two is mediated by voice and gesture, spacing and temporality."1 0 0 It therefore makes no sense to privilege one form of mediated social relations over others. Some advocates of the 'community-based sustainability ideal' disparage city living on the grounds that it is alienating and less ecologically sound than rural living. Both Lewis and Paehlke have argued to the contrary, however, suggesting that city living consumes fewer resources than rural living.101 There are two reasons why the blanket labelling of city living as alienating is problematic. First, cities, like rural areas, also contain communities.1 0 2 Second, although the city may be alienating to some, city life is liberating to others who feel uncomfortable in small rural communities. It is in cities, not rural areas, where liberating changes have most frequently emanated and even in mediaeval European cities, a year and a day in the city freed a serf from bondage. 9 8 Bourke, J. (1994) "Working-Class Cultures in Britain 1890-1960: gender, class, and ethnicity" Routledge: London and New York page 151 9 9 Young (1990) op. cit. 1 0 0 Young (1990) page 312 ibid. 1 0 1 Lewis (1992) op. cit. and Paehlke in Saward (1993) op. cit. 1 0 2 See for example, Gans, H. J. (1982) "The Urban Villagers: Group and class in the life of Italian Americans" Free Press: New York 39 Some environmental critics have also critiqued gemeinschaft because it romanticizes the past, incorporating a desire to return to that past.1 0 3 For example, Campbell writes: Searching for our future in our indigenous past is instructive at both the philosophical and practical level. Yet it is also problematical, tapping into a myth that our salvation lies in the pre-industrial sustainable culture. The international division of labour and trade, the movement of most people away from agriculture into cities, and exponential population growth lead us irrevocably down a unidirectional, not a circular path: the transformation of pre-industrial, indigenous settlements into mass urban society is irreversible. Our modern path to sustainability lies forward, not behind us. 1 0 4 Advocates of the 'community-based sustainability ideal' also assume a strong collective identity is developed within a community. This has the effect of producing a sharp distinction between members and a non-community other and can be very exclusionary. Young warns of the dangers embedded in such a construct, noting that: In the United States today, identification as a member of such community also often occurs as an oppositional differentiation from other groups, who are feared, or at best devalued. Persons identify only with some other persons, feel in community only with those, and fear the difference others confront them with because they identify with a different culture, history and point of view on the world. 1 0 5 She warns that such oppositional politics can lead to racism. Her point is not that communities are inherently racist, but that in a racist society, such strong commumty attachments may be racially defined. Michael Kenny argues that this construction of an alien non-community 'other' is an inherent danger in gemeinschaft-type communities, noting that the green commitment to people living 'in place,' in stable, well-defined and self-reliant communities, generates suspicion about external influences, alien presences and the cosmopolitan and destabilizing aspects of gesellschaft.106 (original emphasis) 1 0 3 See for example, Campbell (1996) op. cit. and Michael Kenny (1994) op. cit. 1 0 4 Campbell (1996) ibid, page 302 1 0 5 Young (1990) op. cit. page 311 1 0 6 Kenny (1994) op. cit. page 22 40 Proponents of the ideal also assume that community living fosters ecological integrity. This premise is built on the notion that people in communities are closer to nature and are therefore likely to feel a responsibility towards taking care of it. Such an assumption is however rather elitist because it overlooks the fact that sometimes people have little option but to degrade their local environment in order to relieve chronic unemployment. Graham Smith cites an example of the site-selection process for the current Swan Hills hazardous waste plant in Alberta. Twelve townships actually solicited the plant because of its perceived benefits in terms of providing jobs and services and increasing the local tax base.1 0 7 In addition, Lewis has questioned this equating of environmental stewardship with the local level, noting that: "On environmental as much as on social issues, America's federal government has historically been more forward looking than most local political entities. " 1 0 8 To summarize, I would argue that by representing a gemeinschaft-style construct of community as natural or authentic, and by accepting the myth that communities are inherently equitable, democratic and ecologically sound, advocates of the 'community-based sustainability ideal' are implicitly legitimizing status quo social relations in and between place-based communities. Similarly, by naturalizing strong communal bonds, they assume intra-community consensus, allowing community to have a substantive idea of the 'common good', and do not question the negative construction of those who do not belong to the community. Furthermore, by privileging face-to-face, rural, place-based communities, they render other forms of community inauthentic at best, and invisible at worst. Consequently, I argue that advocates of the 'community-based sustainability ideal' should adopt an alternate vision of community, one that avoids the problematical 1 0 7 Smith, L. G. (1993) "Impact Assessment and Sustainable Resource Management" Longman: Harlow 1 0 8 Lewis (1992) op. cit. page 90 41 aspects of gemeinschaft. Instead, community is conceptualized as being constructed, which renders gemeinschaft one possible form of community amongst many. Although community is an identity, it is not assumed that people enter it as 'whole' people, and consequently, the assumption of there being a community consensus or that the community has a 'best interest' is undermined. This approach allows me to be aware of the existence of difference and conflict in community and that a given construction of community excludes various people. I now turn to investigate how place is represented in the 'community-based sustainability ideal'. 2.4 Place and the 'community-based sustainability ideal': There are two quite distinct ways in which place has been conceptualized by advocates of the 'community-based sustainability ideal', both of which I will highlight as being inadequate. First, non-bioregional advocates tend to ignore place, relegating it to a mute background position. In contrast, bioregional writers heavily emphasize the role of place in shaping subject identities, the nature of community and sustainability. As such, they conceptualize place as being an 'independent variable', whilst subject identity, commumty and sustainability are in large part dependent on place. I will briefly look at how place is constructed as shaping subjectivity, community and sustainability in turn. Representing the bioregionalist perspective, Judith Plant and Peter Berg talk of the relationship between subject identity and place: Bioregionalism means learning to become native to place, fitting ourselves to a particular place, not fitting a place to our predetermined tastes.109 Because bioregion as a location is an ecological context. Who are you? -1 am a person who lives in a place that contains other life, in ecosystems, and I am part 1 0 9 Plant (1990) op. cit. page 158 42 of these processes; I am part of my bioregion. You can be part of your bioregion, but it's getting harder and harder to be a member of a nation state, in good faith, because the planetary biosphere doesn't have nation states.110 In both extracts, place-identities are highlighted as being a major component of an individual's subjectivity. Similarly, place is also thought to shape community. For example, Helen Forsey comments: The concept of bioregionalism situates each community within the natural place or region it inhabits. Just as ecosystems are inherently identified with particular places, human communities, too, are shaped, limited and enabled by the particularities of their bioregions.1 1 1 Finally, bioregionalists assume that attachment to place shapes the sustainability of that place. Peter Berg has commented: In bioregional workshops, I've said, learn these words like watershed and throw them at these scientists. Say, 'Not in my watershed you don't!' Say it like your body, or your home, or your family. Identify with that watershed, identify with that bioregion, identify with those native plants and animals! Why? You don't even have to know why intellectually. It's where your alliance l ies. 1 1 2 By identifying with our bioregions, it is assumed people will automatically act in a sustainable fashion and will wholeheartedly defend their bioregion against external threats. Although meanings for individuals, communities and sustainability are supposed to be drawn from place, bioregionalists do not assume that there are multiple possible readings of place. Instead, their conceptualization of place is essentialist, and there is only a narrow band of possible ways in which place can be interpreted. For example, Fike and Kerr comment: 1 1 0 Berg, P. (1990) in Plant and Plant op. cit. pages 23-4 1 1 1 Forsey (1993) op. cit. page 2 1 1 2 Berg (1990) op. cit. pages 23-4 43 Bioregionalism asks us to commit fully to the place in which we live. It asks us to find out about the people, plants, animals, land forms and the history of these regions, and know them and care for them in such a way that our activities are ones which logically follow from a desire to respect and preserve the place that sustains us. Bioregionalism includes riding our bicycles more, shopping in locally owned stores, growing gardens in the city, putting our money in local credit unions, trading or bartering, visiting the green spaces where we live, giving to local charities and environmental / social groups, volunteering, having parties to meet our neighbours, and setting up community baby-sitting arrangements. It encourages taking the time to learn where our water comes from and where it goes when it leaves the tap, supporting native land claims, protesting N A F T A , 1 1 3 planting trees, befriending someone of another race or sexual preference and really listening to their experiences, and singing or knitting or somehow making our creative wheels turn. 1 1 4 Place, therefore is imbued with inherent meaning and the bioregional practitioner is expected to 'read' all the above thoughts / beliefs / activities from place. Bioregionalists have a particular view of how place should be bounded. The most basic unit of place is the bioregion, which is a life-territory, a place defined by its life forms, its topography and its biota, rather than by human dictates; a region governed by nature, not legislature.115 However, not only are bioregions 'naturally' defined, but those who live bioregionally are able to sense these boundaries of place: The borders between such areas are usually not rigid - nature works with more flexibility and fluidity than that - but the general contours of the regions themselves are not hard to identify, and indeed will probably be felt, understood or sensed, in some way known to many of the inhabitants, and particularly those still rooted in the land, farmers and ranchers, hunters and fishers, foresters and botanists, and most especially, across the face of America, tribal Indians, those still in touch with a culture that for centuries knew the earth as sacred and its well being as imperative . . . 1 1 6 McCloskey goes further to suggest that bioregions are actually defined as being where ; place, species and people have co-evolved together.117 The bioregional assumption is that humans have become separated from nature and, if ecological disaster is going to 1 1 3 North American Free Trade Agreement. 1 1 4 Fike and Kerr (1995) op. cit. page 24 1 1 5 Sale (1986) op. cit. page 43 1 1 6 Sale (1991) in A. Dobson (ed.) 77-83 page 78 1 1 7 McCloskey (1993) in Aberley, D. (1993) (ed.) op. cit. 44 be staved off, it is important that they return to the rhythms of 'nature', allowing nature and ancient cultures to dictate the boundaries of place. Critiques of Place: Non-bioregional writers can be criticized because place is absent from their analysis. Geographers have repeatedly argued that representations of place are often integral to how social relations are both reproduced and challenged in place, and hence they shape the future of that place. 1 1 8 In other words, place is not a neutral background or setting in which people attempt to achieve sustainability. Instead, people's understandings of the meaning of place are crucial in shaping how sustainability will be conceptualized and enacted. Nevertheless, there are also problems with the way that place has been represented by bioregionalists. Although they bring place into the foreground, their conceptualization is both outdated from a geographical perspective and contradictory. There are two ways in which bioregional writers are effectively drawing on very old and discredited aspects of geographical thought.119 First, bioregionalism is, in many ways, environmentally determinist.120 Environmental determinism was popularized in geography in the first quarter of the century by writers such as Ellen Semple and Ellsworth Huntington1 2 1 and has since been dismissed by geographers "on the basis of both its moral and scientific 1 1 8 Jess, P. and Massey, D. (1995) "The Contestation of Place" in D. Massey and P. Jess (eds.) "A Place in the World? Places, Cultures, and Globalization" The Open University: Oxford; and May, J. (1996) "Globalization and the Politics of Place: Place and Identity in an Inner London Neighbourhood" Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers vol. 21 194-215 1 1 9 Although bioregionalism has not sprung from geography, its focus on place has led some, such as Parsons to argue that there is a natural affiliation between them. See Parsons, J. J. (1985) "On 'Bioregionalism' and 'Watershed Consciousness'" The Professional Geographer Vol. 57No. 1 1-5 1 2 0 Environmental determinism is the doctrine that human activities are controlled by the environment. Livingstone, D. (1994) in R. J. Johnston, D. Gregory and D. M . Smith (eds.) "Dictionary of Human Geography" Blackwell: Oxford 1 2 1 See for example, Semple, E. C. (1911) "Influences on geographic environment" H. Hold: New York; and Huntington, E. (1915) "Civilization and Climate" Yale University Press: New York 45 shortcomings",122 being both inaccurate and a potentially racist characterization of humans. Nevertheless, Frenkel notes various strands of environmental determinism inherent in the bioregionalist vision. For example, bioregionalists claim some activities are more 'natural' in a given place than others, political boundaries should be environmentally determined and that there is a connection between idealized human cultures and the environment.123 Second, Lewis charges that "[t]he bioregion is, to put it most bluntly, little more than a construct of bad, outdated geography , . . " 1 2 4 The 'bad, outdated geography' to which he refers is the regional geography of the 1940s and 50s which focused on defining 'the region' and then attempting to produce an idiographic description of it. This geography has since been rejected because of its parochialism and vestiges of environmental determinism in its attempts to link cultural landscapes with physical ones. 1 2 5 The bioregional construct of place can also be criticized on the grounds that it prioritizes place-identities over others. In a review of Kirkpatrick Sale's book 'Earth Mother Knows Best', William commented that: Maybe we need to increase our environmental consciousness, but we are also creatures of our own racial, linguistic, religious, class and historical consciousness. Those other sources of our identity by no means fall along geographical lines. It's an old, old dream that a return to nature will simplify and clarify human affairs .... [T]o make geography the base of society is to oversimplify vastly the complexity of human nature.126 Bioregionalists also assume that people identify with place predominantly at the scale of the bioregion, yet Neil Smith has argued that place-identities are created at various different (constructed) spatial scales ranging from that of the body to the global. 1 2 7 1 2 2 Frenkel (1994) op. cit. page 290 1 2 3 Frenkel (1994) op. cit. 1 2 4 Lewis (1992) op. cit. page 112 1 2 5 Gregory, D. (1994) "Environmental Determinism" in R. J. Johnston, D. Gregory and D. M . Smith (eds.) "Dictionary of Human Geography" Blackwells: Oxford 510-513 126 William (1990) in Alexander op. cit. page 167 1 2 7 Smith, N . (1993) "Homeless/global: Scaling Places" in J. Bird, B. Curtis, B. Putnam, G. Robertson, L. Tickner (eds) "Mapping the futures: local cultures, global change" Routledge: New York and London 46 Conversely, however, there is no necessary or predetermined relationship between identity and a given spatial scale. In other words, as Gillian Rose points out, people do not necessary identify with places on every spatial scale: It is important to recognize that a particular sense of place may be felt to be irrelevant to identity. For example, the strength of one sense of place may make it difficult to feel concerned for another place. It is often argued that this is the case for most people in relation to Europe: feeling 'European' is argued to be subordinate to feeling 'English' or 'French' or 'Spanish' and so on. Another reason for feeling little about a place is because you are a stranger there.1 2 8 In short therefore, there is no reason to assume that everyone will identify with place at the scale of the bioregion. In addition, people are not only supposed to define themselves, community and sustainability according to the 'dictates' of place, but particular lifestyles are also expected to result from this reading. 1 2 9 As a result, a tension arises between bioregionalists' support of decentralization and grassroots participation on the one hand and advocating a particular lifestyle on the other. This tension leads to an unresolvable dilemma that Mason, Solecki and Lotstein illustrate: bioregionalists profess a respect for the ways of the inhabitants of the bioregion. Should that respect extend, for example, to those people who hunt for sport, or those who drive their off-road vehicles through environmentally sensitive areas?130 I have argued that place has been inadequately or inappropriately conceptualized by advocates of the 'community-based sustainability ideal'. Non-bioregional writers have simply ignored the concept, preferring to treat it as inconsequential. Bioregionalists, in contrast, have thrust place into the foreground and have recast it as a dominant 1 2 8 Rose, G. (1995) "Place and Identity: A Sense of Place" in D. Massey and P. Jess (eds.) "A Place in the World? Places, Cultures, and Globalization" The Open University: Oxford 87-132 page 95 1 2 9 Frenkel (1994) op. cit. and Alexander op. cit. 1 3 0 Mason, R. J. and Solecki, W. D. and Lotstein, E. L. (1987, 67) 'Comments on "On "Bioregionalism" and "Watershed consciousness'" Professional Geographer, Vol. 39 67-68 47 determinant of subjectivity, community and sustainability. Their vision is, however, both essentialist and environmentally determinist. In this study, I advocate that proponents of the 'community-based sustainability ideal' rethink the role of place in the search for sustainability. In short, I feel that they need to recognize that senses of place are frequently important components of subjectivity yet, in contrast with bioregional advocates, acknowledge there is no predetermined way in which people identify with it. Instead, I suggest an alternative, non-essentialist conceptualization of place, developed by Doreen Massey, be adopted. To Massey, place is conceptualized as being constructed and reconstructed through people's senses of place, yet she recognizes that there may be multiple, conflicting discourses of place circulating in place. 1 3 1 Both place and community can therefore be conceptualized as components of a person's identity, yet they are frequently undistinguished, resulting in the assumption that everyone in place is a member of community and everyone in a place-based community shares a sense of place. By adopting Massey's sense of place, I illustrate how place and community can be conceptually separated. 2.5 Summary: This chapter has had two purposes. First, I have outlined the 'community-based sustainability ideal' and illustrated how it represents sustainability, community and place. Second, I have developed a literature-based critique of these concepts. The unevenness of the three sections reflects the differing degrees to which critiques of these concepts have been produced. Whilst there is an enormous literature on community, there is almost none on the vision of sustainability incorporated in the ideal. In later chapters, I develop an empirically-grounded critique of these terms as 1 3 1 Massey, D. (1994a) "Space, Place and Gender" University of Minnesota Press: Minneapolis 48 represented in the ideal whilst simultaneously building an alternate conceptualization of these concepts which avoids the pitfalls identified in this chapter. However, first I introduce my research methods and case study. 49 Chapter 3: Research methods and introduction to case study In chapter 2, I outlined many of the ways in which insights developed from various environmental, cultural and feminist literatures can be used to uncover and critique some of the assumptions embedded in the 'community-based sustainability ideal'. My purpose is now to develop aspects of these critiques empirically and to suggest an alternative way in which advocates of this ideal could rework their vision of community, place and sustainability so that they are less problematic. My arguments are shaped by a case study of Galiano Island. In this chapter, I introduce the research methods used in conducting my case study in part 1 and then I introduce Galiano Island, by placing it in its geographical and historical context in part 2. Part 1: Research methods Robert Y i n has defined a case study as follows. A case study is an empirical inquiry that: - investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context; and - the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly evident; and in which - multiple sources of evidence are used.1 A case study approach therefore enables me to investigate people's understandings of place, community and sustainability in the context in which these representations are generated, namely a place-based community attempting sustainability. Clearly the meanings of these concepts are deeply embedded in their context and to extract them from it without providing any form of textual background would significantly decrease 1 Yin, R. K. (1984) "Case Study Research: Design and Methods" Sage Publications: Beverley Hills, CA. page 23 our understanding of who and why such representations were produced. Finally, by developing multiple sources of evidence, I am provided not only a wealth of information that can be brought to bear on the analysis, but am also able to 'triangulate' between different 'data', strengthening the overall thesis. In this first part of the chapter, I explain my research methodology beginning with a discussion of why I chose Galiano as a case study.2 I then discuss methods of data collection and analysis before finally positioning myself in this study, highlighting some of the factors which have shaped the nature, approach and outcome of this research. 3.1 Case study selection: In order to develop an empirically-based critique of the assumptions embedded in the 'community-based sustainability ideal', it was important I select a case study which meets the requirements of this ideal. As a result, I was looking for a 'place-based community' which enables face-to-face social relations, has a degree of decentralization and is attempting to achieve sustainability. In addition, I had three other criteria. First, ideally I am looking for a case study whose inhabitants are (or have recently been) occupied with some resource or environmental issue loosely centred around issues of local sustainability. I had two reasons for this requirement. First, by asking individuals to discuss the issue, I gained a privileged view of their representation of commumty, place and sustainability. It is much easier to ask questions, and gain meaningful 2 I had initially intended to conduct a comparative case study of two islands so that different senses of place, community and sustainability could be compared and contrasted across space. The second island I had intended to investigate was Bowen Island which is located north of Vancouver and is depicted in figure 3.2. However, having conducted my research on Galiano, I realized that comparative work was possible in a single place. Islanders had two distinctive senses of place as well as entertaining multiple representations of sustainability. Therefore I decided to focus on one case study rather than conducting a necessarily more superficial analysis of two different places. 51 responses concerning concrete issues than about concepts in the abstract. Second, as Cohen notes, it is often at times of 'crisis' that community identities are at their strongest.3 Therefore, characteristics defining communities are likely to be rendered more visible to outsiders (like me) during such times. In addition, I was anxious that the population in the case study be largely not of Aboriginal descent. I feel uncomfortable attempting to represent Aboriginal people's views of community, place and sustainability given I know so little about their histories, customs, cultures and worldviews. Finally, my research had to be located in southwestern British Columbia due to financial constraints. Despite a plethora of 'community' initiatives in southwestern British Columbia, 4 it was difficult to find a case study that met all my requirements. In the end, I settled on Galiano Island, a small Island located in the southern Gulf Islands between Vancouver on the mainland and Vancouver Island (see figure 3.1). To the initial investigator, Galiano is framed as a single place-based community. For example, in its 1995 Official Community Plan, the Island is described as being a 'rural island community'. The permanent population on the Island is about 950 people with an additional 1100 non-resident property owners. The population is therefore potentially small enough to enable face-to-face social relations and coincides with what bioregionalists consider to be an ideal-sized community. 3 Cohen, A. P. (1987) "Whalsay: Symbol, Segment and Boundary in a Shetland Island Community" Manchester University Press: Manchester 4 For example, community forestry schemes in Mission and Cowichan, the LETS scheme on Vancouver Island and the Tin Wis co-management scheme. For a review of Mission and Cowichan community forests see for example, Dunster, J. (1989) "Establishing the Geraldton Community Forest Phase 1: Concepts and Background information" A report for the corporation of the town of Geraldton. The LETS scheme is reviewed by Davis, H . C. and Davis, L. E. (1986) "The Local Exchange Trading System: A Non-Monetary Approach to Community-Based Economic Development" UBC Planning Papers: Vancouver. Finally, the Tin Wis is reviewed by Tester, F. J. (1992) "Reflections on Tin Wis: Environmentalism and the Evolution of Citizen Participation in Canada" Alternatives Vol. 19 No. 1 34-41; and Pinkerton, E. W. (1993) "Co-management efforts as Social Movements: The Tin Wis Coalition and the Drive for Forest Practices Legislation in British Columbia" Alternatives vol. 19 no. 3 33-38 52 Figure 3.1 Galiano Island and Location Maps Galiano Island 53 Institutionally, Galiano Island is part of the Islands Trust which gives Islanders a degree of self-determination in shaping the Island's future. Indeed, Mike Humphries has written that: Perhaps one of the closest approximations to a partial bioregional approach can be found in the establishment and operational history of the Islands Trust in British Columbia. 5 The Islands Trust is a local level of government introduced with the passing of the Islands Trust Act in 1974 which charged the Islands Trust with the task of preserving and protecting the Trust Area and its unique amenities and environment. One of the ways that the Trust meets this mandate is by instructing the local Islands Trust committee on each of the larger Islands under its jurisdiction to prepare an Official Community Plan (OCP). Galiano Islanders produced an initial Community Plan in 1974, which, since 1992 had been in the process of being rewritten. Extensive public participation pertaining to the community plan was held on the Island and the final plan was signed by the Minister of Municipal Affairs in September, 1995. The issue as to whether Galiano is 'attempting sustainability' is more complex. The 1995 OCP is not framed in terms of sustainability and yet there are two reasons to suggest that the Plan can be thought of as addressing issues of sustainability. First, the OCP had to be developed in accordance with the guidelines in the 1994 Islands Trust Policy Statement which is framed in terms of sustainability. For example, it is argued in the policy statement that "The Islands Trust seeks to integrate ecosystem preservation and protection, sustainable communities and stewardship of resources."6 A n employee of the Islands Trust explained this lack of sustainability rhetoric in the OCP: you won't see a lot of language around sustainability because the plan was not written by the Trust, it was written by the community. Now they have dealt 5 Humphries, M . (1988) "The Islands Trust: An Experiment in Local Government: The New Catalyst no. 12 6-7 page 6 6 Islands Trust (1994) "Islands Trust Policy Statement" page 5 54 with the issues of sustainability absolutely, and I think really credibly. But they don't use that language because that is not common language. Second, much of the language in the Galiano OCP reflects a concern for sustainability. For example, the aim of the OCP is stated as follows: As the present generation inherited these Islands in a relatively preserved state so this Plan attempts to perpetuate this state and preserve the unique environment for future generations.7 Words like 'present generation,' 'future generations,' 'perpetuate' and 'preserve' are extremely common sustainability rhetoric. The principles of the OCP include the maintenance of ecological integrity, preservation of 'our community values' (including their 'resourceful independent spirit'), equitable regulation and preservation of the social and economic diversity of the 'community' (which 'encourages self-sufficiency'). As such, the principles of sustainability incorporated in the 'community-based sustainability ideal' appear to be met in the OCP. Nevertheless, use of the actual term is limited, suggesting that it may be used more in academic and planning circles than by those actually attempting to shape a vision of sustainability for their community and locale. Not only did I feel that Galiano met the requirements of the 'community-based sustainability ideal', but it also met my other case study criteria. Galiano is within easy access of Vancouver and there is no permanent Aboriginal population on the Island. In addition, there have been recent land use disputes pertaining to the desirability and extent subdivisions on the Island. These issues allowed me to probe the meaning of place, community and sustainability through concrete concerns of local Islanders. As a result, Galiano was selected as my case study. 7 Galiano Island Local Trust Committee (1995) "Galiano Island Official Community Plan 1995" page 1 55 3.2 Fieldwork methods: In order to investigate Islanders' senses of place, community and sustainability, I conducted a mixed quantitative / qualitative questionnaire, interviews and focus groups with Island residents and property owners as well as textual analysis of relevant media and government reports. Nevertheless, given my interest was investigating the meanings of commumty, place and sustainability to Islanders, it is the qualitative approaches which allowed me to investigate feelings and meanings8 which are my primary focus. The questionnaire, as well as a sample of interview and focus group questions, were approved by the UBC ethics review committee in December, 1995. The questionnaire can be found appendix 1 whilst a sample of interview and focus group questions are in appendix 2. Whilst conducting the majority of the research, I lived on Galiano Island for two months, February and March 1996 in a rented cottage, which was formerly a chicken coop, known to Islanders as the 'Chicken Hilton'. Questionnaire: In early January 1996, I mailed out the questionnaire to residents and non-resident property owners on Galiano Island. The questionnaire was distributed through Canada Post's 'admail' service and as such, went automatically to each property on the Island that had a mailbox; 752 were distributed in total. Unfortunately, using admail meant that the questionnaire did not reach every resident and non-resident property owner on the Island because not every property currently has a mail box. In order to try to counter this problem, I also advertised my research in February 1996's edition of 8 Burgess, J. Limb, M . and Harrison, C. M . (1988) "Exploring environmental values through the medium of small groups: 1. theory and practice" Environment and Planning A Vol. 20 309-26 56 Galiano Island's Active Page.9 This does not counter the problem very well however, as this was also distributed through the 'admair service! Nevertheless, copies are available in the Island's stores and many non-resident property owners have the Active Page mailed to their non-Island address. In total, three people contacted me directly as a result of my article in the Active Page. I had two reasons for administering this questionnaire. First, I was interested in gaining a broad perspective regarding Islanders'10 views on the topics under investigation before conducting more in-depth interviews. Second, the questionnaire was used as a method to solicit interviews. I was anxious that anyone who was potentially interested in being involved in my research had a chance to participate and the questionnaire therefore served not only as an advertisement that I was conducting such research, but also gave Islanders a sense of what sort of questions I would be interested in pursuing in interview and focus group discussions. As a form of feedback to Islanders, I published a summary of the questionnaire results in the February 1997 edition of Galiano's Active Page and three copies of the thesis will be generally available for Islanders to peruse. The questionnaire questions divide into two sections (see appendix 1). First, Islanders were asked a series of questions regarding their opinions of the OCP, the Islands Trust, what they like and dislike about Galiano, their views of environmental sustainability and so on. These questions were asked in an attempt to solicit Islanders' sense of place, community, and views of sustainability. The second section was designed to elicit the demographic profile of respondents. The questionnaire was designed to be filled in anonymously except for instances in which respondents wished to participate further in 9 The Active Page is a free magazine that is produced on Galiano Island and delivered to Islanders once a month. 1 0 Throughout this study, the term 'Islanders' refers to permanent residents as well as non-resident property owners on Galiano Island. 57 / my study when I asked them to fill in their name, address and telephone number. This was done in order that I might contact these people. In addition, follow-up interviews were based on the individual's questionnaire responses and so I needed to be able to link the two sources of data. One hundred and sixty-seven people responded to the questionnaire, making the response rate 22.2%. Babbie and Mangione suggest that a researcher should be aiming at response rates of at least 50%, suggesting my return rate was particularly low. 1 1 There are several possible reasons for this. First, I mailed the questionnaire in January, a time of the year when many permanent residents are away on holiday and when many non-resident property owners do not visit the Island. Second, my research interests touch on some sensitive issues on the Island and this affected the response rate to some degree. I know there was some suspicion on the Island regarding my own stance in relation to these issues and a concern as to whether my work would support one position over another prevented some people from participating. On the other hand, however, I think this also prompted others to participate in an attempt to get their point of view across. Finally, Mangione argues that "probably the single most important technique to use to provide high response rates is to send out reminders."12 I did not do this, however, and because the questionnaire was largely anonymous, I was unsure as to who had and had not returned it, and consequently who needed a reminder. In addition, even if the questionnaire had not been anonymous, the only affordable way in which it could be administrated was by admail, and as a result, the addresses of people who had not returned the questionnaire were not available. Although my response rate was clearly lower than the recommended in texts, other evidence suggests my response rate may not be atypically low. For example, Reed and Gil l administered a similar 1 1 Babbie, E. (1995) "The Practice of Social Research" Wadsworth Publishing Company: Belmont, CA. seventh edition and Mangione, T. W. (1995) "Mail Surveys: Improving the Quality" Sage Books: Beverley Hills, CA. 1 2 Mangione (1995) ibid page 66 questionnaire to all households in Squamish, a municipality 65 kilometers north of Vancouver and received a 22.7% response rate.13 That the questionnaire response rate was low, however, does not unduly impact upon my study because it was used in combination with interviews and focus group discussions which enabled me to investigate my topics of interest in a more in-depth and nuanced manner. Wherever I have referred to the questionnaire results, however, it must be borne in mind that they are probably not representative of the views of all Galiano Islanders. The questionnaire results were not obtained from a random sample of people who live or own property on Galiano, but from people who consciously chose to participate in the study. Although the questionnaire may well have captured a range of responses to each question, the results from the survey cannot be extrapolated to Islanders as a whole. For example, there is no reason to assume that because x percent of respondents held a certain opinion that the same percentage of all Galiano residents and property owners would also hold that opinion. Once again, this does not hamper my research as it was never my intention to produce a statistically representative questionnaire sample from which to make statistical generalizations regarding the views of all residents and property owners. Whilst not being representative, the questionnaire does allow people's representations of place, community and sustainability to be explored. Interviews: The major part of my research was concerned with interviewing, using both face-to-face interviews and focus group discussions. My focus in this study was on meanings of community, place and sustainability on Galiano Island and clearly an in-depth qualitative approach, such as is allowed by interviews and focus group discussions, enabled me to investigate these. Having mailed out the questionnaire, I was surprised to 1 3 Reed, M . G. and Gill, A. (1995) "Squamish Community Survey 1995: Summary Report" find that I was inundated with volunteers to participate in interviews and / or focus group discussions. Despite a relatively low questionnaire return rate, those who did return it were very willing to participate further and over half of those who completed the questionnaire volunteered to be involved in a focus group and/or an interview. In total, I conducted 69 face-to-face interviews with 79 people (24 of which classed themselves as non-resident property owners). Interviews lasted from between 45 minutes to two hours, the majority lasting approximately one hour. They were held in the interviewees' choice of location which was most often their homes, although a few chose my place of residence or a cafe. Most of the interviews were held on Galiano, although 13 were conducted in the Vancouver area. Before each interview I asked the participant to sign a consent form and asked if they would consent to being tape-recorded. In total, seven people requested that they not be recorded. The interview was conducted in a semi-structured fashion and I had a list of topics I wanted to cover, but was fairly flexible in terms of the order of discussion and the degree to which topics were explored (see appendix 2 for a sample of questions asked). As a result, we tended to spend more time on themes the interviewee had most to say about. The topics which I touch upon in the interviews are of a relatively sensitive nature because they are highly politicized on the Island and I wondered if this might affect people's willingness to speak freely in interviews. This did not happen, however, and all those who committed to an interview engaged my questions in an enthusiastic manner and were generally very forthcoming with their opinions. 60 Focus group discussions: Krueger has defined a focus group as occurring when people, who possess certain characteristics, provide data of a qualitative nature in a focussed discussion.14 Stewart and Shamdasani have argued that focus groups have several advantages over more traditional interview techniques.15 First, the combined effort of a group will often produce more insight than interviewing individuals privately. Second, participants' responses are often triggered by the comments of other participants. In addition, focus groups can more easily produce discussions and debates which participants find engaging and stimulating. Fourth, as no one individual is required to answer any given question, people speak only when they have definite feelings about a subject rather than because they have to respond to each question, resulting in more spontaneous, less conventional responses. Finally, Burgess et al. argue that a focus group has the advantage of enabling people to share and test out their views with others rather than responding in an isolated interview.1 6 Spurred on by these apparent advantages, I decided to conduct focus group discussions with willing Islanders to supplement interviews. In total, I conducted four focus groups with a total of 20 people.1 7 I would class each focus group as having been very successful and informative from my perspective and hopefully equally enjoyable and interesting to participants.18 There is currently very little literature in geography on focus group discussions19 and consequently, I think it is worth explaining in some detail 1 4 Krueger, R. A. (1988) "Focus Groups: A Practical Guide for Applied Research" Sage Publications: Newbury Park, CA. 1 5 Stewart, D. W. and Shamdasani, P. N . (1990) "Focus groups: theory and practice" Sage Publications: Newbury Park, CA. 1 6 Burgess et al. (1988) op. cit. 1 7 Only two people participated in both a focus group and an interview discussion. 1 8 Several participants commented that they had enjoyed the discussion and I received no negative feedback from participants on their focus group experiences. 1 9 Notable exceptions include Burgess et al. (1988) op. cit. 61 my own approach and experiences in the hope that it will be of some use to investigators who hope to conduct future focus group discussions. A l l focus group discussions were held in the living room of the cottage I rented and people sat in a circle on a sofa and easy chairs which were clustered around a large coffee table. At the beginning of each focus group introductions were made and then I outlined the purpose of the discussion group, summarizing the issues I was interested in pursuing. Participants were then asked to sign consent forms and I made it clear that participation was voluntary and that they had the right to leave at any time if they so wished. I then explained that I had put people whose questionnaire response were similar together and laid out some ground rules. I asked people not to interrupt each other and to moderate their own contributions to ensure that everyone got a chance to speak. In addition, I pointed out that disagreements among the group were fine and were to be respected, that producing a consensus position was not the object of the exercise. Participants were then asked if they minded being tape-recorded and I promised I would moderate the discussion so that it would finish promptly 1.5 hours later. Finally, I asked if anyone had any questions and thanked them for their willingness to participate. During the focus group, I adopted a fairly non-directive stance, asking a question and then letting the discussion flow with little intervention. The only times I did speak up was to ask for clarification of a point, to focus the discussion a bit more clearly, to create a space to enable quieter participants to speak and to ask another question once the current responses were drying up. In each focus group, we got through about 4 or 5 questions in the allotted time, rather fewer questions than I had expected (see appendix 2 for sample questions asked). On compiling the focus groups, I attempted to ensure that people whose questionnaire responses were roughly similar were placed together. Although sometimes more reaction can be generated from disagreement, Galianoites have been fairly galvanized in terms of differing views of what Galiano is and ought to be and I was anxious that old disagreements would not be rehashed in the focus group. Not only would this ensure people took positions very quickly and would be less likely to engage in a nuanced discussion, but the atmosphere may be acrimonious, rendering the experience uncomfortable for participants and potentially inhibiting some from speaking freely. After the first focus group, I asked participants if they thought it useful to be grouped with those with similar views and they agreed that it was, saying that they would have ended up arguing and not focusing on the ideas I was interested in pursuing if their group had been more mixed. In many ways, my approach to the discussion groups diverged from the 'text book' case, yet they proved to be successful, suggesting that currently the focus group literature is perhaps unduly restrictive and that it is important to tailor focus groups to fit each study. According to standard focus group texts, my groups tended to be rather on the small side. Stewart and Shamdasani argue that most focus groups are composed of six to twelve people and that fewer than that makes either for a rather dull discussion or one person dominating the group. 2 0 Bearing this in mind, but conscious of the small cottage where I intended to hold the focus groups, I aimed to have focus groups of about six people. Indeed, the first group had five people in it, the second and third each had six people and the final one only had three people. Despite the small numbers, no one individual dominated the discussions and the conversation was never dull, repetitive, and nor were there prolonged silences. Indeed, it was the final discussion group which proved to be the most informative for my purposes. In addition, it was also the liveliest and all three participants commented on how much they had enjoyed it. My perhaps more atypical experiences may be related to the fact that we were Stewart and Shamdasani (1990) op. cit. 63 discussing issues which participants generally had strong opinions about, and were interested in, and consequently everyone had much to say. In addition, most focus groups are composed of people who do not know each other and Stewart and Shamdasani warn against having friends in the same focus group. Because of the small population of Galiano Island, along with a desire to ensure focus groups were composed of like-minded individuals, I was unable to ensure that participants were not acquainted or were not friends. As it turned out, participants had variable knowledge of one another. In the first focus group, nobody knew each other except for one person who was acquainted with two others. In the second focus group, everyone knew each other and in the third all knew each other except for one participant who was known to only one person. Finally, in the last group, two people knew each other whilst the third person was unfamiliar. I did not feel, however, that aquaintanceship / friendship unduly influenced the discussion group. Those who knew each other, realizing that they shared many views, tended to begin more confidently with the assumption that the group had much in common whilst the people in the first focus group were more cautious voicing their opinions at the outset. However, they also soon realized that they too had much in common which resulted in them being less cautious expressing their views. Archival research: My final research method was archival as I attempted to produce a history of Galiano Island and the Gulf Islands more broadly and discover supplementary information on Galiano. Whilst on Galiano, I spent some time in the Galiano Conservancy Association library looking at old government documents and reports pertaining to Galiano Island as well as newspaper clippings. In addition, the Galiano Island trustees made available the documentation pertaining to the OCP and I borrowed many books on Galiano's 64 history as well as that of the Gulf Islands more broadly. A trip to Victoria to the Islands Trust office provided me with access to Islands Trust documentation. Finally, I perused past copies of Galiano's Active Page as well as obtaining other media articles on Galiano and the Gulf Islands.21 3.3 Analysis: It is difficult to maintain an appropriate balance whilst characterizing my process of analysis. On the one hand, a formal type write-up would suggest my analysis was conducted in a logical, methodological fashion which is open to replication. However, on the other, it is not a random process in which anything goes. Instead, I trod a middle ground in which I fully accept that the study has been conducted subjectively, that others may not replicate my conclusions, and yet that my analysis is still worthy of note, that it does contain some important insights. Bearing all this in mind, I will try to explain how I got from 'raw data' to this fat document. I transcribed interview and focus group discussions at the earliest possible opportunity so that the interview was as fresh in my mind as possible. In practice, however, this was often difficult to do as my interviews occurred in a very concentrated period and it was not until two months after the last interview that I finished transcribing. Each transcript was then read through and was hand coded according to a set of themes which I had generated both from the academic literature and which emerged from the interviews themselves. They were then entered into Atlas/ti version 1.1, a qualitative data analysis program. Once computed, all the codes in Atlas were printed out, resulting in four large files of printed, single-spaced coded interviews. In addition, both 2 1 I am indebted to several people for making much of this material available. I would particularly would like to thank Linda and Ken Millard, Diane Cragg, Andrew Loveridge and Graeme Dinsdale for taking the time to help familiarize me with much of this information. the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the questionnaire were entered into the data base program Access which organizes responses by questions and allowed me to perform basic arithmetic and comparative tests on the results. I was now in a position to begin writing. Before beginning each chapter, I spent some days carefully reading through the relevant interview codes and questionnaire results, thinking about what was being said and its relevance to my research questions. I then spent some more days reading the theoretical literature and interview data together, attempting to produce a conversation between the two. The process was often lengthy, frustrating and involved in many false starts. The constant concerns were, am I being fair in how I represent Islanders' views? Is this what they meant? How do the theory and the empirical results mesh? At some stage in this process, it all eventually fell in place and the chapter was completed. At this point, I have a note regarding how I have represented participant's comments in the text. I transcribed each interview as accurately as possible, noting significant pauses, repetitions, and the 'urn's. However, in this document, various repetitions and 'urn's have been edited out of the extracts in order to make them easier to follow. Where this has been done, I do not feel that any meaning has been lost. In addition, ' . . . ' inside a quotation means I have extracted material for clarity, brevity, or to respect privacy and inside square brackets denote material I have inserted to clarify meaning. In order to respect the confidentiality promised to participants, people's initials have been changed, and any potentially identifying comments have been erased from extracts. Finally, I have retained original information about participants' occupations, but they have been generalized into categories to protect confidentiality.22 In total, I have produced four occupational categories which are illustrated in table 3.1. 2 2 Occupation is derived from individual's questionnaire responses. Many people on Galiano held several jobs, whilst others switched from professional work to other occupational categories when moving to the 66 Table 3.1: Occupational categories Occupational categories: Examples of occupations that fit category: 23 Professional Artisan Crafts / manual Service-provider Engineer, teacher, lawyer, accountant Artist, writer, potter, sculptor Logger, builder, gardener, miner Shop owner / worker, resort owner / worker 3.4 My place on Galiano Island: I landed at Sturdies Bay on Galiano Island on February 1st, 1996 bringing with me not only a 1981 Toyota Tercel stuffed full with physical objects to sustain me for the next two months, but also various ideological, theoretical and political baggage.24 Unlike the former objects which I had carefully packed into the car that morning, the latter had been with me some time and I did not have the privilege of selecting what should come to Galiano and what should be left safely locked up in my office in Vancouver. Clearly, this 'psychological' baggage has been very important in shaping my research and in the following, I will try, to the best of my ability, to unpack this baggage and highlight some of its main contents. I will first outline my attraction to this specific research topic, namely my interest in deconstructing representations of commumty, place and sustainability as embedded in the 'community-based sustainability ideal'. I then move on to explain how I position myself in relation to Galiano Island. Choosing a research topic: Although it is seldom explicitly acknowledged, choosing a research topic is frequently an intensely personal process. What often appears in research proposals as relatively Island. Therefore, my description of participants' occupation is based on how they described themselves in the questionnaire. 2 3 These occupations serve as examples and are not necessarily found on Galiano. 2 4 Previously, I had only spent one day on Galiano gathering some preliminary information. 67 detached and academically derived research questions are often as much a result of personal interest and experience as from the perception that the research needs to be conducted. At least this has been my experience with the research process. Coming from a Master's in Resource Management Science, I arrived in the geography doctoral program with a broad interest in environmental issues. I have a personal commitment to issues of social and environmental justice and wanted to explore 'solutions' that academics have put forward to the multiple environmental and social injustices of today. After having taken courses during my Master's degree with Peter Boothroyd, William Rees, Maureen Reed and Anthony Dorcey amongst others, in addition to extensive interactions with my peers, I became aware that there was a broad move in Canada and elsewhere towards 'community' as the solution to such injustices. In other words, I was encountering commitments towards a 'community-based sustainability ideal'. This 'solution' to both the environmental 'crisis' as well as social, cultural and economic injustices intrigued me. Although the idea seemed initially appealing, I was not convinced. Having spent my childhood and adolescence in a small village in England, various questions kept returning to haunt me. Is small town living really as idyllic as this literature so often makes it out to be? Can we really think of small-town living as more 'natural' than urban living? What happens to those who are marginalized from community? Do communities really have a substantive idea of the 'common good'? As I explained in the previous chapter, I found a disturbing lack of consideration of these issues. They were either overlooked or glossed over as relatively unimportant details. Indeed, I spoke to one lecturer at the University of British Columbia who advocated what I have called the 'community-based sustainability ideal' about my concerns and this individual agreed with me that my concerns were real, adding, 'but, so what?'. I left our meeting confused; was I blowing a few insignificant obstacles out of proportion? Had I not expressed myself clearly enough? I knew this individual to be extremely concerned with issues of social justice and the environment, so why did we disagree? My impression was that this individual regarded sustainable commumty living to be so much more egalitarian and environmentally benign than the more individualist, consumption-based society in which we now live, that such issues are either relatively unimportant or can be ironed out later. Perhaps this is the case. Nevertheless, I determined that a safer policy is to look before the proverbial leap in order to ascertain more clearly where we may land. In this study, I hope I have helped uncover some of the unstated assumptions inherent in the 'community-based sustainability ideal' so that they can be more explicitly debated in the future. Positioning myself on Galiano Island: In his article on community studies methodology, Geoff Payne has argued that unless studying on home territory, it is all but impossible to be anything other than an 'outsider' to research subjects.25 He argues that it frequently takes years for community members to accept a newcomer, and thus it is unrealistic for a researcher to assume acceptance during fieldwork. Similarly, I arrived on Galiano Island as an 'outsider'. Before the start of my research I had no acquaintances on the Island and had never visited it and, despite a friendly reception, remained an 'outsider'. This has helped shape my experiences in several ways. First, my non-Island status ensured that people I encountered spent some time explaining to me their version of various events that had taken place on the Island. It was not always assumed that I just 'knew', and this gave me the privileged opportunity to gain a sense of the meaning of Galiano and of community to these people. In addition, my obvious British accent and non-Canadian 2 5 Payne, G. (1996) "Imagining the Community: Some Reflections on the Community Study as a Method" in E. Stina Lyon and J. Busfield (eds.) "Methodological Imaginations" Macmillan Press: Hampshire England 17-33 status often sparked interest in terms of where I was from, and how things were in my home village and country. At the same time, however, I was warned by some that Islanders had a general wariness and suspicion of outsiders. This may have had an impact on who decided to participate in my questionnaire, although I did not perceive it to be an issue in interviews. Finally, coming from a position of unfamiliarity of the local issues on Galiano, my take on Island politics may be different from if I had been an 'insider' on Galiano Island and I feel I am less predisposed to 'take sides'. Indeed, throughout my period of primary research and continuing to the present day, I do not have any strong opinions as to whose views I agree with and whose I do not. Instead, I can honestly say that almost without exception, all the perspectives interviewees presented to me made sense given their outlook and situatedness. Consequently, I feel that I can empathize with the positions Islanders held, yet simultaneously, given my own situatedness, I am to some extent critical of some of the content of these positions. 3.5 Summary: One of the most important messages contained in this section is that my research is by no means objective and the research topic, my methods and findings have been shaped by my own subjectivity and situatedness. To claim anything else would be simply untrue. Nevertheless, I have attempted throughout this research to challenge these 'biases' by constantly looking for alternative explanations and demanding clear evidence to support any assertions I make. In many ways, much of what I 'found' in Galiano did surprise and challenge me and this thesis is rather more nuanced than I had expected. In addition, by explicitly stating my own position in this research, I hope the reader is made aware of some of the factors that have shaped the analysis and conclusions. I do not expect all Galiano Islanders to agree with my analysis, and neither do I expect that another researcher conducting a similar study would have necessarily reached the same conclusions. Yet I am confident that my analysis, along with many other potential approaches, offer insights into the understanding of how representations of place, community and sustainability could be reworked in the 'community-based sustainability ideal'. Part 2: Introduction to case study My aim in this section is to introduce Galiano Island by placing it in its geographical and historical context. I begin by outlining some of the historical events that have been important in shaping the Gulf Islands and Galiano today. Geographically, Galiano is part of the Gulf Islands (see figure 3.2) and, drawing on popular representations of these Islands, in the second half of the section, I highlight how the Gulf Islands in general, and Galiano Island in particular are discursively constructed. As will become evident, without such a picture of Galiano and its region, an understanding of the sentiment incorporated in my empirical chapters will remain elusive. 3.6 Island histories: Before European contact, the Gulf Islands were inhabited by the Coast Salish. People from the Nanaimo, Cowichan, Chemainus, Songhees and Saanich Nations occupied the Islands at various times26 and evidence from various midden sites on the Islands 2 6 Duff, W. (1961) "The Indians of the Gulf Islands" in "A Gulf Islands Patchwork: Some Early Event on the Islands of Galiano, Mayne, Saturna, North and South Pender" BC Historical Association, Gulf Islands Branch: Pender Islands pages 1-5 7 1 72 suggests that occupation dates back at least 10 000 years.27 The Islands were used to gather eggs and vegetables and hunt sea mammals28 and it is probable that the Islands were only occupied seasonally.29 Today, the population of Aboriginal people is much diminished on the Islands, although Kuper Island is still inhabited by the Penelakut band, who are part of the Cowichan Nation. Other areas of the Gulf Islands, such as Indian Reserve 9 on the northern tip of Galiano Island are seasonally inhabited by Aboriginal people.3 0 Spanish explorers first arrived in the area in 17913 1 and although they did not settle in the region, their legacy remains. For example, Islands such as Valdes and Galiano were named after Spanish naval captains, whilst Gabriola is thought to be an adaptation of 'Punta de Gaviota', meaning Seagull Point. 3 2 However, it was only in the second half of the nineteenth century that the first non-Aboriginal settlers arrived on the Islands. For example, the first person to pre-empt land on Galiano Island was the Scotsman 'Scotty' Georgeson in 1863. He had passed through the Islands on his way from Victoria to the Fraser Canyon gold rush in 1858 and settled on the Island upon his return.3 3 Early settlers homesteaded on the Islands, clearing the land so that farming was feasible. European settlers and Aboriginal people were not alone living on the Gulf Islands at this time. Killian notes that the earliest settlers on Salt Spring were Afro-Americans escaping slavery in the southern United States, arriving from 1857.3 4 In addition, from 1900 onwards a relatively large Japanese population lived on the Gulf Islands, farming 2 7 Galiano Island Heritage Task Force Report, June 1993 2 8 Galiano Island Heritage Task Force Report, June 1993 2 9 Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing (1986) "Gulf Islands Regional Plan" June 1986 3 0 Minutes from Heritage Task Force Meeting May 10th, 1993 3 1 They were just ahead of the British who arrived the next year. 3 2 Harrison, J. (1987) "About Gabriola: Your Guidebook to a Magical Island" 3 3 Graham, D. (1986) "Lights of the Inside Passage: A History of British Columbia's Lighthouses and their Keepers" Harbour Books: British Columbia 3 4 Killian, C. (1978) "Go Do Some Great Thing: The Black Pioneers of British Columbia" Douglas and Mclntyre: Vancouver 73 on Islands such as Mayne and Salt Spring and working in the herring salteries on Mayne, North Pender and Galiano Island.3 5 Unfortunately, they were interned in 1942 and today the Japanese population on the Islands is very much reduced. A n important determinant shaping the early settlement of the Gulf Islands was the ferry service. From the 1920s, the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) had a virtual monopoly on steamship service to the Gulf Islands, visiting each of the Islands three times a week. However, from 1949 onwards, the CPR gradually reduced services to the Islands, reaching an all time low in 1953 when Mayne, Galiano and Saturna Islands were served just once a week. 3 6 In 1954, the CPR abandoned the Gulf Islands route all together and the Islands were serviced by private contractors. The service however, did not resume its earlier frequency, impacting Island demographics as Marie Elliott explains: The difficulties with ferry transportation were reflected in the decrease in population of the outer Gulf Islands. The population of North and South Pender, Mayne and Saturna dropped from 742 in 1951 to 592 in 1956, a decrease of 20%, and Galiano and Valdes dropped from 587 to 535, a decrease of 9%. Only Salt Spring, which had enjoyed uninterrupted ferry service with Vancouver Island since 1932, registered a slight increase of 2%. 3 7 In 1960 however, B .C . Ferries commenced operations at Schwartz Bay on Vancouver Island and over the next year, took over the servicing of the Gulf Islands. The service operated out of Vancouver Island, however, and it was not until 1963 that people could travel from the mainland to Galiano, Mayne and the Pender Islands without having to go via Schwartz Bay. 3 8 3 5 Elliott, M . (1993) "The Japanese of Mayne Island" in Harker, D. (ed.) "More Tales from the Outer Gulf Islands: An Anthology of Memories and Anecdotes" BC Historical Association, Gulf Islands Branch: Pender Islands pages 179-83 3 6 Elliott, M . (1984) "Mayne Island and the Outer Gulf Islands: A History" Gulf Island Press: Mayne Island 3 7 Elliott (1984) ibid, page 86 3 8 Elliott (1984) ibid. 74 The improvement in the ferry service meant that the Gulf Islands became an attractive place for people from Vancouver and Victoria to retire to, weekend on, or visit. As Marie Elliott comments: The growing population of the mainland regarded the Gulf Islands as a rural paradise even before 1900, but it did not constitute a threat to land resources of the Islands until two world wars had passed and the mode of ferry transportation improved in the late 1950s.39 The improvement of the ferry service, combined with a growing population in Victoria and Vancouver, an increase in average incomes and leisure time, and the large-scale 'back to the country' movement evident across Canada at this time ensured that the Gulf Islands came under increasing development pressure during the 1960s.40 During this period, a series of large-scale developments sprung up on the Islands. For example, the Magic Lakes development on Pender Island became the largest subdivision in British Columbia with some 1200 city-sized lots. 4 1 Public outrage over these developments resulted in the populist right-wing Social Credit provincial government placing a temporary ten acre freeze on the Gulf Islands in 1969 which restricted minimum lot sizes to ten acres. In the meantime, the regional governments that administered the Gulf Islands were instructed to write regional plans to control development. Since 1966 when the Capital Regional District (CRD) was incorporated, Galiano Island, along with the other southern Gulf Islands (such as Salt Spring, Mayne, the Penders and Saturna), fell under its jurisdiction. The CRD official regional plan was completed in 1972 and the residents of each Island were instructed to write an Official Community Plan for their Island. In January 1974, the first OCP in the Gulf Islands was completed by the people of Galiano Island. 3 9 Elliott (1984) ibid, page 117 4 0 Elliott (1984) ibid. 4 1 Harker, D. "The Islands Trust" in D. Harker (ed.) "More Tales from the Outer Gulf Islands: An Anthology of Memories and Anecdotes" BC Historical Association, Gulf Islands Branch: Pender Islands pages 97-9 75 The Islands Trust: Having just won the 1972 provincial election, the social democrat New Democratic Party formed an all-party special committee of the legislature to investigate the issue of development on the Gulf Islands. The recommendations of this committee resulted in the Islands Trust Act being passed by the legislature on June 4, 1974.4 2 This Act established the Islands Trust, a land-planning agency which has the mandate to: preserve and protect the Trust Area and its unique amenities and environment for the benefit of the residents of the Trust Area and of the Province generally, in cooperation with municipalities, regional districts, improvement districts, other persons and organizations and the government of the Province. 4 3 The Islands Trust jurisdiction incorporates over 450 Islands in the southern half of the Strait of Georgia. Included in the Trust area are 13 larger Islands: Bowen, Gambier, Lasqueti, Denman, Hornby, Gabriola, Thetis, Galiano, Mayne, Saturna, North Pender, South Pender and Salt Spring (see figure 3.2). The residents of each have two Islands Trustees to represent them and the smaller Islands that fall under their jurisdiction. The 26 Islands Trustees are then elected to carry out the Islands Trust mandate and from their number they elect three general trustees.44 The Islands Trust Act has undergone various alterations over the years and has been cyclically weakened and strengthened seemingly at the whim of the provincial government.45 Two events, however, stand out in the Islands Trust's history. First, in 1982, Social Credit Minister of Municipal Affairs, William Vander Zalm introduced a bill that repealed the Islands Trust Act. This bill however died on the order paper due to a popular outcry from Gulf Islanders.46 Second, in 1990 the Social Credit 4 2 Harker (1993) op. cit. 4 3 Islands Trust (1994) op. cit. page 5 4 4 Until 1977, the provincial government appointed the General Trustees 4 5 See the Master of Natural Resources Management Program Simon Fraser University (1987) "To Preserve and Protect: An Institutional Analysis of the British Columbia Islands Trust" for a full discussion of changes to the Act up until 1987. 4 6 Humphries (1988) op. cit. 76 government passed a redrafted Islands Trust Act which greatly increased its functions and responsibilities, including the assignment of a regional-level planning function to the Islands Trust Council. 4 7 Despite the fact that the 1990 revised Islands Trust Act has endowed the Islands Trust with more autonomy, it still shares authority with other arms of government such as regional districts which regulate water, sewage and transportation and with the Department of Highways which approves Island subdivisions.48 In addition, this Act dictated that the Islands Trust develop a policy statement detailing how it would carry out its mandate to preserve and protect. After extensive public hearings throughout the Islands Trust area, the Islands Trust Policy Statement was approved in 1994. This Policy Statement provides the overarching context for the planning of the Trust region and local OCP's and bylaws are required to comply with it. In addition, under the Islands Trust Act, each of the 13 larger Islands in the Trust area is required to update its OCP every five years.49 Over its 23 year history, the majority of Islanders appear to have supported the Islands Trust and its mandate. Harker has argued that a plebiscite on Salt Spring Island in 1976 returned overwhelming support of the Islands Trust. 5 0 Similarly, the 1987 Master of Natural Resource Management Program study found that from a random telephone survey of Islanders under the Islands Trust jurisdiction, 69.9% found the Trust's performance to be effective or satisfactory. In addition, 47.3% wished to expand the role of the Trust, 28% wanted it left unchanged, 14.7% wished for a decrease in the Island Trust's role and 10% did not know. 5 1 My own questionnaire on Galiano Island 4 7 Islands Trust (1994) ibid. 4 8 Grescoe, P. and Grescoe, A. (1995) "Fragments of Paradise: British Columbia's Wild and Wondrous Islands" Raincoast Book Distribution and Beautiful British Columbia: Vancouver and Victoria 4 9 Grescoe and Grescoe (1995) ibid. 5 0 Harker (1993) op. cit. 5 1 Al l results have a reliability of 95% with confidence limits of ± 8%. Master of Natural Resources Management Program Simon Fraser University (1987) op. cit., 77 conducted in 1996 can, however, to some degree be contrasted with these findings (see table 3.2). Table 3.2: Opinions of the Islands Trust: 1) "What was your opinion about the Islands Trust mandate over Galiano Island?" Options given in questionnaire: Number of % Responses "The Islands Trust needs more power" 49 29 "The Islands Trust mandate is fine" 56 34 "The Islands Trust is too powerful" 47 28 "No Opinion" 15 9 Total: 167 100 2) "Do you feel that Galiano Island should remain within the Islands Trust?" "Yes, definitely" 79 47 "Yes, for the present" 47 28 "No"52 28 17 "No Opinion" 13 8 Total: 167 100 It must be remembered however, that these results are not representative of the views of Galiano Islanders as a whole. In addition, given the recent upheavals on Galiano which have involved the Trust (discussed below), opinions on the Island at this time regarding the Trust may be atypically negative. Galiano Island 1986-present: This general history of the Gulf Islands serves as a backdrop on which the particular history of Galiano Island can be located. Of all the Gulf Islands, Galiano's recent history of events is probably the most colourful and in the following, I will try to sketch the contours of these events. It must be borne in mind that there are multiple interpretations of these events, some of which I explore in later chapters. Here, 5 2 Those who responded "No" were asked to suggest a governance alternative. It was commonly suggested the Island should either simply remain within the Capital Regional District or should be administrated under a municipality-type system. 78 however I have attempted to unravel the complex array of events to reproduce the account as has popularly been represented in the media. In 1951, the forestry company MacMillan Bloedel bought 7800 acres of Galiano (56% of the Island) which it used for logging. However, in 1972, MacMillan Bloedel put forward a proposal to sub-divide some of this land, planning to develop up to 1500 lots. 5 3 Popular opposition to this proposal on the Islands resulted in the writing of Galiano Island's first OCP and the abandonment of this development plan. Although this proposal was never developed, it proved to be a sign of things to come. In 1986, MacMillan Bloedel stepped up the pace of clear-cut logging on Galiano and as their cutting neared the popular Coon Bay area on the northern tip of the Island, many Islanders expressed concern.5 4 Consequently, in 1987 an Island group, Clear Cut Alternatives was formed in response to concerns about MacMillan Bloedel's clear-cutting activities on the Island. The organization brought speakers onto the Island in order to raise the level of understanding regarding forest practices and its members approached MacMillan Bloedel in order to discuss its logging practices. The eventual outcome was the creation of the Forest and Land Use Council (FLUC) in early 1989: The Forest and Land Use Council, consisting of three equal participants representing the Community of Galiano, MacMillan Bloedel and the Government of British Columbia, will serve as a mechanism to effectively address and resolve the concerns of the Community regarding MacMillan Bloedel's forest and land use practices on Galiano Island It is hoped this Council can act as an example which implements many of the ideas presented in the Report of the National Task Force on Environment and Economy. 5 5 5 3 Wilkinson, L. (1994) "Stewardship on Galiano Island" in "Stewardship '94: Revisiting the Land Ethic, Caring for the Land" N . Layard and L. Delbrouck (eds.) proceedings March 3-5th 1994 Vancouver 5 4 Wilkinson (1994) ibid. 5 5 Forest and Land Use Council (1989) "Objectives of the Forest and Land Use Council" From minutes of the meeting, 13th February 1989 79 Three employees of MacMillan Bloedel, three elected representatives (two M L A ' s and an Islands Trustee) and three members of Clear Cut Alternatives sat on the Council . 5 6 Despite the fact that the members of Clear Cut Alternatives were elected at a public meeting on the Island to represent Islanders on the Council, 5 7 support for them amongst Islanders was not unanimous. A second group, Friends of Galiano was established on the Island in order to protest the representativeness of Clear Cut Alternatives. My impression is that they tended to be more sympathetic to MacMillan Bloedel, and less opposed to their harvesting practices.58 The F L U C was, in many ways, very successful, and in the fall of 1989 MacMillan Bloedel embarked on a selective cutting program, inviting residents of Galiano to walk through areas to be logged and give feedback whilst the company provided scaling reports concerning volume logged for Islanders.59 Indeed, according to the Vancouver Province newspaper: [In 1990] Galiano Island was being touted across North America as the new model of an ideal working relationship between a major forest company and its community.6 0 However, this relationship was not to last. In the Fall of 1989 at an open house on the Island, MacMillan Bloedel outlined plans for the development of 1730 acres of its waterfront land in conjunction with its partner Intrawest Properties. On this land, 350 properties were to be built on condition that the development of the remaining 6090 acres of MacMillan Bloedel land would be foregone.61 Such a proposal exceeded the ceiling of lots allowed for in the OCP and as a result, the OCP needed to be amended 5 6 Moore, G. (1991) "The Betrayal of a Community Involvement Process: Galiano Learns the Meaning of Forest Industry Commitment" Part 1 Forest Planning Canada Vol. 7 No. 3 5-9 5 7 Moore (1991) ibid. 5 8 Friends of Galiano is now disbanded. 5 9 Moore (1991) op cit. 6 0 "Struggle Continues over Fate of Galiano" The Province August 2nd 1991 page 22 6 1 McFeely, T. (1989) "From Clear-cuts to homesites: MacMillan Bloedel ponders its future plans on Galiano Island" British Columbia Report December 4th, 1989 80 for this proposal to be approved. There was large-scale Island opposition to the proposal however, and it was abandoned. In the Fall of 1990, whilst the F L U C was still underway, the property development arm of MacMillan Bloedel decided to sell their lands on Galiano Island, undermining F L U C which later collapsed. Galiano Islanders as a collective were given an opportunity to purchase the land for what MacMillan Bloedel described as a 'fair market value' 6 2 which appears to have been in the order of $20 mill ion. 6 3 They were unable to meet this figure and in January 1991, the land was put up for sale to any British Columbia residents. The former MacMillan Bloedel lands were sold to individual groups of Islanders and off-Islanders, some of whom intended to build on their land. During this period, Islanders launched a very impressive series of fund raising initiatives to ensure that Galiano Mountain and Bodega Ridge were preserved as public parks. In the winter of 1990-1991, the Islands Trust drafted new bylaws pertaining to the development of forest-zoned land. The 1974 OCP had stipulated that the minimum allowable lot size on forest-zoned land (nearly all of which was owned by MacMillan Bloedel) was 20 acres (8 hectares) and that one dwelling was permitted every 20 acres. The new bylaws proposed a new minimum lot size of 20 hectares (50 acres) and the building of homes on forestry land would be forbidden unless rezoning was obtained.64 On February 25th 1991, the public hearings regarding the bylaws were held on Galiano and were they signed by the Minister of Municipal Affairs in January 1992. 6 2 Parfitt, B. (1990) "MacMillan Bloedel Ready to Sell 2,800 hectares on Galiano Island" Vancouver Sun December 6th, 1990 6 3 Fournier, S. (1991) "MacBlo to sell its Galiano lands" The Province January 9, 1991 6 4 Watts, R. (1991) "Six offers in for MacBlo Galiano Land: Islands Trust hearing Feb. 25 on bylaws affecting firm's holding" Times-Colonist February 19th, 1991 81 In response to these bylaws, McMillan Blodel brought a lawsuit against the Islands Trust and the Galiano Conservancy Association for conspiring to reduce the value of their property on the Island. The Galiano Conservancy Association is a registered society, formed in 1989 which evolved from Clear Cut Alternatives.65 The suit against the Conservancy was eventually dropped as was $18 million in damages against specifically named Island Trustees.66 MacMillan Bloedel, however, continued with its lawsuit against the Islands Trust. The summation of Judge Paris outlines MacMillan Bloedel's claims and the Islands Trust defense: The plaintiff argues that the bylaws are illegal on three grounds: 1. They unlawfully discriminated against the plaintiff; 2. They were passed in bad faith or for an improper purpose or purposes; and 3. They effectively created a holding zone of the plaintiff's lands and 'sterilized' or removed all uses from them. The defendant responds that the bylaws were passed in good faith with three principal legitimate purposes: firstly, to maintain the practice of forestry on the Island, secondly, to protect the watershed and groundwater supplies of the Island, and, finally, to ensure that any significant change in the use of the land by the plaintiff would be subject to public review and process.67 Judge Paris of the British Columbia Supreme Court ruled on 30th July 1993 that the bylaws "were discriminatory and passed in bad faith in the special sense contemplated in the jurisprudence, [and] must be declared void for illegality."68 The Islands Trust appealed this ruling. On August 10th, the British Columbia Supreme Court of Appeal ruled: Accepting the learned trial judge's conclusions that the trustees expressed motives did not conform with their real motives, that is to say that they acted for an ulterior purpose, does not lead me to conclude that the trustees exceeded their powers. Both the true and the expressed motives support the exercise of powers that are within the scope of the legislative grant. I think the learned trial judge erred because he did not have his mind directed to the effect of the Island Trust Act .... 6 5 Galiano Conservancy Association (n.d.) "Background Paper" 6 6 Wilkinson (1994) op. cit. 6 7 Judge Paris: "MacMillan Bloedel Limited Plaintiff and the Galiano Island Trust Committee defendant" 30th July 1993 Vancouver 6 8 Judge Paris ibid. 82 Once it is determined that the trustees acted within the scope of their legislative authority, I do not think it matters that they attempted to support their conduct on grounds other than those found to be the true basis for their actions. Both their expressed motives, and their true motives, were directed toward furtherance of the objectives of the Islands Trust Act. A n ulterior purpose that is within the ambit of the delegated power is not an improper purpose. To render the by-law illegal, the purpose of the by-law would have to extend beyond the powers of the delegated authority. In that event it would not matter whether the trustees acted for an ulterior purpose, because in that event the by-law would have been ultra vires. In my respectful view in failing to direct his mind to the provisions of the Islands Trust Act, the learned trial judge applied the wrong legal test. It follows that the finding of bad faith can and should be set aside.69 MacMillan Bloedel then appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada, but on May 2nd 1996, the Supreme Court refused to hear the case.70 The Galiano Island Official Community Plan: In the fall of 1992, in the midst of these law suits, Galiano Islanders initiated a review of their Official Community Plan. The process began with a series of public meetings in which Islanders talked of how the process of writing the plan should be undertaken. The two Galiano Island Trustees then appointed a steering committee who were commissioned to write the first draft of the plan. The Islands Trustees attempted to ensure the steering committee was balanced and representative of the views of Islanders. The steering committee decided to set up a series of task forces to look at various issues. The task force committees included the following: definition of our rural community, home occupations / commercial zoning, conservation and environmentally sensitive areas, forestry, community facilities, parks and recreation, and heritage. Every task force meeting was public and people could join and quit them as they 6 9 Justice Southin, Justice Wood and Justice Finch "Court of Appeal for British Columbia between MacMillan Bloedel Limited, plaintiff and the Galiano Island Trust Committee, defendant" August 10th 1995 Vancouver 7 0 Canadian Press (1996) "MB's Galiano Island Development Appeal Rejected" Vancouver Sun May 3rd, 1996 83 wished. In July 1993, a task force fair was held in which people could inspect the findings of each group. From this, the steering committee was left to write a draft OCP which was completed in the fall of 1993. Although I do not know the exact number of participants in the process, I have been informed that it was in the order of 'hundreds'. The trustees then held a series of public meetings in which to test public opinion of the draft before handing the plan along with the public meeting minutes and written submissions to the Advisory Planning Committee.71 The Advisory Planning Committee is an elected committee of five who advise the trustees on such matters as land rezonings, community plans etc. They operate in an advisory capacity only. The trustees then drafted a revised version of the OCP which was examined by the Islands Trust technical staff in order to standardize the language and make it consistent throughout. At this stage, the OCP had to be reviewed by other government agencies who have jurisdiction over Galiano to ensure it did not contravene any existing policies or regulations. Finally, on May 6th 1995, the OCP public hearing was held on Galiano and the OCP was signed by the Minister of Municipal Affairs on 20th September 1995. Throughout this period, a period in which MacMillan Bloedel left the Island, the bylaws and the Official Community Plan were written and the court cases held, there has been much controversy amongst Galiano Islanders. The most contentious issue pertains to the forest-zoned land, 7 2 with the two most vocal groups on the Island taking counter positions. On the one hand, members of the Galiano Conservancy Association have tended to campaign for the OCP to either uphold the bylaws or allow one dwelling per 20 hectares. In contrast, the Galiano Ratepayers Association, which was founded in 1991 to protect property rights, has protested the increase in minimum lot 7 1 Submitted letter from the Chair of the Steering Committee The Active Page October 1994 page 20 7 2 The minimum lot size on forest-zoned land remained 20 hectares in the OCP, but now a dwelling is permitted on every lot, with an additional dwelling every 20 hectares. 84 size (and subsequent reduction in number of dwellings allowed) from 20 acres in the first OCP to 20 hectares in the second.73 Galianoites Today: Having provided a history of the Gulf Islands and Galiano Island in particular, it is important to provide a brief overview introducing who Galiano Islanders are today. Unfortunately, a breakdown for Galiano Island alone for the 1991 census is not available, therefore my figures are based on a census tract subdivision which includes Salt Spring, Mayne, the Penders and Saturna Islands as well as Galiano Island. I would not expect, however, Galiano's figures to deviate significantly from this general picture of the southern Gulf Islands. As tables 3.3 and 3.4 demonstrate, Southern Gulf Islanders can be characterized as being older and better educated than the British Columbian average. In addition, the 1991 census demonstrates that income levels are generally lower on these Islands. Whereas the national average household income was $46909, the average household income on these Islands was $40323. These results would support the findings of the Natural Resource Management Program from Simon Fraser University who conducted a similar study of the 1981 census. Table 3.3 Age statistics for the Southern Gulf Islands: Age Category Southern Gulf Islands British Columbia % 0-19 21 27 20-39 21 33 40-59 27 24 60 and over 32 17 Total: 101 % 7 5 101% (Source 1991 Census Canada) 7 3 Open letter to Darlene Marzari from Galiano Ratepayers Association Active Page December 1994/ January 1995 page 12 7 4 Capital Regional District Subdivision A 7 5 Rounding errors. 85 Table 3.4 Education levels for the Southern Gulf Islands: Highest Level of Southern Gulf Islands British Columbia % Schooling %76 Less than grade 9 5 8 Grades 9-13 without 22 25 secondary certificate with secondary certificate 12 14 Trades certificate or 4 3 diploma Other non-university education: - without certificate 7 8 - with certificate 19 18 University: Without degree - without certificate 6 6 - with certificate 7 6 With degree 18 11 Total: 100% 99% (Source 1991 Census Canada) 3.7 Island geographies: As figure 3.2 demonstrates, there are three clear facts about the Gulf Islands' geography: they are islands; they are located in Western Canada; and are situated on Canada's margins. Not only are these self-evident facts pertaining to the physical location of these Islands in Canada, but as I demonstrate, they contribute to the Islands' discursive positioning. Exploring contemporary meanings of 'islands', 'the west' and 'marginality', I illustrate how these discourses have informed people's understandings of the Gulf Islands. Drawing on examples from English literature, Gregory Woods has argued that in Western discourses, islands have been constructed as the site where fantasies77 can 7 6 Capital Regional District Subdivision A 7 7 In his article, Woods is referring to sexual fantasies. Although my focus is not on sexuality, however, the insight remains pertinent. 86 actually be enacted.78 Being detached from the mainland and mainland life, islands are far enough removed from 'mainstream' society that people can live out these 'fantasies' or alternative lifestyles which elsewhere they could only imagine. As such, islands are constructed as Utopian or paradisiacal, luring prospective inhabitants away from the drudgery and restrictions of everyday life. The Gulf Islands are however not Islands without a geography, they are positioned on Canada's west coast. In Margaret Atwood's book 'Cat's Eye', the main character, Elaine Risley details her escape from her troubled youth in Toronto: I live in a house, with window curtains and a lawn, in British Columbia, which is as far away from Toronto as I could get without drowning. The unreality of the landscape there encourages me: the greeting-card mountains, of the sunset-and-sloppy message variety, the cottagy houses that look as if they were built by the Seven Dwarfs in the thirties, the giant slugs, so much larger than a slug needs to be. Even the rain is overdone, I can't take it seriously. I suppose these things are as real, and as oppressive, to the people who grew up there as [Toronto] is to me. But on good days it still feels like a vacation, an evasion. On bad days I don't notice it, or much else. 7 9 Escaping her life in Toronto, she runs as far west as she can. The west coast is represented as the edge, where she has the choice of making a life for herself or drowning. Notably, she chooses west, not east, north or south as her escape route, the west providing comfort to her because it is only marginally real, representing a different existence. On good days in the west she can leave all her troubles behind. Atwood is clearly representing the west as a place to escape and begin anew because to Easterners, it is a different and unreal existence. The Gulf Islands, being situated beyond the west coast, can be thought to represent a further series of stepping stones on the journey of 'escape' and 'reinvention' of the self. 7 8 Gregory Woods (1995) "Fantasy Islands: Popular Topographies of Marooned Masculinity" in "Mapping Desire: Geographies of Sexualities" D. Bell and G. Valentine (eds.) Routledge: London and New York 7 9 Atwood, M . (1988) "Cat's Eye" McClelland and Stewart: Toronto pages 14-15 87 i Being on the 'edge' of Canada, the Gulf Islands are also physically and culturally located on Canada's margins. In his book 'Places on the Margin', Rob Shields looks at Canadian and English examples of marginal places, investigating how they come to be constructed as such. 8 0 He notes that: Marginal places, those towns and regions which have been 'left behind' in the modern race for progress, evoke both nostalgia and fascination. Their marginal status may come from out-of-the-way geographic locations, being the site of illicit or disdained social activities, or being the Other pole to a great cultural centre. In all cases the type of geographic marginality ... is a mark of being a social periphery They all carry the image, and stigma, of their marginality which becomes indistinguishable from any basic empirical identity they might once have had. 8 1 To be 'on the margin' has implied exclusion from 'the centre.' But social, political, and economic relations which bind peripheries to centres, keep them together in a series of binary relationships, rather than allowing complete disconnection. In this way, 'margins' become signifiers of everything 'centres' deny or repress; margins as 'the Other', become the condition of possibility of all social and cultural entities.82 Shields highlights some of the ways in which 'core' and 'margin' may be represented as binary opposites: Core: Margin: Rational Ludic Civilized Nature Centre Periphery Social Order Carnivalesque Mundane Liminal 8 3 The margin is thus inscribed with meanings that contrast it with the core. It is stigmatized whilst simultaneously being a source of fascination and speculation for the core. 8 0 Examples he looked at were the Canadian north, Niagra Falls, Brighton on England's south coast and the English North-South divide. 8 1 Shields, R. (1991) "Places on the Margin: Alternative Geographies of Modernity" Routledge: London and New York page 3 8 2 Shields (1991) ibid, page 276 8 3 Shields (1991) ibid, page 260 88 In the following discussion, I illustrate how the Gulf Islands are positioned at the intersection of these discourses. The Islands are represented as places to be desired or envied, they are labelled 'paradise'. They are also places where people can escape to, avoiding the 'trappings' of everyday life in order to live a more 'simple', self-sufficient lifestyle. Simultaneously, however, the Islands are othered, fixed as places which represent all that mainland Canada is not - Islanders are 'unreal', 'hippies' and 'flakes'. Gulf Islands as western Islands: In an article entitled 'fantasy islands', Ann Mullens of the Vancouver Sun argues that: To own one - even just a piece of one - is many a British Columbian's fantasy. With their warm dry summers, mild wet winters, vistas of mountains and oceans dotted with green, the Gulf Islands are gems on a necklace strung between the B .C . Coast and Vancouver Island. 'When you step off the ferry you suddenly feel you are in a different world. The air is fresher, the trees greener. You are away from it all, even if it was only a short ferry ride away,' says Peter Murray (author).84 The Gulf Islands are thus constructed as sites of 'fantasy'. Others have described them as 'jewels' and 'paradise'.85 At a public meeting on Galiano Island, an Islands trustee described the passing of the Island Trust Act in 1974: The Act passed unanimously in the House. No person or political party opposed it, and the Gulf Islands were described as the jewels of B . C . , in need of security.8 6 Similarly, when MacMillan Bloedel put half of Galiano Island up for sale in 1991, its advertising campaign invited prospective purchasers to make an 'Investment in Paradise'.8 7 This sense of islands being places of 'desire' is reflected in Vancouver humorist Eric Nicol's definition of an island: "a piece of land completely surrounded 8 4 Mullens, A. (1992) "Fantasy Islands" The Vancouver Sun July 25th 1992 page B3 8 5 See for example, Spears, J. (1972) "Hand of Fate on Never-Never Land" the Province, June 17th 1972; Grescoe, A. (1990) "Paradise in Peril" Western Living June 1990; Grescoe and Grescoe (1995) op. cit.; and video recording (1994) "The Gulf Islands: The Last Paradise" Accolade Productions Ltd.: Vancouver 8 6 Choosing our Futures Public Meeting "Statement of Local Islands Trustee" July 15, 1989 8 7 Gibson, A. and Klenman, N . (1992) "Galiano - A Test Case for B.C. Communities" Gulf Islands Guardian Summer 1992 8-13 89 b y e n v y . " 8 8 T h i s d e f i n i t i o n a l s o a p p e a r e d o c c a s i o n a l l y i n i n t e r v i e w s w i t h G a l i a n o I s l a n d e r s . T h e G u l f I s l a n d s a re n o t o n l y p a r a d i s i a c a l , h o w e v e r , t h e y a re a l s o p l a c e s o f e s c a p e , w h e r e a l t e r n a t i v e l i f e s t y l e s c a n b e e x p e r i e n c e d . I n t h e i r b o o k , ' F r a g m e n t s o f P a r a d i s e : B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a ' s W i l d a n d W o n d r o u s G u l f I s l a n d s ' , P a u l a n d A u d r e y G r e s c o e n o t e d tha t : T h e r e c a n b e a t i m e l e s s n e s s h e r e , a sense o f apa r t ness o n C a n a d a ' s w e s t e r n m o s t I s l a n d s . C o c o o n e d f r o m the c o n t i n e n t , t h e y a re l i n k e d o n l y b y the s o m e t i m e f l o a t p l a n e s a n d the u b i q u i t o u s b o a t s a n d the i n t r i c a t e s y s t e m o f f e r r i e s , w h i c h a r e m a d e to b e m i s s e d - as t h o u g h m i s s i n g t h e m w e r e a k i n d o f n o s e - t h u m b i n g at the s t r u c t u r e i m p o s e d b y t h e i r s c h e d u l e s . ( I s l a n d s , a f r i e n d s a y s , a re a l l a b o u t h a v i n g a n e x c u s e to m i s s c o n n e c t i o n s . . . . ) T h i s s e p a r a t i o n , as p s y c h o l o g i c a l as i t is p h y s i c a l , has c r e a t e d s i n g u l a r w a y s o f l i f e p u r s u e d b y the s i n g u l a r p e o p l e w h o h a v e c h o s e n to l i v e o n s u c h s i n g u l a r i s l e s . 8 9 B u i l d i n g o n the i d e a tha t ' i s l a n d e r s ' a re s o m e h o w d i f f e r e n t f r o m ' m a i n l a n d e r s ' , t h e y r e p r e s e n t t he G u l f I s l a n d s as a p l a c e i n w h i c h i ts i n h a b i t a n t s c a n i g n o r e s y m b o l s o f s t r u c t u r e s u c h as the f e r r y s e r v i c e ; the G u l f I s l a n d s a re a p l a c e o f e s c a p e f r o m th i s f o r m o f r e g u l a t i o n . R e j e c t i n g m u c h o f w h a t ' the o u t s i d e ' c o n s i d e r s i m p o r t a n t i n r e g u l a t i n g t h e i r l i v e s , i s l a n d e r s c a n i n s t e a d c rea te ' s i n g u l a r w a y s o f l i f e ' w h i c h c a n b e c o n t r a s t e d w i t h n o n - i s l a n d l i v i n g . I n the f o l l o w i n g , I i l l u s t r a t e the w a y s i n w h i c h i n h a b i t a n t s o f t he p a r a d i s i a c a l G u l f I s l a n d s h a v e c r e a t e d ' s i n g u l a r ' l i f e s t y l e s . T h e t w o e x t r a c t s b e l o w r e p r e s e n t the G u l f I s l a n d s as p l a c e s w h e r e ' a l t e r n a t e ' l i f e s t y l e s c a n b e e x p e r i e n c e d , w h e r e s e l f - r e l i a n c e is p a r a m o u n t : T h e r e ' s n o q u e s t i o n - the G u l f I s l a n d s are d i f f e r e n t , s p e c i a l p l a c e s . T h e i r u n i q u e n e s s a t t r ac ted the f i r s t se t t le rs a n d c o n t i n u e s to l u r e i n d i v i d u a l i s t s , b o t h y o u n g a n d o l d , s e e k i n g a n o t h e r w a y o f l i f e . ' I s l a n d c o m m u n i t i e s a re the o r i g i n a l a l t e r n a t i v e s o c i e t i e s , ' J o h n F o w l e s h a s w r i t t e n . ' O f t h e i r n a t u r e t h e y b r e a k d o w n the m u l t i p l e a l i e n a t i o n s o f i n d u s t r i a l a n d s u b u r b a n m a n (sic). S o m e v i s i o n o f Cited in Grescoe and Grescoe (1995) op. cit. Grescoe and Grescoe (1995) op. cit. page 2 90 Utopian belonging, of social blessedness, of an independence based on co-operation, haunts them a l l . ' 9 0 (original emphasis) The population of the Gulf Islands is as unique as the Islands themselves. Census statistics reveal that Gulf Islands residents are generally older, better educated, and earn a lower income than the average British Columbian. This combination of characteristics indicates that Islanders may indeed have a high level of indigenous expertise - a capability or desire to 'do it yourself . 9 1 Islands are also 'simpler' places, where the complex, unresolvable problems of society become replaced with more straightforward, logistical ones. For example, on an episode of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's (CBC) 'Almanac' which was dedicated to British Columbia's Islands, Audrey Grescoe talks of the inconvenience of the ferries, framing inaccessibility as a welcome challenge: I was just saying as we were heading off to get the ferry this morning that it's a a challenge, and it's a challenge that is easily resolved. You succeed usually in getting on the ferry and getting back on the Island but it's a different kind of challenge than we normally face in our -. In our society today we have so many challenges that are unresolvable, things that we can't succeed in doing. So I think that island life offers us this kind of almost primitive challenge that it's very rewarding to succeed.92 This representation of the Gulf Islands as Utopian places of escape, where an 'alternative', 'simpler' and more 'self-sufficient' life can be experienced is also reflected in Galiano Islanders' island discourses. For example, the draft report of the 'Definition of our rural community' task force had the following to stay about Galiano's island identity: Galiano today is delineated more by its island geography that (sic) by any other influence, in fact the circumstances of being 'islanded' here, in the sense of being cut off, sequestered by an encircling moat of sea, is intrinsic to the essence of the place and the lifestyle. We are seekers of solitude, silence and privacy, and our well being cannot be sustained without a measure of isolation. By and large we are passionate in all we do, and never more so than in the protection of our way of life. 9 3 9 0 Murray, P. (1991) "Homesteads and Snug Harbours: The Gulf Islands" Horsdal and Schubart: Ganges, British Columbia 9 1 Master of Natural Resources Management Program Simon Fraser University (1987) op. cit. page 6 9 2 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation "Almanac" with host Celia Walters and guests Paul and Audrey Grescoe, 4th December, 1995 9 3 Definition of our Rural Island Community Task Force ibid, page 3 91 There are clear threads of inaccessibility, simplicity and desire running through this extract. A Galiano interviewee also argued that living on an island could mean a return to a more 'simple' way of life, away from the city: AP : I think it's quite liberating - quite liberating about being cut off and only having certain resources there.94 My father used to like to say he didn't care if there were a ferry strike, he had a very vital garden, he made his own bread, ... you know, Galiano could do quite well without the ferry. J: So its the idea of self-sufficiency? A P : Yes, the pioneer you know, pulling together. Yes there were a lot of those sort of values. I'm not sure that they're real, but there's an idealized view that we can provide for ourselves. Gulf Islands on the Margins: In an article slamming the 1994 Islands Trust Policy Statement, Jamie Lamb of the Vancouver Sun characterized Gulf Islanders in the following manner: years of radio and television have left the country with the idea that Gulf Islanders are all either residual hippies or elderly eccentrics. Never mind the reality, the perception is of a population of flakes that Crisco cooks could envy. 9 5 In stark contrast to earlier representations of Gulf Islanders, they are now being represented as 'eccentrics', 'hippies' and 'flakes'. A similar, although more subtle representation of Gulf Islanders is provided by Carolann Rule: Writers, physicists, farmers; musicians and Jesus freaks; potters, teachers and entrepreneurs; eco-maniacs, expatriates and celebrities - the latest parade of converts to invade the 500-odd Islands that scatter throughout the Strait of Georgia marches to the sometimes irregular beats of 1000 different drummers. And if this group shares nothing else, it seems to have one thing in common: a desire to escape the 'urban', be it in the form of temporary respite from the city crush or as a permanent lifestyle. ... Some Island people come to get away from it all. Others, like the Buddhists who have established a monastery on Saltspring Island hill, come to find it all. And some inevitably lose whatever it is they come for, like the followers of Brother XII. This mountebank started communes on Valdes and De Courcey 9 4 This interview was performed in Vancouver. 9 5 Lamb, J. (1993) "Islands Trust document is ideal habitat for red tape" Vancouver Sun June 23rd, 1993 92 Islands in the 1920s, then mysteriously left his converts behind, absconding with all their money.9 6 Unlike Jamie Lamb, she is not openly derogatory about Gulf Islanders, yet she carefully frames them as 'different' to the rest of us. In addition, she does not suggest that this 'difference' is to be envied as was the case in earlier extracts, but instead gently ridicules them and their lifestyles. Gulf Islanders are portrayed as not very rational, marching to irregular beats of 1000 different drummers and are represented as being socially and culturally marginal, joining monasteries and cults. They are to be contrasted -with a more mainstream, rational urban existence. Being a Gulf Island, Galiano does not escape such treatment. For example, in an editorial in the Vancouver Sun, Pete McMartin begins his commentry of Galiano Island by noting that 'Here's a story about island mentality'. He then criticizes Galiano Islanders for wanting to stop all growth on the Island and wishing to keep the forest lands as a private reserve for themselves. His story ends with the conclusion: And then I'd petition the provincial government to stop subsidizing the ferry to Galiano. Let the Islanders pay their own way, like those of us in the real world have to. 9 7 Unlike other Canadians, Islanders are not in the 'real world' but in some other world of which McMartin can make no sense. Indeed, to some, Galiano epitomizes this reputation of eccentricity. In a focus group discussion on Galiano, one participant commented to me: B X : I would like to commend to you a little bit of extra work for your thesis. You should probably engage on the ferry a group of Penderites and a group of Mayne Islanders and ask them about Galiano (other participants laugh). It would open your eyes dramatically - oh to see yourselves as others see us! Because in fact they regard Galianoites as being really weird. They think we're a world apart because we have a higher proportion of eccentrics on this Island than there 9 6 Rule, C. (1983) "Summer on the Islands" Western Living July 1983 page 25 9 7 McMartin, P. (1996) "Thwarted Galiano property holders should clearcut their lands" Vancouver Sun November 1st 1996 page B l 93 are on the other Islands. That's not to say that there aren't eccentrics there as well! To date, I have dealt with the Gulf Islands in a uniform fashion, illustrating how representations of Galiano reflect their Gulf Island status. However, individual Islands also have their own reputations and legacies over and above their Gulf Island identity. For example,, one Galiano interviewee characterized the Islands in the following manner: A J : I don't know if you know the Islands but Stetson Island is Pender, as they're all from Alberta. Where's the Plumber's Island, where are the Blue Collars, it's Mayne. Where's the artists? Saturna. You know, where's the up and coming businessmen, it's Saltspring. J: What's Galiano? A J : Loggers. It always has been, now it's changing. Indians - Thetis ... poet's -Hornby and let's not talk about Lasqueti, hey? Or Miners - Texada. In this account, Galiano Island is known for its logging. In another account, Galiano is known for its writers: The Islands of the Strait of Georgia appear to offer potential fulfillment for each and every guest, though the observant quickly point out that 'community stereotypes' break down when you look beneath the surface. Still, Galiano has gained a reputation for attracting serious writers. Hornby and Denman have a high proportion of artists and potters. Paisley, a private, group-owned Island with a selective screening process, is a guarded enclave of the wealthy and influential. Bowen attracts suburban commuters with a desire to mix country life with the conveniences (and job opportunities) of the city. Lasqueti residents, on the other hand, want nothing to do with anything remotely urban. 9 8 In addition, with Islands such as Hornby and Lasqueti, Galiano is also renowned for having had a relatively large, back-to-the-land 'hippy' population in the 1960s. More recently, it is known for being one of the most politically divided Gulf Islands.99 Nevertheless, despite the individual reputation of Gulf Islands, as a collective they have been constructed as places which are to be simultaneously 'desired' and 'stigmatized'. They are paradisiacal and enable people to 'escape' earlier existences and begin again, 9 8 Rule (1983) op. cit. page 25 9 9 See for example, Grescoe (1990) op. cit. and the video recording (1994) op. cit. 94 adopting alternate lifestyles. However, islanders are also derided, representing all that mainland Canadians are not. The following exchange between Celia Walters (host) and Paul Grescoe (guest) on the CBC Almanac program neatly sums up my arguments, but from an islander's perspective: CW: When you talked about using the Islands before and visiting with grandchildren, grandparents, how do you feel now when people come to your Island and visit? PG: Well, I think we have mixed emotions. Bo wen is typical in that it has a fairly significant population of people come during the summer and there's a very amusing way the Bowen Islanders register their disapproval of the summer people and it's all done in terrific fun but on Labour Day, the whole afternoon and evening of the last ferries on Labour Day, a group of young men dress up in drag and they sort of in a very clever way hassle the departing people wishing them goodbye until next summer. And then they all, as they get on the ferry, each ferry, they moon them! (laughs).100 Many Bowen Islanders need tourists and summer residents in order to sustain themselves on the Island, and consequently need to uphold the paradisiacal representation of the Island. Yet, simultaneously, some Islanders are playing on their image as Canada's other. Being so close to Vancouver, the rhetoric of 'suburbanization' is rife on Bowen and their mooning the tourists is effectively a 'nose-thumbing' of mainlanders, warning them that Bowen Islanders are not like everyone else, they are 'different' and 'eccentric'. Such rituals serve to police Bowen's borders, maintaining its cultural separatedness from the mainland. As such, they are simultaneously reinforcing and revelling in their reputation as the 'other', whilst being (to some degree) sustained on the Island's Utopian image. 3.8 Summary: In the second half of this chapter, I have attempted to produce a brief introduction to Galiano and the Gulf Islands more generally. Historical aspects, especially Galiano's 1 0 0 CBC Almanac (1995) ibid. 95 OCP and relationship with MacMillan Bloedel are crucial to the understanding of positions taken in later chapters. I then moved on to outline how the Gulf Islands have been portrayed in the popular press. These representations of the Islands are clearly stereotypes, yet they are important not only in shaping the meaning of 'Gulf Islands' and 'Galiano Island' to mainland Canadians, but also in shaping the representations of place circulating on the Islands. In the next chapter I investigate the meaning of 'Galiano' to Galiano Islanders. 96 Chapter 4: Placing Galiano Island Chapter 3 closed with an extract from CBC Almanac in which Paul Grescoe explains how Bowen Islanders 'moon' tourists on Labour Day. This provides an interesting introduction for a consideration of Galiano Islanders' senses of place. As I explained in the last chapter, to mainlanders, Gulf Islanders are represented as being physically, socially and culturally distant from the rest of Canada; Islanders are an envied / stigmatized other. Yet, as was apparent in the CBC quote, some Gulf Islanders represent the mainland, and consequently the 'mainstream', as threatening the Islands; the social and physical distance separating them is shrinking. Unlike Bowen, I have no instances of Galiano Islanders mooning tourists, however, this protest of urban / mainstream encroachment is clearly manifest in a prevalent discourse of place on Galiano, one that constructs the Island as being special, and threatened by all that the urban represents. As a result, Islanders are positioned as stewards, protecting Galiano from these threats. In contrast, a second discourse of Galiano Island is based on a rejection of Galiano's status as 'other' and the Island is recast as being part of the mainland and mainstream. It is argued that Islanders should be able to 'live off their land' or otherwise earn a living without too many regulations. As such, this discourse builds on elements of Galiano's earlier homesteading / logging status in which people were relatively unregulated. This ability to earn a living and live off the land is framed as being threatened by Galiano's status as special and in need of protection and consequently, this discourse repositions Galiano as a part of the mainstream rather than 97 apart from it. 1 In this chapter, I outline how these two representations of Galiano are integral to Islanders' sense of place. Through a discussion of Islanders' senses of Galiano, I intend to provide an empirical discussion of how representations of place embedded in the 'community-based sustainability ideal' are problematic and to suggest an alternate way in which it can be conceptualized. Advocates of the ideal have either ignored the relevance of people's place-identities in shaping place or have essentialized place, assigning it a unitary meaning. This has ensured that they have been unable to capture the discursive realities of place on Galiano and because, as I demonstrate, these have been important in shaping both the politics of place and the resulting visions of sustainability, they have inadequately conceptualized the dynamics shaping place-based communities such as Galiano. Without such an understanding, any vision of community-based sustainability is prone to romanticization and its attainability thus becomes unlikely. Instead, I argue a non-essentialist conception of place enables me to recognize and accept the legitimacy of multiple conceptions of place, and explore how they shape the politics of place and emergent visions of sustainability. This chapter does not, however, claim to identify every sense of place that Islanders have. Nor am I attempting to ascertain all factors shaping their senses of place. Clearly, individuals have multiple senses of place, for example place as a year round home as opposed to a temporary home, as a peopled place versus an empty place for exploration or retreat. My focus is on senses of place which have been important in shaping the politics of place on Galiano. It is these senses of place which have been most important in shaping debates about sustainability on Galiano. 1 Clearly, I am not suggesting that those articulating the former discourse assume jobs are irrelevant and those adopting the latter are against all forms of regulation; such an understanding is far too simplistic. Nevertheless, this is how Galiano is discursively represented. 98 My discussion unfolds as follows. First, I provide a brief rationale for why it is important to investigate people's senses of place. I then introduce a non-essentialist approach to place. Although my focus is on 'Galiano Island' as a place, I want to be sure that 'Galiano Island' is a meaningful place to Islanders2 and I investigate this, arguing that on the whole, Islanders do identify with Galiano. I then move on to the main sections of this chapter which focus on how Islanders represent Galiano. This discussion is mediated through two examples, how Galiano has been 'fixed' in terms of its past and its positioning in relation to the rural-urban distinction. 4.1 Why study place? Agnew and Duncan have identified three different approaches to place; place as 'locale,' 'location,' and 'sense of place.'3 They have been summarized by Burgess and Wood: 'locale' is the physical setting for everyday social interaction; 'location' is the centrality of a place in relation to other places; and 'sense of place' encompasses the identity with place experienced by locals and outsiders' images of place.4 In the following, I will demonstrate how these concepts of place have shaped the development of place studies in the social sciences, and justify my focus on sense of place in this study. 2 A cautionary note must be sounded relating to my use of the term 'Islanders' in my empirical discussions. Clearly, I did not speak with all Islanders and I have already noted that my empirical results are not representative of all Islanders. Yet, I am unable to use the term 'participants' instead because my arguments are also based on 'evidence' from non-participants, through archival research. Whenever the term 'Islanders' is employed, therefore, it must be borne in mind that I am referring to my questionnaire, interview, focus group and archivally-based experiences. 3 Agnew, J. A. and Duncan, J. S. (eds.) (1989) "The power of place: bringing together geographic and sociological imaginations" Unwin Hyman: Boston 4 Burgess, J. and Wood, P. (1988) "Decoding Docklands: Place advertising and decision making strategies of the small firm" in J. Eyles and D. M . Smith (eds.) "Qualitative methods in human geography" Polity Press: Cambridge 99 Throughout the last century and into this one, place has been largely ignored in the social sciences. A chief reason for this is the conflation of place with community, and with the 'eclipse' of community in the nineteenth century, place was also considered obsolete.5 Agnew argues that: Having confused place and community, place has then been defined as characteristic of communal association. The supposed eclipse of community has in turn led to the eclipse of place. Thus has orthodox social science effectively and systematically devalued place as a concept relevant to our time. Its association in the academic mind with parochialism and localism has become so deep-rooted that the idea of place as the structuring or mediating context for social relations seems strange and out of temper with the national-society focus of most contemporary social science.6 However, despite this, in geography at least, coinciding with a renewed interest in community, the study of the region became popular in the 1940s and 50s, the region being conceptualized in the 'locale' tradition. This focus on place via the region was however, short lived. This devaluation of place was renewed in the 1950s and 1960s with the advent of modernization theory and the rise of positivist, nomothetic social science which focused on producing broad, universally applicable laws. Idiographic regional studies were thus rendered obsolete. Nevertheless, place did continue to feature in geography, in the form of 'location' not 'locale', the emphasis being on how places are located in relation to others, such as Christaller's Central Place Theory and Von Thiinen's model. The rise of humanistic geography in the 1970s generated an increased interest in place, in particular, 'sense of place'7 and the emphasis switched to a focus on how people experienced place.8 From these beginnings, the concept of place in all its guises has been widely adopted throughout human geography.9 5 Agnew, J. A. (1989) "The Devaluation of Place in Social Science" in Agnew and Duncan (eds.) op. cit. 9-29 6 Agnew (1989) op. cit. page 16 7 Duncan, J. (1994) in R. J. Johnston, D. Gregory and D. M . Smith "The Dictionary of Human Geography" Blackwell: Oxford 8 See for example, Tuan, Y. F. (1977) "Space and place: The perspective of experience" University of Minnesota Press: Minneapolis; and Relph, E. (1976) "Place and Placelessness" Pion: London 9 For example, sense of place is prevalent in humanistic and cultural geography, whilst place as location is common in economic geography, and more 'traditional' regional geography emphasizes locale. 100 Non-bioregional advocates of the 'community-based sustainability ideal' focus on place as locale, that is, a background setting onto which everyday activities are inscribed. In contrast, bioregionalists focus on sense of place. The latter's notion of place, however, assumes that in a given place, a singular sense of place is produced and this is determined by the characteristics of the place itself. In this study, I too rely on the concept 'sense of place', because it is in this realm that place is actively constructed and negotiated. Yet I reject the essentialist assumption that there is a singular, fixed meaning of place. A n investigation into peoples' senses of place is integral to any study of community-based sustainability because, as Jess and Massey argue, the meaning assigned to place will be an important component shaping its future.10 This process of defining a place's meaning often takes the form of a struggle as people strive to have their interpretation of place define it. One way in which this struggle is frequently manifest is over the right to define a place's past, that is, how it was. Those who can claim that their vision of the past is 'correct' or 'authentic', are often able to justify shaping a place's present as well as its future in the image of its past. For example, May and Jess and Massey comment: Battles over an area's past are therefore of crucial importance in defining a local sense of place. But at issue is not some elusive question of historical authenticity, of whose image of the past is closer to what an area was 'really like.' Rather, it is a question of the material politics articulated by each vision. 1 1 The argument about the future of the place thus rests very much on whose interpretation of the place wins out. In a sense each side is laying claim to how the place should be thought of, how it should be represented - in other words, how it fits our geographical imaginations. ... Moreover such claims are ... frequently based on interpretations not just of the present character of a place but also - and often more importantly - of its past.12 (original emphasis) 1 0 Jess and Massey (1995) op. cit. 1 1 May (1996) op. cit. page 205 1 2 Jess and Massey (1995) op. cit. page 134. Jess and Massey offer these insights in the context of commenting on two case studies they discuss. 101 4.2 A non-essentialist sense of place: In developing a theoretically-grounded approach to place, my discussion is divided into two sections. First, I delineate a non-essentialist conception of place which allows me to recognize that there may be multiple conceptions of place on Galiano rather than it having a singular, unitary meaning. Second, summarizing a debate between David Harvey and Doreen Massey regarding the potential 'progressiveness' of place-identities, I review the prospects of producing not only a non-essentialist, but also a non-exclusionary, non-reactionary vision of place which could be incorporated in any vision of community-based sustainability.13 Massey has produced a non-essentialist conception of place which provides an ideal 'tool' for deconstructing representations of Galiano. She represents place as being constructed - both in terms of the meaning ascribed to it and the boundaries that have been placed around it. She thus questions the very possibility of a 'naturally' bounded place that has an 'authentic' meaning: The anti-essentialist construction of this alternative concept of place immediately problematizes, for instance, any automatic associations with nostalgia and timeless stasis. It underscores the lack of basis for any claims for establishing the authentic character of any particular place. 1 4 Instead, there may be many meanings of place co-existing. None is permanent, but each is continually being negotiated and reworked. By adopting such a vision of place, I am in the position to highlight how Galiano Island has been 'fixed' and bounded. Massey does not stop here, however. Having provided a useful tool for deconstructing place, she goes on to suggest a way in which it can be reformulated. Here she conflicts with Harvey. Although both accept that senses of place are currently important 1 3 By 'reactionary', I mean a sense of place that is nostalgic, romanticizing the past and opposed to any form of change. 1 4 Massey, D. (1994a) op. cit. page 121 102 constituents of subjectivity, they disagree about whether they are necessarily parochial, exclusionary and reactionary. Jon May neatly sums up Harvey's position: processes of globalization may be understood as having led to a dissolution of place and a fragmentation of contemporary identities, leading to a concomitant rise in xenophobia and a reactionary place-bound politics as people search for old certainties and struggle to construct a more stable, or 'bounded' place identity.1 5 Massey agrees that through fixing the meaning of place, notions of place are exclusionary and reactionary and that these representations have been dominant both in society and the academic literature.16 However, she argues that this does not have to be the case and instead advocates the construction of a new vision of place, namely a 'global sense of place,' 1 7 which reworks place in the following ways: The identities of place are always unfixed, contested and multiple. And the particularity of any place is, in these terms, constructed not by placing boundaries around it and defining its identity through counter position to the other which lies beyond, but precisely (in part) through the specificity of the mix of links and interconnections to that 'beyond.' Places viewed this way are open and porous.1 8 (original emphasis) Massey thus argues that place should be conceptualized as extroverted, emphasizing the links with other (global) places, rejecting as essentialist any static, bounded constructs of place. A way of conceptualizing this view is as follows: If one moves in from the satellite towards the globe, holding all those networks of social relations and movements and communications in one's head, then each 'place' can be seen as a particular, unique, point of their intersection. It is, indeed, a meeting place. Instead then of thinking of places as areas with boundaries around, they can be imagined as articulated moments in networks of social relations and understandings, but where a large proportion of those relations, experiences and understandings are constructed on a far larger scale than what we happen to define for that moment as the place itself, whether that be a street, or a region or even a continent. And this in turn allows a sense of place which is extroverted, which includes a consciousness of its links with the 1 5 May (1996) op. cit. 1 6 Massey (1994a) op. cit. 1 7 See Massey, D. (1991a) "The political place of locality studies" Environment and Planning A Vol. 23 267-81 and (1991b) "A global sense of place" Marxism Today 24-9 1 8 Massey (1994a) op. cit. page 5 103 wider world, which integrates in a positive way the global and the local. 1 9 (original emphasis) John May has recently entered into the debate, arguing that from his fieldwork experiences in Hackney, a London Borough, it is still possible to have a reactionary sense of place which is global in outlook: for those in a position of considerable cultural and economic power, it would seem possible to construct a markedly bounded, and thus reactionary, sense of place through a particular vision of those global connections understood as articulated in an ethnically diverse area. Such readings work through a familiar set of racist dualism, suggesting the need to be more careful before automatically connecting a 'global sense of place' to those less exclusionary systems of thought broadly associated with a postmodern epistemology.20 This debate is integral to a consideration of whether it is possible to produce a progressive vision of place-based sustainability, something I develop later in the chapter and in the thesis conclusions. 4.3 Scaling place-identities: When selecting a site for research, Galiano Island is attractive because it was an island, 'a place' with clear physical boundaries, easy for operational conceptualization and definition. However, having created boundaries around place for closure, I want to problematize these boundaries, questioning whether Islanders' identify with Galiano as 'a place'. In chapter 2, I argued that people do not necessarily identify with place at every scale and critiqued bioregionalists for assuming people identify with place at the scale of the bioregion. I now need to challenge this assumption in my own approach to Galiano. 1 9 Massey (1991b) op. cit. page 28 2 0 May (1996) op. cit. page 194 104 M y concern is with Galiano Island, a place constructed at Neil Smith's 'commumty' scale,2 1 namely the site of social reproduction. However, does Galiano feature in Islander's place-identities? Some of my early interview questions attempted to explore interviewees' attachments to Galiano: I asked why they had moved to Galiano Island, if living on the Island met with their expectations and if they would consider leaving the Island. Most participants seemed to feel comfortable answering these questions and provided rich accounts of their attachments to the Island, clearly demonstrating that Galiano does feature in their place-identities. For example, here are three accounts produced by Islanders (two were full-timers and one a weekender22) regarding why they moved to Galiano: BO: I mentioned that I used to come here in my teens to the same old spot where we now have a house and I vowed then and there, because I just loved every part of it, I vowed that when I finished working life I'd move to Galiano. And then we were fortunate enough to buy the same piece of land or part of it in 1970 or '71. We lived there and I used to figure that the very moment I got off that ferry coming from Vancouver and my work, that I was entering Heaven. And when we left, I'm telling you we lived in Richmond at that time, I'd drive down those streets in Richmond and think, 'now I'm in the other place,' you know .... What I was looking for was peace and tranquillity ... and the nature part on Galiano and the fact that it was laid back. I didn't like some parts of the laid back, but I liked the fact that it wasn't like Saltspring and some of the other Islands, well Mayne of course was becoming more and more conservative. But it was pristeen, you might say Galiano. It certainly was to a 16 year old. And it hasn't really changed that much although there has been some growth. A C : Oh, I just fell in love. I drove off the ferry and just thought, god! I'm home. I remember the feeling and you know I was just so drawn, I just felt really at home and I just got really excited and I didn't know why. And the first place I went was up to the Bluffs and it was in March, this time of year. So [there] were a lot of eagles and I went up to the Bluffs and it was spectacular, so beautiful looking down on the you know ... watching the ferries there were eagles all over the place and I just ... I'm a real nature lover and I love wild natural places and I just fell in love. B M : Well, I had a friend that was over there23 and as a 12 or 13 year old I used to spend a lot of time over there and - that's long before Vancouver is as busy as it is. But I saw that it was a unique community, not only geographically or 2 1 Smith is not simply equating community and place but recognizes the complexities of the relationship between the two. Similarly, I only want to loosely connect Galiano with the community scale of place. 2 2 The term 'weekender' is used to denote all part-time residents on Galiano. 2 3 This interview was performed in Vancouver. 105 physically, even as a 13 year old I saw it, but what I thought was more unique was the people who were living there and their lifestyle. That's what impressed me. When I was 13 1 said 'I'm going to buy a place here one day' and when I met my wife when I was 18, I took her over there and before we were married and I said 'do you like it over here?' and if she said 'no', that was the last of it. She loved it over there and we got married 4 years later and the first thing, before we even bought a house, was we bought a piece of property over there. Other comments incorporated perhaps a less romantic impression of Galiano Island and interviewees justified their move onto the Island on the grounds that property was cheap at the time, it was the first stop on the ferry from Vancouver, or they had inherited property on the Island. However, these accounts were generally combined with a description of how they were drawn to the beauty of the Island or the lifestyle it afforded, in short, most interviewees do identify with Galiano Island as a place. However, a few interviewees resisted my question focus on Galiano Island by inciting different spatial scales, frequently the scale Smith coins 'home', the site of personal and familial reproduction, or place at the scale of the Gulf Islands. Many of these people were weekenders who maintained strong social ties in the city, suggesting that Galiano does not feature strongly in their place-identities. For example, the following is an extract from a weekender who is a professional who clearly identifies strongly with her property on Galiano: J: So you've never considered leaving Galiano and moving to Saltspring, the Sunshine Coast? CQ: Not a chance, not a chance. I feel very strongly that we are the stewards of the property as opposed to the owners. It 'll stay in the family and I don't see it as an asset in the sense of it being a financial asset, I see it as a place that I feel an enormous responsibility to. So no, not a chance (laughs). Later in the interview, whilst trying to clarify a point I had not quite understood, I once again try to elicit a connection with Galiano Island: J: Why do you think there's value in the protecting and preserving of the Island because you were just saying that you didn't think it needed to be an ecological reserve. What is it that -CQ: Well that's the Island. I'm talking about the Gulf Islands in general and seeing some value in them having special status to look at birds, colonies and you know special places to put aside marine parks, that sort of thing in general. 106 I don't think just Galiano is so special but I think the bigger picture of all of the Islands that there's a real merit to think hey, you know, there's places here that [are] special. Clearly, her property and the Gulf Islands more broadly have meaning to her, but Galiano remains relatively devoid of significance. Similarly, Galiano was missing from the following accounts of another weekender who is a professional: J: What characteristics about Galiano Island were attractive to you? B N : Well Galiano was not - just as long as we were in the Gulf Islands. I don't know, all together it's you know, anybody - young people kind of looking for a place to go to nest kind of thing. It's nice, nice there24 you know, the rain shadow effect of Vancouver Island, the climate's just kind of - and there's an ambiance about it that's not quite like here. So after having gone over there -and as I say Galiano is just one of the Islands, except Valdes and some of the others, it's the least developed I guess, ... and affordable. In addition: J: What do you like to do when you go over there? B N : Actually the times I go over there I'm always usually puttering around you know. I've had a cabin there for years and there's always something for me to do. And so it's - I guess the typical weekend would be over there on Friday nights and getting set up and get the hot water tank going and one thing and another Saturday morning. And light up the old wooden stove which we have over there and work around the place in the morning and the kids - we have to go up and across the Island to the Gulf side to a place called pebble beach and the kids will all go over there for a swim or whatever and do that kind of thing you know. This man chose to live in the Gulf Islands, not Galiano in particular and his place-identity centres on the home and family. Having ascertained that on the whole, Galiano does feature in Islanders' place-identities I will now begin to investigate the Islanders' senses of place. There were two important ways in which Islanders attempted to 'fix' Galiano. First, they would attempt to define what Galiano is or should be through claims to what it was like in the past. Second, by positioning Galiano in relation to the rural-urban distinction, certain activities were constructed as 'appropriate' to Galiano, whilst others were deemed 'inappropriate'. This interview was conducted in Vancouver. 107 Needless to say, Galiano's past as well as its position in relation to the rural-urban distinction are contested on the Island as Islanders struggle to define what Galiano was, is, and by inference, should be. I explore these two areas of contestation and then argue that two discursively produced senses of Galiano can be drawn from these discussions. The first constructs Galiano as a 'special' place, threatened by urbanism and in need of environmental protection by its inhabitants. Second, Galiano is recast as a place very like any other where people should be able to live on their land and earn a living without being 'unduly regulated'. This lifestyle is considered to be under threat. 4.4 Contesting Galiano's past: In the following, I explore Islanders' senses of place by providing three illustrations of how Galiano's past has (to different degrees) contested interpretations. In the first instance, I focus on claims and counter claims regarding Galiano's environmental history through an illustration of the existence of fish in Galiano's streams. I argue that through claims as to what happened in the past, Islanders are contesting who should be charged with the stewardship of Galiano's natural environment. Second, through discussing representations of the lifestyles of 'old-timers' on the Island, I highlight differing images of what lifestyle is deemed 'appropriate' on the Island. Finally, I focus much more recently on the specific case of MacMillan Bloedel's departure from Galiano by highlighting the different explanations given for their departure. Islanders are effectively disputing the appropriateness of MacMillan Bloedel on the Island. Throughout, my purpose is certainly not to argue that some representations are more correct than others - far from it. Instead, I am interested in why people have selected certain facts or interpretations for use in their accounts of Galiano over others. I suggest that their representations reflect their sense of place. Were there fish in the streams ? A n old-timer on Galiano told me in an interview that an 'environmentalist' relative of his claimed that there used to be fish in some of Galiano's streams in which today there are no longer any. The interviewee, who clearly did not identify with being an environmentalist, contested this claim, arguing that he did not remember there ever being fish in these streams. Similarly, a recent exchange in Galiano's Active Page caught my attention. A n Islander wrote of the efforts of some residents to clean up Greig Creek which flows from Laughlin Lake into Retreat Cove on the Island. Their efforts were supported by a grant from the Capital Regional District. Here is an extract from the article: A few years ago, representatives of the Island Stream and Salmon Enhancement Society identified [Greig Creek] as a former coho stream, and believed that it could be made viable again. However, at that time it was contaminated with material; an old engine block, roofing material, greasy and rusting steel cables, large chunks of cement, and other detritus blocked much of the water flow at the mouth of the creek. A great deal of this material was a remnant of logging in a less environmentally conscious age.25 This report was, however, contested by a long-time resident who grew up close to Greig Creek. She positions herself as follows: May I, through your paper give a different version and more accurate information on this creek, as I notice that the latecomers to the Island usually speak out before they do proper research. Therefore, without a degree in Salmon Enhancement, or a government grant, or from any scientific study, maybe I will be able to relate a bit more information from the 'best teacher' -experience and observation.26 She challenges two aspects of the initial account; the fact that the stream ever had salmon in it, and the blaming of loggers: This creek, along with many others on the Island, never had salmon in them, furthermore, Laughlin Lake is not a natural lake. 2 7 (original emphasis) 2 5 The Active Page "The Great Greig Creek Clean Up" November 1996 page 38 2 6 The Active Page Letters to the Editor December / January 1996/7 page 30 2 7 The Active Page (1996/7) ibid, page 30 109 Also, I wonder, was it a proven fact that some of the debris, our heroes cleaned out of the creek, that it was remnants of the logging days at Retreat Cove; there was no mention of it being from any other source, maybe it came from the salterys that used to be in the Cove, or even from the farmers of decades ago who used cables etc., to clear their land. I was also told it probably came from local neighbours as there were tin cans etc., as well; you know, the environmentally conscious type.2 8 What I see running through this exchange is a contestation as to whose story of the past is most credible. By having the power to define events of the past, Islanders are able to justify what should occur in the present and the future. This contestation is articulated in two interrelated ways, first in relation to whose 'voice' is most credible and second, as to which account rings most true. Both writers claim 'warranting voice' in their accounts. 'Warranting voice' is a term coined by Gergen and involves us constructing ourselves in a way that gives our version of events some validity and legitimacy.2 9 The credibility of the first writer comes from the fact that the project she was involved in received a government grant and, more importantly, that the clean-up group can be situated as being members of the environmentally conscious age. The second writer is well aware that she cannot make these claims and so inverts the categories, dismissing the above credentials, even charging 'environmentally conscious types' with potentially contributing to the stream pollution. Instead, she claims the right to speak through being an 'authentic' local. Her claim to voice is enhanced by the labelling of the first writer as a 'latecomer'. As I discuss in chapter 5, discourses of 'newcomer' on Galiano dismiss newcomers as inauthentic islanders, hence undermining any claims produced by people who have been labelled as such. The first writer frames the stream as having once been more natural because it contained salmon, but due to insensitive treatment by people such as loggers this is no 2 8 The Active Page (1996/7) ibid, page 30 2 9 See Potter, J. and Wetherell, M . (1987) "Discourse and Social Psychology: Beyond Attitudes and Behaviour" Sage: London l longer the case. The stream is in need of restoration by environmentally conscious Islanders. Implicit is the assumption that in the past, Islanders (several of whom were loggers) failed to protect the streams and therefore it is up to groups such as the one described to protect and restock the stream. In contrast, the woman who challenges this reading is effectively contesting the view that in the past, Islanders mismanaged the Island. Instead, she argues that there were never any salmon in the stream and hence no salmon protection was necessary and so they have not failed in their duty. Similarly, she is denying the necessary link between junk in the stream and loggers, again distancing Islanders in the past from mismanagement. Instead, the onus is thrown back on the 'environmentally conscious type', framed as 'newcomers', who are accused of having potentially polluted the streams. As such, Galiano is constructed as having been managed well enough in the past and it is newcomers who have come to the Island with their 'inappropriate' or 'incorrect' vision of it who have disrupted things. In each account, the Islanders are attempting to produce an authentic account of Galiano's past. Implicit in each is a normative assertion as to how Galiano's natural environment should be managed in the present and in the future. Either it has been mis-managed and needs to be actively protected and reinhabitated by those who are environmentally concerned, or it has been managed adequately and therefore such actions are misplaced. Were 'old-timer' lifestyles appropriate to Galiano Island? In my second illustration, I focus on accounts of the past lifestyles of old-timers in order to develop a sense of the kind of lifestyles deemed to be 'appropriate' on the Island today. Unlike the first illustration, the conflict is not over the 'facts' of the past. A l l would agree, I suspect, that Galiano was to some degree a frontier society, characterized by homesteading in the context of relatively few rules and regulations. What is contested, however is the value to be placed on such a society. Should Galiano still be a place in which Islanders homestead and otherwise eke out a living from the land in the context of few regulations? Or alternatively, should this lifestyle be rejected as inappropriate and instead a more regulated but environmentally and socially sensitive lifestyle be advocated? In the following, a retired professional resident argues for the latter position whilst describing to me Islander resistance to the Islands Trust Act of 1974: A V : Oh it was very fierce when it first came in. I think when you - here as a community, we come here and there's no regulation of any sort and we discovered some really wild accommodation of conflict of interest. It's just shocking when you come from an urban area and a few old families who own lots of land chopped it up into 1/4 acre lots when they felt like it, built sub-standard housing when they felt like it, rented it to the kids and then bitched to the kids. ... And you know, just all sorts of stuff that was not at all regulated and that's the way the Islanders liked it, that's why they live here, they don't want anyone telling them what to do. So the minute you get any kind of regulatory body there's going to be enormous resistance, 'don't tell me how to build my house' 'don't tell me how to -' and a lot of these guys were land poor meaning they were hanging on to land expecting the boom and their idea was to - when the time came and people really wanted places, to do what they've done on Mayne which is just divide up the shoreline on 1/4 acre lots. And to have people come along who haven't lived here all their lives and haven't owned property for years and years, suddenly taking it away, their grandchildren's inheritance as far as their concerned, they were going to be rich, really rich and so they stood to lose quite a bit. And their notion of how to solve a financial problem was to cut down the trees and I can remember one conversation, not very long after we got here, it was an old fellow, ... and somebody was interviewing him and he'd lived here all his life, he was an old man and he said that 'these young people have very peculiar notions' and the [interviewer] said 'well give me an example?' and he said 'well, for one thing, they plant trees!' And [the interviewer] said 'have you got anything against trees?' and he said 'not if they're not on my property' and I suddenly got a vision of people coming to the densely wooded places and have to cut down trees in order to build a house, have to cut down trees in order to have a garden and fight these huge stumps and fight the encroachment. This interviewee finds this culture and lifestyle fascinating, but difficult to understand, and is shocked by such environmental and social behaviour. In contrast, a crafts / manual old-timer on the Island who wished not to be taped commented that in the past Islanders were poor but hardworking on their farms in an 112 attempt to carve out a livelihood. He, however, complained of newcomers coming to the Island and passing regulations and claiming that they 'know best' as to what is good for the Island. His counter-claim is that the old-timers had always managed the Island perfectly well. Clearly, he takes the counter position, that everything was well on the Island until newcomers interfered, pushing rules and regulations. His position is largely supported by the following interviewee who is a service-provider: BE: The '60s was the biggest change over of Galiano from the old-timers, residential old-timers to the invaders, the city people. The retirees. The 60s was the era. J: So what is the difference between the old-timers and the newcomers? BE: Well it's like the west and the east. There's two different characters The so-called wild west was this spirit, the new spirit of the world and it became almost a mythology in many ways. But the wild west or the west required a character who could depend on himself (sic.).' Entirely on himself and also he would have to take a position that he would only rule within his domain and his noble neighbour would have his domain. If there was a fight, it was only among the two. They didn't make a national kind of a thing about it. That's how everybody fights everything. Now eastern people or the city people works opposite to them. They always gang up together like back alley fighters and then beat the hell out of the one. It's called a democratic system.30 . . . . Galiano changed then, all old-timers then died off or retired or sold-out. One way or the other they are gone just like everybody else does. And it's become the gradual haven of retirees .... Most of them had a job and a good pension so they have a different security than the old-timers that had to go and cut a tree down or whatever it was, had to dig it out of the land to survive. These people came now with their idea of their tradition that survival is what we earn through an institutionalized life, like the professors, teachers, whatever ... and therefore their view of nature was quite different. As discussed in chapter 3, to this interviewee, the west is a place of 'escape' from the more rigid social / political controls of the east. Although I suspect extremely few Islanders would advocate an exact return to this particular set up, the different accounts highlight contrasting senses of place. To the first interviewee, Galiano is to be distanced from this particular past. It is almost to be laughed at as ridiculous, Galiano has progressed, and its inhabitants are more 3 0 Here this interviewee is referring to rules and regulations. This interviewee's comments regarding regulations and the 'democratic system' were unusual amongst people I encountered and very few people would have represented regulations in such a strongly negative way. 113 'enlightened'. The other speakers, however, hearken back to a time when Islanders routinely 'lived off the land' and regulations were few and far between. To a degree, this lifestyle is constructed as being more authentically Galiano and is under threat from 'newcomers'. Why did MacMillan Bloedel leave Galiano ? My final illustration involves taking a small step back into the immediate past, to 1991, when MacMillan Bloedel, the owner of 56% of Galiano Island began selling off its land holdings on the Island. This, understandably, was an extremely significant and upsetting event to Islanders and although I rarely raised this topic in interviews, it was frequently referenced. I outlined this event in chapter 3 and here my purpose is to use people's recollections and representations of why this event occurred as a way of evoking their senses of place. Broadly, two accounts were given for why MacMillan Bloedel withdrew from Galiano Island. The first evokes an image of Islanders living in relative harmony with MacMillan Bloedel, locals enjoying access to the MacMillan Bloedel lands to wander on, the fire protection they offered as well as use of the garbage dump. In this account, it is newcomer 'environmentalists' who disrupt this by moving on to the Island and 'forcing' MacMillan Bloedel to leave due to their 'unreasonable demands'. In this account, MacMillan Bloedel is frequently described as being a 'good corporate citizen' and a 'good neighbour'. The following two extracts from interviews with a retired weekender followed by a retired couple3 1 illustrate how the Island was considered to be relatively peaceful until 3 1 When the participant's full-time / weekender status is not mentioned, it is to be assumed they are full-time residents. 114 the newcomers came. In the first example, the interviewee is talking about animosities existing on the Island: A M : So this was a wonderful community on the Island and M B again, old pumper trucks would be donated to the community fire hall and it was relatively peaceful. The animosities were between neighbours, not on a major scale. J: What was it that really made the animosities come out? A M : Well basically it was the newcomers taking upon themselves to attack MB' s logging practices. A Y : So [MacMillan Bloedel being on the Island] was a wonderful benefit for the Island and the perimeter and the [coast] were there for people to use and enjoy and the inside was there for non-Island people to enjoy because there was free access. Now that disappeared you see when the company were driven off the Island by the overzealous environmentalists. J: So the big mistake, as far as you see it was MacMillan Bloedel's - basically, the land being sold in the first place? A Y : The biggest mistake was when the company tried so hard to introduce a plan that was limited development ... it was turned down, it was laughed at. That was the biggest mistake, but that was history you see. You see, I'm inclined to believe in the company and [BB's] inclined to believe in the company but many of these people around here are not. BB: A lot of the newer people. You find that the older - longer term people here were happy with MacMillan Bloedel, the new people aren't. A third extract, a letter from Galiano Ratepayers Association to the Islands Trust, provides a fairly typical description of why MacMillan Bloedel left according to this account: A happy and congenial relationship existed between the Company and residents of the Island. MacMillan Bloedel Ltd. provided us with fire fighting equipment at their own expense, provided us with forest fire protection patrols, ... provided a source of inexpensive fire wood, provided a garbage dump (free of charge), and many other friendly acts of value. Also, because of the large M B holding, residential and commercial development was kept to a minimum. We really had it good, until the members of the Conservancy32 (Clear Cut Alternatives) and the F L U C 3 3 organization appeared on the scene, took over, and threw it all away. We believe that they meant well, but they just seemed to be unable to listen to reason, or the concerns of others, and the Community, as a whole, was given no chance to vote on the issues. During the initial stages of the Conservancy (CCA 3 4 ) - F L U C onslaught, MacMillan Bloedel Ltd tried to be conciliatory, tried to find a way to live with these people, but every time the Company gave ground they were confronted 3 2 They are referring to the Galiano Conservancy Association who I discuss in chapter 3. 3 3 This refers to the Forest and Land Use Council. 3 4 CCA stands for Clear-Cut Alternatives, which is the organization which preceded the Galiano Conservancy Association. 115 with a new list of demands. Finally, the Company realized that it was hopeless and withdrew its land (owned in fee simple) from tree farm operations and put it up for sale.3 5 Rather unusually in this account, it is members of the Galiano Conservancy Association and the Forest and Land Use Council rather then newcomers who are blamed for driving MacMillan Bloedel away. However, because the former are often labelled 'newcomers' by advocates of this position, the discrepancy is not very important. The alternative account of why MacMillan Bloedel pulled out from Galiano Island is quite different. Here are extracts from focus group C 3 6 and an interview with a weekender who is a professional: DQ: I think one of the great things about being sued is that you get to read their documents and 2000 pages37 of stuff from M B reveals an enormous amount about the psychology and the purposes of the company and it's ever so clear, absolutely crystal clear that MB's plan, the system implemented in another commumty, the Sunshine Coast is to accelerate logging and when people start to express concern, say 'well, if you won't let us log, then you got to let us develop.' And they've done this blatantly, in black and white memos to planning officers. You know, 'don't trash bylaws they're going to inhibit our logging.' BP: And the discussion that we heard about the developers can wait, they can choose their timing is exactly what happened. B M : They cut at the south end, right along the road as you know by the, where the old garbage dump was, and going up there, simply to tick people off on the Island and get people's backs up. And then they said 'oh, you don't like our logging practices, fine, if that's your position we're going to sell our land' and then they said the people chased them off. They made stupid statements such as 'they wanted us to log with horses', I'm sure you've heard that one,' they wanted us to do this, they wanted us to do that', they goaded us into a fight, it's like a kid goading his (sic.) father into a fight by simply you know, taking ridiculous positions. Unlike the first account, the relationship between 'the company' and Islanders is not represented as having been harmonious in the years preceding MacMillan Bloedel's 3 5 Letter from the Galiano Ratepayers Association to the Members of the Islands Trust Council "Subject: Response of the Galiano Ratepayers Association to the request from the Islands Trust of May 29, 1992, for input into the development of Trust Policy regarding Galiano Island" 22nd June, 1992 page 2 3 6 To protect confidentiality, the focus groups are not labelled in the order that they occurred. 3 7 MacMillan Bloedel sued the Galiano Island trustees and the Galiano Conservancy Association. The trustees, as well as any members of the Galiano Conservancy Association had access to this documentation. 116 departure. It is argued that MacMillan Bloedel had always planned to develop Galiano Island (either directly with a partner or through selling the land) and as a result they stepped up logging on the Island to make it intolerable for Islanders. Islanders subsequently reacted by setting up the Forest and Land Use Council, but they were powerless to stop MacMillan Bloedel selling the land. Two senses of place can be teased out from these representations. In the first account, Islanders' sense of Galiano includes 'the company', along with the lifestyles it affords. MacMillan Bloedel was a 'good neighbour' and provided many services to Islanders; they are sorely missed. The agents who disrupted this picture were newcomers who brought their more 'environmentalist' sense of place to the Island and chased MacMillan Bloedel away. The newcomers are therefore considered to be interlopers who have imposed themselves onto Galiano. In contrast, Islanders who articulated the second account of why MacMillan Bloedel left the Island, have a different sense of place. MacMillan Bloedel is not seen as a part of Galiano, but apart from it, threatening all that is to be prized on the Island. As such, there is no place for a company that has large-scale development aspirations on the Island. Two very different senses of place emerge from these three illustrations. In the first, it is assumed that Galiano Island is not in need of any special environmental protection over and above what was provided in the past and by MacMillan Bloedel. Indeed, everything worked relatively well until 'disruptive newcomers' arrived with an alternative sense of place. The alternative position is that Galiano Island is in need of protection from loggers and others who did damage in the past, and from MacMillan Bloedel's more recent callous treatment of the Island. Instead, those who construct Galiano in this light strive to protect the Island from further degradation and to restore it to (or as close to) its former 'natural' condition as possible. 117 These representations of place are not simply apolitical descriptors, but are clearly highly contested; they are crucial in producing the contours of Island politics as well as shaping Galiano's future. Non-bioregionalist advocates of the ideal are unable to capture any of this because to them, place is a background, 'dead' variable which is not important in shaping the vision of sustainability adopted in place-based communities. Similarly, the bioregionalists' approach frames representations of place as singular and uncontested and hence, is unable to capture the multiple, contested responses to place highlighted here. 4.5 Galiano: rural or urban? The second theme that I wish to consider is that of the rural-urban distinction. Raymond Williams, and more recently, both Bell and Hummon have highlighted how the rural-urban distinction has become an important source of motivation, legitimation, understanding and identity in the Anglo-American world. 3 8 This is no less the case on Galiano Island, where Islanders identify themselves as living in a "rural island community" in their 1995 Official Community Plan. 3 9 A l l this suggests that the rural-urban distinction is likely to be an important source of Islanders' place-identities and so may be an instructive topic in which to explore their senses of place. 4 0 My approach to the 'rural' is as a social construct41 which strips it of any essential meaning and accepts that there are a plurality of rurals, each of which naturalize a 3 8 Williams, R. (1973) "Country and the City" Chatto and Windus: London; Bell, M . M . (1992) "The Fruit of Difference: The Rural-Urban Continuum as a System of Identity" Rural Sociology Vol. 57 No. 1 65-82; and Hummon, D! M . (1990) "Commonplaces: Community Ideology and Identity in American Culture" SUNY Press: New York 3 9 Galiano Island Official Community Plan (1995) op. cit. 4 0 The concept 'community' is dealt with in the next chapter, whilst 'Island' was discussed in the last. I had intended to talk about Islands here, but surprisingly, Tslandness' was a very weak feature of Islanders' sense of place. 4 1 Many writers have adopted such a perspective on the rural. See, for example: Cloke, P. and Davies, L. (1992) "Deprivation and Lifestyles in Rural Wales, 1. Towards a Cultural Dimension" Journal of 118 different social relation.4 2 Such a position makes it possible to conceptualize how 'rural' (as a signifier) has detached from its referent (the rural locality). Hence 'rural' is decoupled from countryside and as a counterpoint, 'urban' from city. Mormont illustrates this point by arguing that in Britain at least, the countryside can be considered to be urban: The countryside is urban space so far as it belongs to an urban network, is used by an urban population (commuters, second home owners, or tourists) and is often managed by urban institutions or agendas.43 Mormont argues that rural researchers should: start from the hypothesis that the rural-urban opposition is socially constructed and that the rural exists primarily as a representation serving to analyze both the social and space - or rather to analyze the social while defining space - borne and interpreted by social agents. The fact that it is a constructed representation and not an ascertained reality does not deplete a sociology of the rural of subject. Its subject may be defined as the set of processes through which agents construct a vision of the rural suited to their circumstances, define themselves in relation to prevailing social cleavages, and thereby find identity, and through identity, make common cause.44 In my discussion, I use Mormont's suggested approach to investigate how Galiano Island has been positioned in relation to the rural-urban opposition and how this shapes Islanders' place-identities. However, I first need to look at what Islanders mean by the terms 'rural' and 'urban', I argue that it is the pastoral myth that gives meaning to both terms. Rural Studies Vol. 8 No. 4 349-58; Cloke, P., Doel, M . , Matless, D. Phillips, M . and Thrift, N . (1994) "Writing the Rural: Five Cultural Geographies" Paul Chapman: London; Halfacree, K. H. (1993) "Locality and Social Representation: Space, Discourse and Alternative Definitions of the Rural" Journal of Rural Studies Vol. 9 No .1 23-37; (1995) "Talking about Rurality: Social Representations of the Rural as Expressed by Residents of Six English Parishes" Journal of Rural Studies Vol. 11 No. 1 1-20; (1996) "Out of Place in the Country: Travellers and the 'Rural Idyll" Antipode Vol. 28 No. 1 42-72; Pratt, A. C. (1996) "Discourses of Rurality: Loose Talk or Social Struggle?" Journal of Rural Studies Vol. 12 No. 1 69-78; Mormont, M . (1987) "Rural Nature and Urban Natures" Sociologia Ruralis Vol. 27 No. 13-20; and (1990) "Who is Rural? Or, How to be Rural: Towards a Sociology of the Rural" in Rural Restructuring: Global Processes and Their Responses T. Marsden, P. Lowe and S. Whatmore (eds.) David Fulton Publishers: London 4 2 Pratt (1996) op. cit. 4 3 Mormont (1987) op. cit. page 17 4 4 Mormont (1990) op. cit. page 41 119 4.5.1 The pastoral myth: In a recent study of constructions of the rural in six English villages, Keith Halfacree argued that participants' conceptualizations of the rural reflected the values incorporated in the 'rural i dy l l ' . 4 5 The 'rural idyll' is deemed to have developed from the pastoral myth 4 6 which was originated by Theocritus in Ancient Greece between 300 and 310 B C . 4 7 The idyll represents an idealized countryside, as John Short comments: For the past four hundred years the idealized countryside has been contrasted with the rise of the city and the power of the market. The two are often joined in the contrasting image of the evil city dominated by the love of money, a moral cesspit to be contrasted with the fresh air, moral purity and good life of the country.4 8 Accordingly, the countryside is pictured as a less-hurried lifestyle where people follow the seasons rather than the stock market, where they have more time for one another and exist in a more organic community where people have a place and an authentic role. The countryside has become the refuge from modernity.49 There are two strands to this myth, first the countryside represents harmony between nature and humankind and the locus of human fulfillment,50 and second, there is an anti-urban sentiment where the urban represents all that is undesirable in society. 4 5 Halfacree (1995) op. cit. 4 6 The literature uses different terminology when referring to this myth. In Britain only, the term 'rural idyll' is often used whilst in North America the term 'myth of the garden' and 'agrarianism' are often found. Terms such as 'pastoral myth' and 'countryside ideal' are commonly found on both sides of the Atlantic. Here, I will use the term 'rural idyll' when referring to the British version of the myth and 'pastoral myth' for the North American version. 4 7 Short, J. R. (1991) "Imagined Country: Society, Culture and Environment" Routledge: London and New York 4 8 Short (1991) ibid, page 31 4 9 Short (1991) ibid, page 34 5 0 Bunce, M . (1994) "The Countryside Ideal: Anglo-American Images of Landscape" Routledge: New York and London 120 Although the pastoral myth originated in Europe it is also prevalent in North America. 5 1 There are distinct differences however, in the meaning encapsulated in this myth on the two continents as Bunce explains: We must also recognize, however, that the ways in which the countryside has come to be idealized are directly related to the processes and values which have forged its physical and cultural landscape. This is clearly illustrated in the differences between the countryside ideals of Britain and North America. While, ... they are tied together by similar philosophical threads, and while there are strong parallels in the manner of their cultural expression, the British and North American ideals are also founded on somewhat different perceptions of their respective countrysides.52 He goes on to argue that in Britain, the rural is valued primarily as a landscape aesthetic however, in North America, the rural is idealized as a utilitarian landscape, conjuring up the ideal of the simple, frugal, self-reliant farmer carving a living out of the wilderness. In their 1960s study of 'Springdale', Vidich and Bensman pick up on these characteristics when describing how small town America is constructed by the mass media. 5 3 They talk of how the media frames the rural in the image of the strong, self-reliant capable farmer, richly warm rural community life and the religious, moral and upright community dweller. Similarly, I would argue that the pastoral myth provides a broad set of images from which the rural has been constructed by Galiano Islanders. In interview discussions, I frequently asked Islanders a question which was worded along the following lines, "In your questionnaire response, you indicated that Galiano 5 1 For example, Howarth and Marx have traced the development of the pastoral myth in North American literature whilst Machor and Donaldson have highlighted the role of the myth in the creation of the North American city and suburbs and Short, Marx and Bunce have documented its incorporation in Thomas Jefferson's American Dream. Howarth, W. (1995) "Land and World: American Pastoral" in E. N . Castle (ed) "The Changing American Countryside: Rural People and Places" University Press of Kansas: Kansas 13-35; Marx, L. (1967) "The Machine in the Garden: Technology and the Pastoral Ideal in America" Galaxy: New York; Machor, J. L. (1987) "Pastoral Cities: Urban Ideals and the Symbolic Landscape of America" The University of Wisconsin Press: Madison; Donaldson, S. (1969) "The Suburban Myth" Columbia University Press: New York and London; Short (1991) op. cit.; and Bunce (1994) op. cit. 5 2 Bunce (1994) op. cit. page 34 5 3 Vidich, A. J. and Bensman, J. (1968) "Small Town in Mass Society: Class, Power, Religion in a Rural Community" Princeton University Press: Princeton 121 Island was rural and I wondered if you could tell me what characteristics you think of when you use that term." My aim was to try and attain a relatively abstracted definition of the rural, 5 4 something which was easier to pursue in interviews than in the questionnaire. The most common response was that rural meant few services. In addition, rural was associated with forests, open space, farmland, quiet and a low density population. A self-reliant lifestyle was also strongly associated with the rural as was neighbourliness, simplicity and privacy. Finally, some simply responded that rural meant 'not the city'. To illustrate how representations of the rural were put together in interviews I have included three diverse extracts in which respondents (the first and third are weekenders) describe what rural means to them: A P : (Pause) Fields - you know, open fields like the Rees' farm in the middle of the Island. That pasture land such as it is on the way up to the Bluffs. Um, lack of buildings, rural is not a lot of stores - where you do have stores they're clustered, in a village. I'm not sure you would call Sturdies Bay a village! 5 5 Um a lot of open space. DS: Um (pause), the opposite - everything different from the city, lack of people, lack of resources, lack of roads, more flora and fauna, less asphalt, less noise. It's sort of the antithesis of what you think of in the city, that's what rural means to me. AJ : Well, it's like when I was a kid, it's um, rural is I guess is where you kind of, you had your own vegetable garden and your neighbours took care of each other, you didn't lock the door, ur - what's rural? I don't know, it's not like this place. 5 6 The first extract highlights the biophysical aspects of the rural and this man's conception of it is clearly tightly bound with his views of Galiano Island. In the second quote, the respondent simply defines rural as not city. Finally, the third respondent invokes a vision of his childhood, suggesting that the authentic rural is a feature of the past. In all three extracts, elements of the pastoral myth are evident. Although no one individual reeled off the entire list of characteristics associated with the pastoral myth, 5 4 I say relatively because clearly interviewees were asked this question within the context of a discussion concerning Galiano Island. As a result, responses tended to have a local flavour to them. 5 5 Sturdies Bay is the area on Galiano around the main ferry terminal (see figure 3.1). 5 6 This interview was conducted in Vancouver. 122 they would usually invoke three or four characteristics which reflected the pastoral myth. Cloke and Milbourne have talked about how the rural is constructed at various scales, and, in a Welsh study, they equate the rural idyll with the national scale but argue that there are also regional and local interpretations of the rural. 5 7 Similarly, I wondered how Galiano Islanders reconciled the pastoral myth, something which was imagined for a New England, Mid-Western or Eastern Canadian landscape, with the realities of Galiano Island. After all, Galiano is an Island, heavily treed with limited agricultural and pasture land. Interestingly, the discrepancy was often not considered and most respondents declared Galiano to be rural because it met with other characteristics of the pastoral myth such as simplicity and frugality. Indeed, building on my arguments in chapter 3, being located in 'the West' of North America, Galiano perhaps meets these characteristics more readily than their Eastern counterparts. Some Islanders, however, argued that Galiano was not purely rural precisely because it had few farms, thereby not meeting the requirements of the pastoral myth. In contrast, a few reworked the meaning of rural so that Galiano could be considered rural. They would either work 'treed landscape' or 'ocean' into their definitions of rural or would note that they were talking about Galiano being 'west coast rural' rather than, for example, 'prairie rural'. Therefore, to a degree, the local meaning of rural was reworked by Islanders. 4.5.2 Positioning Galiano Island within the pastoral myth: In my questionnaire, I asked respondents whether they thought Galiano Island was "Rural," "Urban," or "Neither" rural nor urban. 137 people (82%) indicated that they considered Galiano Island to be rural, one person thought it was urban and 28 people (17%) indicated it was neither urban nor rural (and one person did not respond to this 5 7 Cloke, P. and Milbourne, P. (1992) "Deprivation and Lifestyles in Rural Wales - II. Rurality and the Cultural Dimension" Journal of Rural Studies Vol. 8 No. 4 359-371 question). Respondents were then asked in the questionnaire to explain their response. In interviews, I then explored these issues further by asking interviewees why they had chosen to move to Galiano; whether living there met with their expectations; why they thought Galiano was rural (or not); whether they had lived in rural places before; whether Galiano was typically rural; and their views on urban living. The purpose of this questioning was to ascertain how Islanders positioned Galiano Island in relation to the rural-urban dualism embedded in the pastoral myth. In the following, I want to demonstrate that Galiano was positioned in relation to the pastoral myth in three distinct ways on the basis of what Galiano is, and what it ought to be. First, Galiano was positioned as a rural place and contrasted with urban places.5 8 Second, Galiano was considered to be not purely rural, because it did not measure up to the ideals embodied in the pastoral myth and instead was considered to be a mixture of the rural and the urban. Finally, proponents of a third account considered that Galiano ought to be rural, but argued that it was under threat from urban influences. I then illustrate how these discourses of the urban-rural reflect Islanders representations of place. Galiano as Rural: In the first account, Galiano Island is considered rural. Aspects of the pastoral myth were cited as evidence of Galiano's rurality. Three examples are given below. In the first extract, an Island artisan had talked of Islanders having something in common. I enquired what and she responded: A C : Well I think the Island - love of the lifestyle. We're all here because we don't want to be part of the fast pace and noisy world and we want you know -I'm sure we're all here because of that. You know, it's easier to live here and I feel there's sanity here, I feel that there's insanity in the cities. Vancouver's not 5 8 The term 'urban' is used throughout as a broad term encompassing both the 'urban' and the 'suburban'. I class the two together because both are constructed in opposition to the rural and are largely discursively undistinguished. 124 too bad, but other cities - I just you know, I wouldn't even want to be there. They're so so degraded you know, environmentally degraded and also socially degraded. J: What is it that keeps you here? DR: To some extent not being 'there' - 'there' being town. The peace and quiet, the fact that I can sit on the deck and drink my beer and seeing the grass right next to me, and I've got two bird feeders out there and I can pretty well name all the birds that come there. I also have workshop outside which is a real joy to me and I couldn't have that anywhere in a city environment, not the way I see i t .» J: Why did you move to Galiano Island? A T : ... I came over here to visit friends, ... and I came over for a visit and the first time I came for a visit I didn't want to go back home, it was just the space and the water. I love being near the water and I was walking, I went for a walk with them around down where they live in the South End of the Island and the smells coming up from the fields and stuff, it's such a nostalgia trip for me you know I just have - I thought oh 'I'd love to live here and get away from the noise and the racket.' ... And each time I came over I felt more and more that I had an urge to get out of the city and get away the noise and the traffic and ... I love to go on a Sunday morning being able to wander out and have a coffee and nobody around to see what I was doing and the privacy, things that you can't do elsewhere. It's not for everybody, but it's a way of life that I like very much and a few years back I [had an operation and] that made me more and more determined to get out. 6 0 In these extracts, the rural is represented as slower paced, quieter, sane, closer to nature, spacious and nostalgic, whilst the city is strongly othered. The boundaries between the two are clearly demarcated; when an individual leaves the city, s/he leaves the 'urban'. On arrival on Galiano Island, s/he encounters the 'rural' and a social and spatial distance between Galiano Island and its urban surrounds is created. The two are rendered discrete worlds, and conceptually it becomes difficult to imagine one impinging on the other. Although most people who articulated this account of Galiano rendered the urban an undesirable other, a few people noticeably did not adopt such a position. Instead, they articulated discourses of the pastoral myth when referring to the rural but adopted a much more positive stand regarding the city than is typical of the pastoral myth. For This Islander is a crafts / manual worker on Galiano. This interviewee is a retired professional. 125 example, one unemployed interviewee gave the following response to my question as to whether living on Galiano has met with his expectations: D L : For the most part. You know when you live in the city you can think I want to go to a show tonight. In the city if you want to go for a walk - I like going for a walk and people watching, I like having a coffee and watch people come up and down. But Galiano does not afford that here other than the bakery, you can't just go for a movie or you can't watch a lot of people. So it does have its drawbacks you know. But mind you, I find the serenity that you get as well outweighs the problems. I like going to the city and I go and stay with my sister if I need a little dose of the city. Galiano as a Mixture of Rural and Urban: In the second discourse, Galiano was deemed to be not purely rural because it did not meet all the criteria of the pastoral myth. Instead, it was constructed as a mixture of rural and urban. Interestingly, participants only raised two aspects of the pastoral myth when arguing that Galiano did not meet the requirements of the rural, its lack of farmland and lack of self-reliance. To some, Galiano was almost suburban because the Island's economy was not based on farming or other land-based activities. One interviewee who is an crafts / manual worker responded to my question asking him how Galiano compared with other rural places in BC where he had lived: DP: Yes well, other rural places, for example the place I grew up in [names a town in BC] was rural in a different sense. I mean this in a way is like a spread out suburbia, where I grew up - in a community where there was farming and logging and people were sort of miles apart. The closest neighbour was a half a mile down the road you know. And that's a different sort of rural setting altogether. And yeah, in a setting like that often neighbours are somewhat closer or more friendly. Well, there can be feuds too, but there is more intensive interaction with just a few neighbours because you don't have any choice. J: You said that you thought this place was a bit like suburbia, does that mean that it doesn't feel very rural to you? DP: It's not a rural community in the sense of what I basically consider a rural community to be. Let's put it this way, um, there's no, for most people who live here, there isn't much - there's no other reason to be set apart from the neighbours but just the desire for privacy. There's no other sort of utilitarian reasons to be spread apart as for example in a farming community you are spread apart from each other because the land is necessary for the farming you need that space you know. But on an Island like this it's like a spread out 126 suburbia because we could theoretically be living closer together and live the same lifestyle we live. You know. A questionnaire respondent also wrote: I think of rural more as farmland and homesteading. Most of the jobs here depend on tourism or retirement. It is almost a resort Island at this point and being the first Island stop from Tsawassen, it is a little bit of suburbia.61 In contrast, others argued that Galiano Island is almost suburban because there was too much dependence on cities for goods and services, in other words a general lack of self-reliance on the Island. The following is an extract from an interview with a weekender who is a professional: J: In your questionnaire you said that you think of the Island as being quite suburban because it has no centre, is there any other way in which you think it's suburban rather than rural, or is it rural in other ways? C E : .. . . People's attitudes are when we lived there for a period of time, I discovered that almost everybody who lived there62 permanently goes to either Vancouver or Victoria once a week or once every two weeks so they treat those as their bases and so they're like someone living in [a Vancouver neighbourhood] that goes downtown or that you know, their bank is - they treat it like, you know, they live here and there's a corner store and you know, there's a few amenities but you know, when I want - when I need the real thing I go into the big city. And that's the attitude of people and despite of the fact there's lots of trees and forest and things um and it's people - people are city people who live there, they're not rural people. J: So do they need more self-sufficiency to be rural? C E : I would say a lot more self-sufficiency to be rural and they're not really self-sufficient. A focus group participant also commented: B V : Yes, when I got here, I first felt it was a very rural or should I say country kind of life-type environment. I then found that in order to get certain things like the banking services, the first thing I had to figure out, I had to commute off the Island to satisfy that and go into an urban area so I um I felt it was kind of suburban and I think I still feel that way. The rural-urban border that was conceptualized as encircling Galiano in the 'Galiano is rural' account has been removed here and the Island is now considered an integral part Tsawassen is the ferry terminal on the mainland from which Gulf Island ferries leave. This interview was conducted in Vancouver 127 of its more urban surroundings. Galiano is not considered purely rural in this account because it does not live up to the pastoral myth image of rural. Galiano Ought to be Rural: Finally, in the third account, Islanders used the pastoral myth as a way of arguing that Galiano Island should be rural, but is in fact being threatened by the urban. This account was articulated in two ways, first by arguing that Galiano is rural but under threat, and secondly by indicating that Galiano was rural but is now a mixture of rural and urban. The following extract is from a service-provider illustrating why Galiano is rural: CP: Like I can still be working in my field and have my gum boots and my work clothes on and you know, dirty and muddy and whatever and I have to go down Island to pick something up. I can jump in my car and walk in the store like that [and] not feel unusual. OK? Well, you can start to see that if you're in downtown Ganges on Saltspring, if you were walking around in mucky boots and - you get people looking at you (laughs) and so that's sort of - that is becoming more urban. That ability to do that without someone looking at you and thinking 'oh, what a slob! She's actually got gumboots with mud on them' you know. ... There are people who think of Galiano, I am aware that there are people living here, especially recent arrivals who do think of this as suburban. They don't really appreciate - they have a little trouble with the gumboots and the mud and all that (laughs). They're not quite comfortable with that but you know, give them time, they'll soon settle in to it and get more relaxed. But I think I would have to acknowledge that I feel a presence of those people on the Island but I don't think that they're a majority yet - now. In her account, Galiano Island is rural because she can go shopping in gumboots, something she does not feel comfortable doing in urban places. The urban is othered, yet it is not tightly bounded and distanced as in the first account. Instead, urbanism is a way of life which may have originated in cities, but has spread beyond them into the countryside and is now threatening Galiano. Like several others (but not all) who represented rurality in such a fashion, 'newcomers' are framed as being agents importing the urban into the country.63 This allocation of urban identity to newcomers 128 and the subsequent charge that they are introducing urbanizing influences into the countryside has been documented elsewhere.64 Others articulated this account by arguing that Galiano Island was not purely rural as it did not measure up to the standards of the pastoral myth. They effectively used this claim to protest urban encroachment thus implying that Galiano should be rural. 6 5 For example, here are two respondents explaining in their questionnaire why Galiano is neither simply urban nor rural: It is country but there are too many newcomers who have brought their city values with them and are unable or unwilling to let them go. Urban - a lot of city people that bring their city energy (and commute) with sophisticated tastes. Rural - still fairly quiet and laid back and safe. Building on Mormont, I want to argue that by questioning the necessity of the 'urban' occurring in the city and the 'rural' existing in the countryside, the urban is repositioned in this account as being an omnipresent 'threat' to the rural way of life on Galiano. 6 6 This construction of rurality has implications for the bounding of Galiano Island. Like the 'Galiano is rural' account, Galiano is represented as bounded and distinct from its urban surrounds. However, the border is no longer rigid and permanent, but porous and pliable, open to incursions from newcomers and tourists. The urban and rural social worlds now overlap and as a consequence, rurality is deemed under threat on Galiano. Although the 'Galiano is rural' account was articulated most frequently to me in interview and focus group discussions, I want to argue that the 'Galiano ought to be 6 3 Here, 'newcomers' are constructed as threats to the rural environment on Galiano as opposed to being environmentalists as was the case earlier. 6 4 See, Newby (1980) op. cit.; Bell (1992) op. cit.; and Mayerfield Bell, M . (1994) "Childerley: Nature and Morality in a Country Village" University of Chicago Press: Chicago 6 5 Mayerfield Bell (1992) notes a similar pattern of protest in the English village he studied and argued that: "The contradiction between the ideal and the real gives the notion of rural-urban differences its edge, the cutting surface that makes it a cultural tool for [villagers]." page 72 6 6 Mormont (1987; 1990) op. cit. 129 rural' account is the most dominant one on the Island.6 7 By the term 'dominant' I mean it is the account which has the most political sway on the Island. This account features strongly in Galiano Island's Official Community Plan. For example, here is an extract from the draft report of the Definition of our Rural Community Task Force: Buying rural property has become synonymous with buying cheap property rather than an expression of the preference for a rural lifestyle. Thereafter, the investor attempts to create his (sic) true partiality by spawning a new suburbia. The rural landscape and life are lost. If it cannot be argued with validity in any other way that our rural values must prevail on Galiano, it is by recognizing the sagacity of preserving a lifestyle option that is becoming as endangered as the spotted owl. If there are those among us who came here secure in their belief that suburbanization must inevitably overtake Galiano, they did not count on our determination to resist i t . 6 8 A second example comes from one of the principles, 'On Being an Island' on which the Official Community Plan is based: Galiano is a rural island community. We who have chosen to live here have chosen space, privacy and aesthetic qualities over the conveniences of goods and service. The relative isolation on which the quality of life depends requires protection.69 In both examples, it becomes clear that the rural boundary encircling Galiano Island is considered to be threatened and boundary-defence is emphasized. Although the 'Galiano ought to be rural' account of the relationship between Galiano and the rural-urban distinction was dominant on the Island, it has been resisted. Resistances emanated from people who effectively drew on one of the first two accounts to contest the political implications emanating from the dominant account. In the following, I provide two examples of such resistance. With reference to the Official 6 7 The fact that more people articulated the first account may be due to two factors related to my research methodology. First, my sample is not statistically representative and second, it is possible that some who articulated the first account would have gone on to articulate a 'Galiano as threatened' discourse. However, it was not my policy in interviews to probe people in this direction and so this perspective may well have simply not been voiced. 6 8 Definition of our Rural Island Community Task Force (n.d.) "Definition of our Rural Island Community: A Draft Report" page 3 6 9 Galiano Island Official Community Plan (1995) op. cit. 130 Community Plan principle stated above, the Galiano Ratepayer's Association (GRA) contested the meaning of rurality on Galiano in a submission to the Official Community Plan process: The G R A believes that property owners on Galiano Island choose to live here because they are attracted by the rural qualities of the Island. However, the G R A does not believe that forced isolation and the restriction of goods and services is a prerequisite to maintaining this healthy, rural lifestyle.7 0 In this extract, the G R A is challenging the idea that Galiano Island is 'threatened' from urban influences. Instead they employ the 'Galiano as rural' account to argue that Galiano is indisputably rural. The rural and the urban are constructed as two discrete entities and the introduction of goods and services are no longer conceptualized as a threat. A second example is provided by an interviewee who argued that rural meant farms and farm animals and, seeing as there are few farms and farm animals on Galiano, the Island is not rural: CW: And so in this sense, this Island is definitely not rural to the point where this is something that the people [can] use as an argument for it staying as it is. It is not rural, it is a bedroom community more than anything with large parcels allotted to the individual where they have a lot of privacy, they do whatever and nobody interferes with what they are doing, (my emphasis) To this individual, Galiano Island is not rural because land is not used for agriculture, and instead is used in a 'suburban' fashion. He is employing the 'Galiano as a mixture of urban and rural' discourse to argue that Galiano is indeed not rural. By rejecting the dominant account, he is effectively advocating the removal of the rural-urban border encircling Galiano. From here, he is in a position to advocate some growth on the Island, which he goes on to do. 7 0 Letter submitted on behalf of the Galiano Ratepayer's Association concerning the May 1994 draft of the Official Community Plan. Letter dated 17th June, 1994 131 In the above discussions, I have outlined three ways in which Galiano Island has been fixed within the constructed rural-urban dualism. Although each of these accounts sums up a different sense of place, I outlined earlier that I am focusing on constructs of place that have been important in informing the politics of place and visions of sustainability. As a result, two pertinent senses of place stem from these positions. Those who articulate the 'Galiano ought to be rural' discourse are framing the Island as being threatened by urban influences. Because Galiano should be rural, it is clearly in need of protection and must be guarded against anybody bringing the 'urban' onto the Island. In contrast, the 'Galiano as rural' and the 'Galiano as a mixture of urban and rural' discourses has been used to justify the position that Galiano simply is as it is, and that there is no 'ought' about it (by no means all who articulated these discourses would necessarily reach these conclusions however). Although this is delivered in a descriptive rather than a normative fashion, there is a normative element to it; the Island is not overly in need of regulation to protect its rurality. 4.6 Senses of place on Galiano: Two broadly defined senses of place on Galiano can be drawn out from the preceding discussions, each of which have been crucial in shaping Island politics. In the first instance, Galiano is constructed as a special place in terms of its ecological endowments. The past is used as a reference point, defining what Galiano should be like, and the past selected is of a more pristeen Galiano, before the days of extensive logging. Therefore, Galiano is framed as having already been threatened from logging practices and MacMillan Bloedel, and is currently under threat from urban influences which are often brought to the Island by 'newcomers'. Those who identify with this sense of place frequently position themselves as environmentally concerned guardians who wish to protect the Island from these external threats. Such protection frequently requires regulation. This account of place is politically dominant on Galiano and is reflected in the Official Community Plan. Alternatively, Galiano is conceptualized as a place where people can earn a living from the land or from tourism and so on. The focus tends to be more on the rights of individuals to manage their land as they see fit. Once again, this vision of Galiano is very much based on a particular image of Galiano's past. However, this time it is Galiano as a place for homesteading. We must be careful here however; few people I interviewed hearken after a renewed homesteading existence. Instead, they refer to this past, claiming that it was not environmentally destructive, in order to justify a more relaxed regulatory climate. Therefore, instead of the environment and rurality being threatened, it is a particular lifestyle that is seen as being under threat, and the threat comes largely from 'newcomer environmentalists'. Perhaps one way of summing up the two positions is through the concept of 'specialness'. The following two extracts come from the community plan draft report by the "Definition of our Rural Community" task force: Our community and our Island have been called an anachronism in modern society, but those who say it, say it with admiration and a wondering smile. If we are an anachronism, let us rejoice in it. There is nostalgia - a hunger, for the leisured intimate life of the past in these bleaker times, and we are envied for retaining it, but the challenge of ensuring that we continue to do so is enormous. The future looms rather than beckons in many ways and the pressures felt today will no doubt intensify in the future. We are seekers of solitude, silence and privacy, and our well being cannot be sustained without a measure of isolation. By and large we are passionate in all we do, and never more so than in the protection of our way of life. We exercise aggressive vigilance on behalf of the well being of the Island and the community it shelters, expressing our gratitude through our stewardship, yet despite this intensity our lives remain tranquil, serene and free of stress.71 Definition of our Rural Community Task Force op. cit. 133 In these extracts, the Island is clearly constructed as being a special, even a unique place which has to be guarded zealously from omnipresent threats. In contrast, the next two extracts from interviews with a service-provider and a professional paint a different picture: BD: . . . it seems that a lot of the attitude is that Galiano Island is better than -like you're from off Island and you can't tell us what to do because you don't live here. A lot of this kind of b.s. that Galiano is the centre of the world. Some people think that because they live here they should stop growth or they should stop whatever, they feel that they are more special because they live here. C M : I don't even know why they have an Islands Trust, it seems to me to be a redundancy, why don't they just control the Islands through the C R D 7 2 or the G V R D 7 3 in the lower mainland. It doesn't make sense to me why it's not there. I guess, I don't know, I guess the philosophy behind it is that they're a unique, a unique - you know, set of Islands. I don't really understand things like this. It just seems to me to be redundant it shouldn't be treated any differently than anyone else, to any other place. J: So, you see them as not unique and sort of like anywhere else? C M : Um, they're no more unique than Boundary Bay over here74 or Downtown Eastside has its own unique characteristics too. Now, Galiano is seen as being no different from other places; it has unique characteristics, but so do other places. They are thus arguing that Galiano should not be treated as being any different from other places. These contrasting positions are neatly summed in an extract from Galiano's Active Page: .. . MacMillan Bloedel's spokesman claims that there is nothing special about the Gulf Islands to warrant protection. Some Islanders agree. But most want fervently to protect something they feel is beautiful and unique.75 Consequently, these two representations of Galiano can be considered to be both a reflection of, and a reaction to, the visions of the Gulf Islands as discussed in the last chapter. Islanders adopting the 'Galiano as special' account of place accept that the 7 2 Capital Regional District 7 3 Greater Vancouver Regional District 7 4 This interview was conducted in Vancouver. 7 5 Active Page "Where Should the Trustees Stand?" April 1989 page 7 134 Island is paradisiacal and envied and thus advocate a need for its protection. Islanders articulating the other discourse of place can be thought of as rejecting Galiano's status as 'other', thus asserting Galiano is, or ought to be, part of the mainstream, not apart from it. Whilst conducting research on Galiano, I wondered why individual Islanders articulated one discourse of place over the other. Analyzing participants' comments, it would appear that I could not distinguish between respondents with different senses of place on sociological grounds, such as occupation and age. In addition, there was no relationship between Islanders' response and their full time / part time status. For example, we might have expected retirees to frame Galiano as being in need of protection, in order that they may enjoy the Island in peace, without further threat of development; yet this was not, by any means, always the case as extracts from my empirical discussions demonstrate. Similarly, we might expect service-providers for example, to support the view that Galiano was a place much like any other and should accept further population and economic growth. This, however, did not explain diverse senses of place held by service-providers. Similarly, weekenders articulated both senses of place with regularity. Instead, I would suggest that Islanders' senses of place are more closely linked to their subject identities, of which sociological characteristics and weekender / permanent status is only ever a component. Other aspects of identity which seemed to shape islanders' visions of Galiano included whether or not Islanders considered themselves an 'environmentalists', their political outlook, and their social identities. The focus of this research is not on identity, however, and therefore these interpretations are tentative. A research project, explicitly addressing identity, would have to be designed to confirm these observations. 135 4.7 Discussion and conclusions: The preceding discussion highlights the inadequacy of the approaches to place embedded in the 'community-based sustainability ideal'. Contrary to non-bioregional advocates of the ideal, my research on Galiano has demonstrated that place cannot be treated as a backcloth which has little impact on how Galiano's future is conceptualized. Instead, senses of place have been shown to shape both the contours of Island politics and the Island's future. Islanders' conflicting senses of place have resulted in contrasting interpretations of Galiano's past and whether Galiano is, or is not, a rural place under threat from urbanization. Through such claims as to how Galiano was and is, Islanders are prescribing contrasting visions for Galiano's future: to some, Galiano is being threatened by development and urban values and therefore requires regulatory protection; to others, this is not required. In contrast, bioregionalists have highlighted the role of place in shaping subjectivity, community and sustainability, yet they have essentialized it, assuming each place has a fixed meaning. Yet, I have demonstrated that the meaning of place cannot simply be 'read' from the Galiano landscape, but that it is possible to inscribe place with multiple meanings. I would argue that the current conceptualizations of place embedded in the 'community-based sustainability ideal' are likely to hinder, rather than further, advocates' goal of community-based sustainability. I have demonstrated that representations of place are an important component shaping the politics of place as well as visions of Galiano's future. In chapter 6, I take this link one step further to suggest that conceptions of place shape people's visions of sustainability on Galiano Island. Yet, advocates of the 'community-based sustainability ideal' miss all this because they assume that either place is not an important component shaping sustainability, or that people share a unitary sense of place. From the latter position, it is a small step to allocate a unitary 136 vision of sustainability to members of place-based communities. Without a clear understanding of how place shapes sustainability in place-based communities, it is difficult for advocates of the ideal to suggest workable visions of community-based sustainability. These findings indicate the weaknesses of theory about place embedded in the 'community-based sustainability ideal'. Unable to recognize the existence of difference and conflict surrounding representations of place on Galiano, advocates of the ideal have romanticized local social relations in community. To remedy this, I have suggested that advocates of the ideal adopt a non-essentialist conceptualization of place which recognizes the existence of difference and conflict resulting from multiple conceptions of place. The approach adopted is Massey's sense of place which frames representations of place as being constructed - that is, place is open to competing interpretations which are likely to alter over time, and there is no authentic or correct reading of it. This allows me to recognize both discursive realities of place on Galiano without dismissing either as inauthentic; both are legitimate, coherent representations portraying valid images of Galiano. Yet, I would argue that both Galiano discourses of place are problematic in two connected ways. First, both positions are deeply entrenched in the political and cultural landscape of Galiano, they are firmly rooted in representations of Galiano's past and are not open to negotiation or alternate conceptions of place. In this sense, even though such entrenchment is not surprising given the dramatic events and degree of conflict that has taken place in recent years, I would argue that they can be considered reactionary. Second, there is a tendency for longstanding Galianoites who advocate either sense of place to cast 'newcomers' as a threat to place. In the 'Galiano as special' account, newcomers threaten Galiano's rurality with their supposed urban attitudes and 1 3 7 lifestyles.whilst, in the other, newcomers threaten existing homesteading lifestyles with their purported environmentalist sense of place. The framing of newcomers as a threat to pre-existing representations of place is common not only to Galiano. 7 6 However, if advocates of the 'community-based sustainability ideal' are committed to equity, and workable visions of sustainability, then it is important to challenge these issues and to encourage people in place-based communities to move beyond entrenched visions of place and the representation of newcomers as threatening. This raises the debate outlined earlier between Massey, Harvey and May regarding whether representations of place are necessarily reactionary, or whether it is possible to produce more progressive, inclusionary senses of place. Here, I side with Doreen Massey, not because I necessarily believe she is correct; I simply do not know. However, given the importance of place-identities to contemporary subjectivity, it is important to work with the realities of the present rather than wishing such identities did not exist. In the conclusions to this study, I make some suggestions as to how place-identities can be reworked in an attempt to produce alternate, less problematic senses of place. However, next I turn to conduct a similar deconstruction of community as embedded in the 'community-based sustainability ideal', suggesting a way in which it can be reconceptualized. 7 6 See for example, Brown, B. A. (1995) "In Timber Country: Working People's Stories of Environmental Conflict and Urban Flight" Temple University Press: Philadelphia; Massey, D. (1994b) "Double Articulation: A Place in the World" in A. Bammer (ed.) "Displacements: Cultural Identities in Question" Indiana University Press: Bloomington and Indianapolis; and Wright, P. (1985) "On Living in an Old Country: The National Past in Contemporary Britain" Verso: London 138 Chapter 5: Community: gemeinschaft or factionalized? In this chapter, I focus on the concept community and attempt to bring together two very different discourses on Galiano: 'community as gemeinschaft' and 'community as factionalized'. I demonstrate how the latter is represented as 'threatening' the unity of gemeinschaft, yet ironically, the discourse has been produced precisely because there is no space in gemeinschaft to house difference and conflict. Given the multiple senses of place circulating on Galiano, it is unlikely that a singular understanding of local sustainability will be envisioned, and therefore it is important that difference and conflict are recognized as integral aspects of communities attempting sustainability rather than a threat to it. In addition, I demonstrate how the strong sense of unity fostered in gemeinschaft has resulted in the exclusion of 'outsiders'. Consequently, I argue that gemeinschaft is not only politically problematic, but also unlikely to facilitate sustainability. Therefore, we need to rework the concept 'community', so that it incorporates the caring and sharing aspects of gemeinschaft whilst being less exclusionary to non-community members and allowing for internal difference and conflict. The concept of community has been open to fierce debate and criticism in the last few decades and I open my discussion with a review of these critiques, justifying why I think a consideration of community is important both generally and within the context of sustainability discussions. My approach to community is, however, very different from that embedded in the 'community-based sustainability ideal'; I outline it and attempt to differentiate between the terms community and place. The meaning of 'community' to Galiano Islanders is then assessed. I then critique the gemeinschaft 139 representation of community, found both in the 'community-based sustainability ideal' literature and on Galiano, before delineating an alternate vision of community. 5.1 Why study communities? The concept commumty has come under debate during the last three decades as writers from the social sciences argue for and against the merits of using such a term. In the following, I will summarize these arguments before justifying why I think that community should be used in discussions of sustainability in Canada. From the 1940s to 1960s, studies on community abounded within the social sciences, particularly in disciplines such as sociology and anthropology.1 However, beginning in the 1960s widespread criticism of community studies was raised. In this positivist era, community studies was accused of being overly subjective2 and non-representative, producing idiographic detail from which models and generalizations could not be derived.3 Margaret Stacey went so far as to argue that because it "embraces a motley assortment of concepts and qualitatively different phenomena" the term community is better not used.4 These criticisms resulted in a dearth of community studies during the 1970s.5 1 See for example, Seeley, J. R., Sim, R. A. and Loosley, E. W. (1956) "Crestwood Heights" University of Toronto Press: Toronto; Whyte, W. F. (1943) "Street Corner Society" University of Chicago Press: Chicago; Vidich, A. J. and Bensman, J. (1958) "Small Town in Mass Society" Princeton University Press: Princeton; Lynd, R. S. and Lynd, H. M . (1956) "Middletown: A study in American Culture: Harvest: New York; and Young, M . and Willmott, P. (1957) "Family and Kinship in East London" Routledge and Kegan Paul: London 2 Bell, C. and Newby, H. (1971) "Community Studies: An Introduction to the Sociology of the Local Community" George Allen and Unwin: London; and Vidich, A. J. Bensman, J. and Stein, M . R. (1964) "Reflections on Community Studies" Wiley: New York 3 Stein, M . (1960) "The Eclipse of Community: An Interpretation of American Community Studies" Princeton University Press: Princeton; Warren, R. L. (1963) "The Community in America" Rand McNally and Co.: Chicago; Bell and Newby (1971) op. cit. 4 Stacey, M . (1969) "The Myth of Community Studies" British Journal of Sociology Vol. 20 No. 2 134-47 page 136 5 Crow and Allan (1994) op. cit. 140 In the 1970s, critics of community were joined by feminist and Marxist analysts,6 both groups recommending the rejection of the term. Marxists argued that the notion of community was a capitalist construction to manipulate and control local people by the state.7 Elizabeth Wilson argued for the abandonment of community from a feminist perspective: ... 'community' is an ideological portmanteau word for a reactionary, conservative ideology that oppresses women by silently confining them to the private sphere without so much as even mentioning them. ... I suggest we abandon the word community altogether - it is only one of the veils of illusion in which we are cocooned.8 (original emphasis) Such arguments against community continue to the present day. For example, Joanna Bourke recently argued that the term romanticized social relations whilst not revealing who does and who does not belong to the community.9 In addition, Bourke noted that community as a unit of analysis does not facilitate the understanding of diverse responses to social change within a community. Despite these arguments, the concept of community remains pervasive within the academic literature and has become more popular in the 1980s and 1990s.10 There are three reasons for this popularity. First, there are those writers, such as advocates of the 'community-based sustainability ideal' who still adhere to the gemeinschaft-type notions of community. Second, the community is seen as a potential place for political organizing and emancipation.11 For example, McDowell writes: 6 Crow and Allan (1994) op. cit. 7 For example, Cockburn, C. (1977) "The Local State: Management of Cities and People" Pluto Press: London 8 Wilson, E. (1982) "Women, the 'Community' and the 'Family'" in A. Walker (ed.) "Community Care: the Family, the State and Social Policy" Basil Blackwell and Martin Robertson: Oxford page 55 9 Bourke (1994) op. cit. 1 0 Crow and Allan (1994) op. cit. 1 1 See for example: McDowell, L. (1980) "City and Home: Urban housing and the sexual division of space" in M . Evans and C. Ungerson (eds.) "Sexual Divisions: Patterns and Processes" Tavistock: London; Williams, F. (1993) "Women and Community" in Bornat, J. Pereira, C. Pilgrim, D. and Williams, F. (eds.) "Community Care: A Reader" Macmillan Press: Basingstoke; Revill, G. (1993) "Place and the politics of identity" in J. Bird, B. Curtis, B. Putnam, G. Robertson and L. Tickner (eds.) "Mapping the Futures: Local Cultures, global Change" Routledge: London and New York 141 H o w e v e r , a n o t h e r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f ' c o m m u n i t y ' is p o s s i b l e . T h e n o t i o n is n o t s o l e l y a b o u r g e o i s o r p a t r i a r c h a l i n v e n t i o n . It h a s a l o n g h i s t o r y as a n a u t h e n t i c w o r k i n g - c l a s s c o u n t e r p a r t , as a d e f e n s i v e w e a p o n i n the c l a s s s t r u g g l e , a n d a l s o as a v e h i c l e f o r n e i g h b o u r i n g s o l i d a r i t y a n d s e l f - h e l p . 1 2 A t h i r d r e a s o n w a s s u g g e s t e d b y M a y e r f i e l d B e l l w h o no tes tha t , w h i l e e x p r e s s i n g h i s p e r s o n a l d e s i r e to d r o p the t e r m , the p e o p l e o f ' C h i l d e r l e y ' , the E n g l i s h v i l l a g e h e s t u d i e d , t h o u g h t o f t h e m s e l v e s i n g e m e i n s c h a f t t e r m s a n d t hus h e r e t a i n e d the t e r m c o m m u n i t y i n h i s a n a l y s i s d u e to i ts s o c i a l r e l e v a n c e . 1 3 C o m m u n i t y is c l e a r l y a n i m p o r t a n t c o m p o n e n t o f s u b j e c t i d e n t i t y a n d w i t h the g r o w i n g i n te res t i n i d e n t i t y a n d s u b j e c t i v i t y tha t is t a k i n g p l a c e i n g e o g r a p h y a n d the s o c i a l s c i e n c e s m o r e g e n e r a l l y , i t h a s b e c o m e m o r e p o p u l a r as a n a r e a o f s t u d y . F o r e x a m p l e , R e v i l l s ta tes , f o r g o o d o r i l l , the i d e a o f c o m m u n i t y d o e s h a v e a p a r t to p l a y i n the w a y p e o p l e t h i n k a b o u t t h e m s e l v e s , i n the c o n s t r u c t i o n o f s u b j e c t i v i t y , a n d i n the p r o d u c t i o n o f p e r s o n a l i d e n t i t y . 1 4 I n a s i m i l a r v e i n , R o s e w r i t e s : T h e c h a o s o f [ c o m m u n i t y ' s ] c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n a n d the w a r m t h w i t h w h i c h i t i s u p h e l d as a s o c i a l i d e a l a re no t s e e n as d i f f i c u l t i e s w h i c h r e n d e r the c o n c e p t u s e l e s s f o r o u r a t t emp ts to u n d e r s t a n d s o c i e t y , b u t as the v e r y r e a s o n f o r i ts i n t e res t . ' C o m m u n i t y ' i s a k e y w o r d , a n d s t r u g g l e s o v e r i ts m e a n i n g r e v e a l m u c h a b o u t the s o c i a l , p o l i t i c a l , e c o n o m i c , a n d c u l t u r a l p o w e r r e l a t i o n s o f s p e c i f i c t i m e s a n d p l a c e s . 1 5 T h i s a r g u m e n t f o r s t u d y i n g c o m m u n i t i e s is p e r s u a s i v e a n d c o n s t i t u t e s a n i m p o r t a n t r e a s o n w h y the c o n c e p t is u t i l i z e d i n th i s s t u d y . H o w e v e r , t he re a r e o t h e r r e a s o n s w h y c o m m u n i t y s h o u l d b e c o n s i d e r e d . A s i s the c a s e b o t h o n G a l i a n o I s l a n d a n d i n t he ' c o m m u n i t y - b a s e d s u s t a i n a b i l i t y i d e a l ' , the t e r m h a s b e e n i n t e r w o v e n w i t h the r h e t o r i c o f s u s t a i n a b i l i t y . T o r e f e r to s u s t a i n a b i l i t y w i t h o u t d e v e l o p i n g a c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n o f c o m m u n i t y w o u l d m i s s m u c h o f the m e a n i n g i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t hese n o t i o n s o f s u s t a i n a b i l i t y . I n a d d i t i o n , as g o v e r n m e n t m o v e s to d o w n l o a d i ts r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , i t h a s 1 2 McDowell (1980) ibid, page 151 1 3 Although I take his point about the social relevance of community, Mayerfield Bell conflates gemeinschaft with community, something I contest in this chapter. Mayerfield Bell (1994) op. cit. 1 4 Revill (1993) op. cit. page 120 1 5 Rose (1990) op. cit. page 425 142 frequently done so within the rhetoric of community (for example community care, community policing, community development). This delegation of responsibility to community has been naturalized through the romanticized construction of communities as places for caring and sharing.1 6 Given the current popularity of the term sustainability, it is possible that 'community sustainability' could provide an additional legitimation for this process. By deconstructing and reworking the term community in the sustainability context ahead of time therefore, there is a greater chance that any policies that may arise regarding community-based sustainability will be less romantic about community life. Finally, the community is a potential site for political action, as is demonstrated on Galiano Island. To overlook this would result in an impoverished image of how sustainability is practiced in Canada. In short, it is the reality of how community and sustainability have been constructed in Canada which renders the study of community mandatory when considering community-based sustainability. 5.2 A n approach to community: In chapter 2, I used a diverse literature on community to produce a theoretically-based critique of the gemeinschaft-type representation of community embodied in the 'community-based sustainability ideal'. My purpose now is to highlight some of the problems associated with a gemeinschaft-representation of community in practice, as well as formulate an alternative approach to community. It is to this end that I now review alternative methods of conceptualizing community which will not only allow me to deconstruct gemeinschaft, but reformulate 'community'. Rather than framing community as natural, being the result of 'human nature', I want to recast it as a constructed entity, one that is created and recreated over time. 1 6 Crow and Allan (1994) op. cit.; Potter and Reicher (1987) op. cit. Although Gerald Suttles challenged the notion of 'natural communities' back in 19721 7 it is Benedict Anderson who is most commonly associated with this constructed or 'imagined' notion of community. In his book on nationhood, he comments: In fact all communities larger than primordial villages of face-to-face contact (and perhaps even these) are imagined. Communities are to be distinguished, not by the falsity / genuineness, but by the style in which they are imagined.1 8 The notion of community being imagined is common in cultural writing on the topic. Despite this point of commonality however, there have been many different approaches to commumty in this literature which provides a rich array of case studies of community, but very little theoretical debate or discussion.19 Rather than provide a long and comprehensive review of recent writings on community, I have decided to review three different writers' work on community which have been instrumental in shaping the approach to community adopted in this study. First, I discuss some of the works on community by Anthony Cohen, an anthropologist who has conducted extensive fieldwork exploring the nature of community on Whalsay, on the Shetland Islands.20 Second, I review Gillian Rose's account of how the London Borough of Poplar came to be imagined as a community.21 Finally, I turn to a rather different account, that of Jonathan Potter and Stephen Reicher, two social psychologists, who have investigated uses of the word community in accounts of the St Paul's riot (a suburb of Bristol) in 1980.2 2 Noticeably, all three accounts are drawn from British case studies. To date, I have come across very few North American studies which, focusing on community as a distinct entity, discuss its constructed nature. 1 7 Suttles, G. (1972) "The Social Construction of Communities" University of Chicago Press: Chicago 1 8 Anderson (1991) op. cit. page 6 1 9 As an exception, Crow and Allan (1994) do provide an important review of constructs of community used in the cultural literature. However, they do not address post-structural approaches to community at all. 2 0 Cohen, A. P. (1985) "The Symbolic Construction of Community" Ellis Horwood Limited and Tavistock Publications: Chichester, London and New York; (1987) op. cit.; Cohen, A. P. (1994) "Self-Consciousness: an Alternative Anthropology of Identity" Routledge: London 2 1 Rose (1990) op. cit. 2 2 Potter and Reicher (1987) op. cit. 144 There are two aspects of Cohen's work I develop in my own conceptualization of community, community as an identity and the symbolic nature of community boundaries. Based on his fieldwork on Whalsay, Anthony Cohen has defined community as a relational concept which distinguishes those that 'belong' from those who do not. 2 3 As such, considering yourself part of a community results in some form of identification with other members whilst constructing extra-community people as 'other'. Cohen argues that community is both an individual and collective identity and a focus on community as collective identity in this chapter will enable me to highlight how community is constructed and the meanings and values incorporated in this construction.24 Second, Cohen has emphasized how community boundaries are often maintained symbolically rather than necessarily being socially or physically defined as earlier writers have suggested.25 He goes on to argue that: Whilst the very term 'the community' may be an inchoate condensation of history, convention, personalities, life itself, it is especially eloquent, and most frequently invoked, as an expression of boundary.26 (original emphasis) Cohen's emphasis on the symbolic construction of boundaries is important for two reasons. First, an investigation into the construction of the non-communal other, namely what or whom the community is not, simultaneously provides a glimpse as to what or whom the community is. Second, from a more political perspective, a focus on boundaries emphasizes those who are marginalized or excluded from community. However, like many other writers on community, Cohen does not question whether communities are inherently bounded. Community is an identity, and as Massey comments, it need not be firmly bounded: 2 3 Cohen (1987) op. cit. page 14 2 4 At this point, I must however flag the fact that in this study I am only concerned with community as a collective identity. Although Crow and Allan correctly note that community is never experienced in identical ways by its members, there are still many ways points of overlap between members. My study was not set up methodologically to focus on community as a subject-identity and so such a consideration is unfortunately beyond its scope. 2 5 For example, Warren (1963) op. cit. and Suttles (1972) op. cit. 2 6 Cohen (1987) op. cit. page 60 145 Certainly, any identity is based on differentiation from others. But must it necessarily be a differentiation which takes the form of opposition, of drawing a hard boundary between 'us' and 'them', in other words the geography of rejection, the geography of separate spheres for antagonistic communities which each in themselves remain pure?27 In the conclusions, I suggest that perhaps we should rethink the nature of community boundaries. Second, Gillian Rose explores how the London Borough of Poplar came to be imagined as a community in the 1920s. She notes how community was constructed largely through the Poplar Labour Party as party leaders attempted to build on local community identities at the neighbourhood level and reproduce this "localist sensibility of community at the scale of the borough, [to give] the people of the borough a sense of shared identity."2 8 She argues that this construction of community is not done in a vacuum, that the community's "collective imagining was based upon specific, materially grounded cultural and political discourses."29 She highlights how this construction of community was resisted by residents of Poplar, especially middle class petite-bourgeoisie. In addition, she emphasizes the negotiated and temporary nature of this community and argues that a given construction is not inevitable. Gillian Rose's example of the creation of Poplar politicizes community, highlighting how its constructed nature serves particular ends. In addition, she illustrates how community is not imagined from nowhere, but that its meanings are 'borrowed' from elsewhere. She then argues that community is deliberately constructed by a particular group. However, she assumes that the meaning of Poplar was assimilated unproblematically into local culture, the working-class inhabitants of the borough uncritically consume the images created by the Labour Party and the only resistances to 2 7 Massey, D. (1995) "The Conceptualization of Place" in D. Massey and P. Jess (eds.) "A Place in the World? Places, Cultures, and Globalization" The Open University: Oxford op. cit. page 67 2 8 Rose (1990) op. cit. page 433 2 9 Rose (1990) op. cit. page 433 146 this come from middle class petite-bourgeoisie. In contrast, I would suggest that there is no direct correlation between how meanings are encoded and decoded by inhabitants of Poplar. People are likely to infuse their 'imagined' community with their own meanings and interpretations. Finally, Potter and Reicher conducted a study investigating how the term 'community' has been deployed in accounts of the St Paul's riots in 1980,3 0 drawing on radio and television programmes, newspaper reports and interview material. As an example of how they performed their analysis, I will review two accounts produced regarding the relationship between the police and community. Potter and Reicher argued that during a House of Commons parliamentary debate, the police were constructed as being part of the community, rendering the conflict an intra-community issue which perhaps can be addressed through more commumty policing. Cast as part of the community, the police could be evaluated positively, as part of the solution, not part of the problem. In contrast, in some local accounts of the riot, the police are seen as distinct from the community, and the conflict constructed as being between the community and an external agent, the police. In this account, actions against the police are legitimated as 'communities' are sources of harmonious personal relationships, not mindless violence. If the 'community' is involved in attacking something it will be justifiable or externally caused.31 Community policing no longer becomes the obvious solution, instead it becomes apparent that it is the police who are at fault for opposing 'the community'. Potter and Reicher highlight the implications of differing uses of community. However, by noting that community always seemed to be used to denote good, they emphasize the existence of culturally defined operational parameters regarding use of the term. 'Community' cannot be deployed towards any ends because accounts that challenge the 3 0 Potter and Reicher (1987) op. cit. 3 1 Potter and Reicher (1987) op. cit. page 36 cultural understanding of the term are likely to face credibility problems. However, they do not argue that a given use of the term community is more right or authentic than any others, but rather that each account constructs the events, and possible solutions to the 'riot' differently. Potter and Reicher's account of community is useful for my purposes because it acknowledges that community is constructed discursively and as I hope to demonstrate, this meshes with my research experiences. To conclude, my approach to community draws on aspects from all three approaches to community just described. Community is conceptualized as an identity involving a sense of belonging. Community is also constructed either discursively as Potter and Reicher discuss or deliberately, by a group of people who have appropriated a previously existing discourse. Finally, although community does not necessarily entail being bounded, it often is and it is important to explore the nature and implications of these boundaries. Separating Place and Community: Advocates of the 'community-based sustainability ideal' overly conflate place and community. Non-bioregionalists assume community occurs in place and make little effort to distinguish place from community. Bioregionalists explicitly link place and community from both directions. First, through adopting an ecocentric vision, community no longer denotes only humans but also the whole bioregionally-defined ecosystem. Second, place determines the nature of community. Agnew notes that this equating of place and community is not uncommon in the social sciences32 and certainly, whilst reading social science literature on place-based communities, I have found that the two terms have often been used interchangeably and writers have not defined either. A n alternative, although equally unhelpful approach has 3 2 Agnew (1989) op. cit. simply been to split the terms up along disciplinary lines, with sociologists using the term 'commumty', and geographers the term 'place'. 3 3 Although the linkage between place and community is very powerful in society today, the connection is a social construction. There is no reason why place has to house communities or that communities have to occur in place, as Massey comments: One of the problems here has been a persistent identification of place with 'community'. Yet this is a misidentification. On the one hand, communities can exist without being in the same place - from networks of friends with like interests, to major religious, ethnic and political communities. On the other hand, the instances of places housing single 'communities' in the sense of coherent social groups are probably - and, I would argue, have for long been -quite rare. Moreover, even where they do exist this in no way implies a single sense of place. For people occupy different positions within any community.3 4 Place and commumty both evoke identities, a sense of belonging or attachment. However, community-identity evokes a sense of belonging to a social group which may or may not be place-based.35 In contrast, place-identity, by definition involves an attachment to place, whether the attachment be of an environmental, social, economic, cultural nature or a mixture of any of the above. Clearly, there is overlap and where communities are place-based, a sense of place is likely to be informed by community attachments and vice versa, just as ethnicity shapes gender identities and so on. Nevertheless, there is no necessary overlap and I feel justified in dealing with each identity in a nuanced, but separate fashion. Indeed, there are some good reasons why the two terms ought to be conceptually differentiated and there can be unfortunate theoretical and political consequences of not distinguishing between them. For example, Agnew has argued that the eclipse of community studies in reaction to the romanticism of gemeinschaft resulted in place also 3 3 This trend has been noted by Alison Gill (1990) "Enhancing social interaction in new resource towns: planning perspectives" Tijdschrift voor Economische en sociale Geografie Vol. 81 No. 5 3 4 Massey (1991b) op. cit. page 153 3 5 When I use the term place-based, I am simply differentiating communities that are largely located in a particular place from those that are primarily interest-based and less spatially defined. 149 being rendered obsolete.36 In addition, if place is conflated with community then it may be assumed that all people in a place are also community members. This ignores the position of those who live in a given place but are excluded from community. Also, by conflating the terms, members of a community may be assigned a unitary place-identity. Such an assumption is likely to silence those members of the community who do not share the given sense of place. In the following discussion, I turn to my case study to illustrate how community has been constructed on Galiano Island. First, I highlight the multiple ways community exists on Galiano. I then select the most popular way in which 'community' is used, namely community at the scale of Galiano Island, and focus on this use for the. rest of the chapter. I argue that there are two discourses of community on Galiano. The first discourse is 'community as gemeinschaft'. However, the social and spatial reach of gemeinschaft has been sharply tempered on Galiano because Gulf Island culture has tended to incorporate a tolerance for lifestyle differences, allowing Islanders privacy as well as the freedom to pursue 'alternate' lifestyles not normally sanctioned under gemeinschaft. Second, there is an oppositional discourse, 'community as factionalized' which represents community as divided, factionalized and threatened. I argue that although this 'community as factionalized' discourse is in many ways oppositional to 'community as gemeinschaft', it is actually a product of, and shaped by, the latter. Because gemeinschaft envisions the existence of a substantive idea of the 'common good', there is no space to incorporate political difference and conflict. This division is therefore constructed as threatening community rather than being an integral part of it. I critique the gemeinschaft representation of community before suggesting some ways in which community can be reworked on the Island. Agnew (1989) op. cit. 150 5.3 Community on Galiano Island: In interviews and focus group discussions I was interested in how community was constructed on Galiano Island, the values embedded in it and its boundary and consequent exclusions. However, I rarely asked people direct questions on the topic, such as 'is there commumty on Galiano Island?' ' i f so, is there one community or several?' and 'do you consider yourself to be a member of community on Galiano?' Indeed, it was only in the last 15 or so interviews that I explicitly asked these questions.37 Instead, I asked people more general, open-ended questions such as 'what was it about the Island that attracted you here?' 'do you find the people on the Island friendly?' and 'do you get involved in many of the Island's activities?' If interviewees alluded to community, I would follow it up by asking them questions such as 'how would you characterize community life on the Island?' This more general line of questioning was considered preferable for two reasons. First, people are unused to being asked direct questions about community and would be uncertain as to how to respond in a way that would be meaningful to them. I knew if I was asked such questions I would be at a loss as to how to respond. In addition, such questioning does not give me a chance to investigate how community features in people's own accounts of life on Galiano Island and how important it is to them. Indeed, in interviews I was frequently rewarded with vivid descriptors and illustrations of community on Galiano. 3 8 Knowing my interest in Galiano, interviewees discussed community in relation to Galiano Island rather than citing any non-Island communities to which they belonged. There was a sense that there was more than one community on Galiano. Commentators 3 7 I asked my last interviewees these more direct questions in order to ascertain whether the impressions gained from my more indirect approach were corroborated. 3 8 In contrast, as I had suspected, direct questioning about community resulted in much briefer responses, frequently simply a 'yes' or a 'no' with little further elaboration. 151 have noted that communities are not only place-based, but can be interest-group based or used in terms of a commumty of friends39 and all these constructs of commumty appear to be in use on Galiano, although the former is by far the most dominant in terms of frequency of reference and as a structure of meaning. Place-based notions of community were generally employed to suggest that community broadly existed at the scale of Galiano Island.4 0 For example, D V : So then Galiano is a community that is quite different from other communities in that it takes great interest in community affairs and it has become, through this whole thing with MacMillan Bloedel, a very well-educated community politically. Although most people used the term community in this context, a few employed the term in a place-based sense to suggest that community does not only exist at the spatial scale of Galiano. For example, the following extract is from an interview with a crafts / manual worker and a professional who regard the North End of Galiano as a community: A N : ... the North End community ... is a very viable, strong community. A R : Very strong community up there. A N : Yeah. And we are fortunate enough that we are sort of included in that community rather than the South End. 4 1 Others argued that there was both a North and South End community and in a focus group, one person also talked of a mid-Island community too. However, the term 'community' was also used to refer to the whole Island in these interviews. For example, in the interview quoted above, one of the people said: A R : ... I like the community spirit that a place like this breeds. You know, it's - it's still small enough, even with a population they say of about 900 now. Even with a population that size, when tragedy or disaster hits one, the entire community feels it. 3 9 Crow and Allan (1994) op. cit. 4 0 Although of course, my task in this chapter is to challenge this conflation of community and place. 4 1 This extract again challenges the conflation of place and community. Although the 'North End' community is defined as place-based, these inhabitants of the South End are members. 152 Clearly, therefore, Islanders can simultaneously identify with more than one place-based community at a time. Others referred to Galiano's interest-based communities, for example, the 'arts community' and the 'lesbian community'. The following artisan talks of the arts community on Galiano: C K : So it's sort of the community that has kept us here. ... the little arts community that's happening here, it's a fairly creative bunch. Finally, a handful of individuals used the term community to describe their relationship with a particular group of friends. However, most of those who talked of Galiano housing interest-based and friendship communities also employed 'community' to suggest that there was community at the scale of the Island too. In the following, I want to focus on the construction of community which frames it as occurring at the spatial scale of Galiano Island. I have two reasons for this. First, it is by far the most popular use of the term I encountered on the Island. Second, it is the meaning assigned to community in the 'community-based sustainability ideal' and I want to challenge this assumption on its own terms, using the same concept of community as employed in the ideal. As discussed earlier, Benedict Anderson has argued that all communities larger than the primordial village and perhaps even these are imagined.42 Using the example of a nation, he argues that: [i]t is imagined because the members of even the smallest nation will never know most of their fellow-members, meet them, or even hear of them, yet in the eyes of each lives the image of their communion.4 3 (original emphasis) Anderson (1991) op. cit. Anderson (1991) op. cit. page 6 153 I want to argue that, with its population of 950 permanent residents and about 1100 non-resident property owners, Galiano Island would probably be considered the size of a 'primordial village', yet it is an imagined community. One question I asked interviewees was whether they knew many people on the Island. The following extracts represent a range of responses received:44 A E : Yes, I do. For the first year I knew nobody, I wasn't lonely, I loved it. But I have started moving out and feeling my way into things and joining organizations and stepping off as soon as I could. But they were forays through the social world and over the past four years I have got to know a lot of people. D L : Maybe to wave or nod at if they drive by. But I'm not extremely social so I don't know a lot of people by name. I know a handful of people like those who come to [an organization]. I would know more people but I don't make an effort. C A : Yes, quite a few, quite a few. We belong to various groups and have met a lot of people that way. A Y : Ten percent. [Indicating to BB] You know more than I do because you [are involved in more organizations]. J: Well if you went into the shop, would you know people? BB: No, sometimes you go in the store and you don't know a soul. And that's disturbing. A Y : In the winter time it's better. BB: In the winter time it's different. DZ: I think we saw it over the years. I could see it over the years coming in the '50s you'd get on the boat from Vancouver and know everyone on the boat. And over time, you know, you get on the boat now and you don't know anybody. But that was an indicator of how many people you recognize on the ferry. And people will talk about 'how many people did you know on the ferry?' That was an indicator. BB: Going to Vancouver Island is different because that's where the Islanders go and when you go on that ferry you always see people that you know. A Y : Yes you know everybody by sight on it. BB: Sometimes you will go on that Vancouver ferry and you won't know a soul. Isn't that true? Sometimes you get on that ferry and you won't see a person in the line up that you know. You don't recognize a car or a person. J: Wi l l that even be the case in the winter? BB: Not so much 4 4 The first three quotes come from permanent residents who have lived on the Island for between 2.5 and 5.5 years. The fourth extract is from a couple who bought property on Galiano in the late 1930s and have lived permanently on the Island since the early 1970s. The last quote comes from an interview with a long-term weekender. 154 CQ: Given that I've been going there45 since 1951, precious few. Because I also isolate by choice when I'm up there. Yes, I'm getting to know some local people, I'm getting to know some real fine local people. I was surprised at how few full-time residents and weekenders interviewed seemed to know other Islanders.46 This impression was reinforced in my focus group discussions where I tried to convene people together who had similar questionnaire responses regarding the Island and therefore may be more likely to know each other. Nevertheless, many did not know each other. Although in one focus group everybody did know each other, in another containing five permanent residents only one individual had previously met two others. The rest had not met and did not know each other's names. Yet despite this, as I will demonstrate, the sense of a community existing on Galiano Island persisted throughout interviews and focus group discussions, suggesting an 'imagined' status.47 In the rest of the chapter, I want to explore how community on Galiano is imagined. 5.4 Community as Gemeinschaft:48 On reviewing interview and focus group transcripts, I came to realize that the term 'community' was consistently used with reference to a particular set of ideas, namely those embodied in gemeinschaft.49 Gemeinschaft is often represented as a source of escape from the 'alienations' of gesellschaft and it is perhaps not a coincidence that Galiano Islanders, many of whom escaped urban / mainstream life, have created a gemeinschaft community on the Island. I take a different position from Gillian Rose 4 5 This interview was conducted in Vancouver. 4 6 Indeed, in three of these extracts, the theme of privacy is quite pervasive. I explore these in some detail later. 4 7 The term 'imagined' is not intended in any way to devalue it. Instead, my point is to illustrate how common it is to feel a sense of attachment to people we do not know. 4 8 As a reminder, gemeinschaft is a natural, organic, face-to-face, rural community in which people feel bonded together. 4 9 It is interesting that community as been constructed on Galiano in a very similar manner to how advocates of the 'community-based sustainability ideal' represent it. However, the construct is still problematic and by constructing gemeinschaft as a representation of community rather than the essence of it, I am in a position to critique it. 155 however, who argued that in Poplar, a particular group constructed community.5 0 I got no impression that any group consciously constructed community in gemeinschaft terms on the Island. Instead, more in line with Potter and Reicher's arguments, I take the position that gemeinschaft is a popular representation of community in North America and I want to argue that it has been discursively reproduced on Galiano Island. In the following, I demonstrate the prevalence of the discourse of gemeinschaft on Galiano by illustrating how community has been constructed as supportive, friendly, inward-looking, non-hierarchical and incorporating shared values and having a substantive conception of the 'common good'. However, gemeinschaft is culturally tempered on Galiano because the Island is represented as a retreat from 'society'. I highlight how this representation 'contains' gemeinschaft both socially and spatially. Supportive: One important meaning of community on Galiano was that of support and many people spent some considerable time in interview discussions telling me how supportive the community was on Galiano Island. Here is an illustration provided by a retired professional who is arguing that the community is more supportive now than it used to be: A V : There's a lot more community spirit, a lot more concern for helping people, getting things done. People have always been good on the Island at helping other individuals. You know, if a house burned down and that happened up at the top of our road and our neighbours came down and were here because their house was burnt to the ground and they were here for about a week. And we really, nearly had to move out of the house with the stuff that was brought, I mean everything from refrigerators to winter coats to shoes to - and food by the quantity. But of course we were expected to feed anybody who came to call! So I mean, suddenly our house was simply turned into a relief station and a restaurant and we, we didn't have to do much about it because everybody was providing it but a quite bizarre experience if you were in the city. Because these weren't terribly close friends of ours, we liked them and knew them but you know, they weren't like close friends or family but the community simply 5 0 Rose (1990) op. cit. 156 assumes at a time like this that everybody drops everything and just focuses on that problem until it's over. A second example is provided by a service-provider who, with her husband lives half their time on the Island and half off: A R : [My husband had an operation recently]. Now, in town we have three immediate neighbours that while we don't visit back and forth in each other's houses, we do chat with them on a regular basis So they all knew what was happening, that he was going into hospital for this operation and while he was in there he'd say 'seen any of the neighbours' and I'd say 'oh well, they're busy you know etc. etc' but not one of them stuck their head out the door or the window to say 'hey, how did the operation go? How's he doing?' Not one of them. They saw me coming and going to the hospital, they saw me bring him home. Not one inquiry But people from the Island, I was flooded with calls with people on the Island, a lot of them don't have two cents to rub together. But they were concerned enough to run their long distance calls up to find out how the operation went and that kind of out-pouring of caring and love has been extremely beneficial to [my husband] and his healing. I mean it's really great to know that you're a part in a community like that. To both these interviewees, the support offered on Galiano can be strongly contrasted with what is found in the city. A n artisan on the Island framed this support more in terms of necessity: A C : ... and the Island is very community minded .... Yeah, everybody comes together when there's something, you know if there's something that needs doing then somebody would or somebody would do that. So it's based on need more than sociability I think.5 1 Clearly, all these women felt they were part of the community on Galiano and would enjoy the support such membership ensured. Friendly: A related theme to that of support is that of friendliness and it is an account that is commonly associated with gemeinschaft and again, this was frequently brought up in interviews. Frequently cited as evidence of Island friendliness was the Galiano habit of waving to people in their cars as they pass you on foot or in another car. I experienced Again, her account alludes to privacy which I will discuss below. 157 this often during my stay on the Island and people frequently waved at me even though we did not know each other. This struck me as further indication of the 'imagined' community; I was being treated as if I belonged, at least at one level, and yet I was not known to many of these people.52 Another example demonstrates how experiences of friendliness have enabled one retired professional woman to feel she 'belongs' on Galiano Island. In the following, she is responding to my question asking her what she likes about living on Galiano: AT: The whole Island has had a calming effect on me and the second thing that I like is that you can live in Vancouver and you can see your neighbours every day passing in and out the door but you won't really know them. I've made more friends in the 2 years that I've lived here than I ever made in the 12 years I was living in Vancouver. ... it's lovely to walk into the post office and have someone say 'oh [AT], there's a parcel here for you.' You don't get that - you know. Those are the kinds of things that I really like about this place that you don't get when you're in the city, you know the post office hand over card and you have to prove who you are. Others spoke in a more abstracted fashion about the strength of feeling of comm