Set Adrift: Fishing Families
Published: December 2002© 2002
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 248 Pages
Dimensions: 6.13 x 8.82
248 Pages, 6.13 x 8.82 x 0.88 in
Set against the backdrop of the fisheries crisis of the 1990s, Set Adrift examines how coastal and deep-sea fishermen's wives in rural Nova Scotia have adapted to the extraordinary pressures put on their households by the reorganization of the fishing industry. Using in-depth interviews conducted with the wives of deep-sea and coastal fishermen, members of fishermen's wives' support groups, and fish company managers, Marian Binkley explores the role of social origins and family traditions, family and social networks, and the availability of employment opportunities and social services on fishing households.
Comparing and contrasting the households of deep-sea versus coastal fishers, Binkley illustrates the daily dependence of husbands upon their wives' labour and ability to adapt to often difficult and precarious living conditions. Maintaining that women make the fishing industry sustainable with their unpaid household labour, Binkley argues that the failure of Canadian government officials and policy makers to recognize the centrality of women's labour to the industry has resulted in fishers' wives bearing the brunt of the large economic and social costs generated by the current fisheries crisis. Ultimately, she contends, any analysis of production for exchange must recognize the essential contribution that household domestic labour makes to the sustainability of economic activity.
- Keith Matthews Award, Canadian Nautical Research Society