Stedman, Richard C, John Parker and et al., "Resource Dependence and community Well-Being in rural Canada." Rural sociology. 69.2 (2004): 213-234. Print.
Stedman et al., conducted a research study in their paper “Resource Dependence and community Well-Being in rural Canada” for comparison of community reliance on natural resource industries in Canada (Stedman, and et al. 213-234).
Stedman et al., have discussed different parameters of well being (employment, income, in-migration education and poverty) that rely on natural resource industries (fisheries, mining, forestry, agriculture and energy) in different regions of Canada. According to authors, it is very hard to give a common picture for community reliance on all the natural resource industries as this dependence variate from region to region. The data used for the research has been taken from the 1996 Census of Canada. For the purpose of this study, Canada has been divided into six regions. As per the results mentioned in the paper, the dependence of well-being parameters on different natural resource industries is mentioned as below.
According to the study, it has been concluded that education is needed only for energy sector and rest of the natural resource industries do not need any higher level of academic. In-migration has only positive results on mining and energy, poverty has been reduced in fishing and forestry, employment opportunities have been provided in agriculture, mining and energy while median family income has been raised in agriculture, mining and energy. However this study also variants region to region as employment opportunities are higher in the Prairie (27.6%) for agriculture, Atlantic (13.1%) for fishing, British Columbia (15.6%) for forestry, North of Canada (5.2%) for mining and Prairie (3.7%) for energy.
Reflections of the Paper
They have highlighted the significant effects of resource industries on human well-being on the national stage. Since authors have used the past similar studies in U.S environment, so they have hypothesized few points including negative impacts of the fishing industry, higher variability for forest and agriculture dependence and the positive effects of mining and energy of median family income. The same has been concluded from the results mentioned in the paper. Here is mentioned that the resources industry is a major economic driver for Canada, and consequently a huge population of Canada is dependent on natural resources industry in comparison with U.S. Stedman and et al., have targeted the basic four areas in the paper.1) The method they used to find out the natural resource reliance in Canada, 2) How much is Canada a resource reliant? 3) The relationship between resource reliance and the various indicators of well-being 4) to investigate if this relationship varies according to resource's industry and region.
In order to measure the resource reliance in Canada, the authors have used the 1996 Census of Canada as the data source that has not provided a clear picture of rural municipal districts and giving precise details of rural life in Canada. The paper has measured the resource reliance in Canada by direct measuring the employment ratio in the resource's industry on which rest of the factors also depend as poverty, education, median family income. They used the predefined data from the census that concluded the reliance on natural resource industries varying region to region. Some of the regions of Canada are dependent on agriculture and other on mining and energy heavily; the least dependent resource industry is the fishing as per findings. The major well-being factors as discussed by the authors are the education, median family income, unemployment and in-migration. The whole of the human well being depends on the employment factor alone, if there are more employment opportunities in a particular resource industry, there will be more family income and more in-migration to a particular region. They have highlighted an important point that education or higher university degree not play a role in the resource industry as much as it should have been, and this is the point of consideration for the Canadian Government.
There are many flaws and weaknesses in the article including satisfaction rate, use of technology and sectors other than resource's industry for employment. As Stedman et al., have used the national data source collected through census of 1996, so that means, limited data is used, and it does consider the whole of rural Canadian life. There is no personally focused involvement is noticed in this research, and consequently it seems less authentic to rely on the results concluded in it .In order to expedite the research to make more authentic and viable, the most appropriate research methodology must have been used. Research should be conducted by considering different other indicators as poverty and existing professional education system. The Canada has state of art professional and technical education system. These indicators can provided more authentic and realistic picture of current scenario
The survey of prevailing opportunities for well-being should be conducted by taking into account the current census data. The larger and current data for analyses would have brought into the light on the current scenario. The holistic approach behind survey is to collect current and realistic data. The census data used in the paper is very old even in the presence of updated census record, it used 1996 census of Canada, and the paper was published in 2004. They should have used recent data to give a clearer picture of the reliance on different sectors besides the resources industry in the rural areas of Canada.
The paper has only measured the employment factor of well-being to make a conclusion, but the results clearly showed that employment is not only one prime parameter. Although it is true that the rest of the well being factors like poverty, median family income all depends on the employment. The fact is that the paper has not focused the satisfaction rate of such employments. The paper lacks the most important well-being factor, and that is human satisfaction on any employment. Is the employment the one, a person is looking for? Is he given the opportunity to work as per his capabilities? Being employed doesn't mean a person is satisfied.
In addition, they mentioned in the paper that Canada is enriched with natural resources and most of its economy relies on natural resources industry. The existence of natural resource industry is undeniable, but there are many other initiatives present in rural areas other than resource industry. As renewable energy resources are shaping the whole world including rural areas of Canada. There are sufficient in this sector for people living in rural areas that are almost neglected in their paper.
Last but not the least how higher education has no role in shaping the industries other than resource industry. Why this industry has the highest ratio in country's economy by merely relying on the traditional methods used for the resource's industry? The technology plays a sound role in shaping the economy of any country. When resource has to be reliance then technology components must be integrated into the order to provide suitable jobs to the people. In the context of the energy industry in Canada, it seems that there is no use of technology, and many highly qualified people are least encouraged to join this industry. Canada is providing many job and research opportunities in the energy sector, especially renewable energy. The reliance of people in rural areas on technology including the energy sector should be considered. This sector is given least importance in this paper.
The motive of the paper is good in finding out the reliance on the resource industry and the relationship between the resource's industry and human well being. As a matter of fact, the paper finds out the distribution of relying on natural resources industry by considering regions and it has especially targeted the rural life of Canada. So the research question must be designed in a way that targets this aspect of the paper. Since there is no proper research methodology used, and the only result that has been shown depends on the census data from 1996. The research questions that required to be addressed are:
- What is the impact on human well-being by relying on the resource's industry in different regions of rural Canada?
- Employment as an attribute to well being is mainly highlighted in the paper, but it is necessary to evaluate if employment alone without job satisfaction can bring any positive change in the standard of livings?
- How many people are directly affected by resource reliance? If it is a whole family, how come one person employment in the resource's industry contributes to overall median income of the family? That involves the details study and conduction of proper surveys in rural areas to figure out the real picture.