Bunkhouse and Home: Company, Community, and Crisis in Britannia Beach, British Columbia
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Canada's company towns have traditionally been seen as temporary settlements: remote, unstable places shaped by authoritarian employers. Despite these stereotypes, daily life in single industry communities was quite complex, shaped by residents, employees, and company officials alike. This thesis revisits one twentieth-century company town to examine the varied functions and meanings of community in a one industry setting. In the copper-mining town of Britannia Beach, British Columbia, community was both a cultural construct and a social process. While the Britannia Mining & Smelting Company, Limited used the idea of community to inspire cohesion and loyalty in its largely transient workforce, employees and residents were rarely united. Instead, they used notions of marital status, respectability, gender, class, and ethnicity to establish and contest community boundaries. Furthermore, when the company ceased operations for two periods in 1958 and 1 964, notions of community both shaped and limited residents' responses to the shutdowns.