Social Integration of Newcomers to a Rural Community: The Case of Vegreville, Alberta

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  • Interest in the subject of social integration or urban migrants into rural communities developed as a result of the so called 'population turn around' phenomenon observed by rural sociologists in the 1970's. The focus of much of this research related to the direction of migration and factors associated with residential preference. Some of this research (Glasgow & Sofranko, 1980; Goudy, 1990; Reiger & Beegle, 1974; Stinner et al. 1990) examined the temporal aspects of relocation and social integration of the migrant in the new community. This issue has become increasingly important in the 1990's as businesses and government agencies explore the economic advantages of relocating their staff in small communities. Vegreville, Alberta provided a case where the decentralization of a government facility (Alberta Environmental Research Centre) initiated a sudden influx of newcomers with the potential of a disruption of established institutions and the social structures in the community. The purpose of this research is to examine the process by which new residents integrated into the social structure of Vegreville.

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    Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 International