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Global Game, Local Arena

Restructuring in Corner Brook, Newfoundland

By Glen Norcliffe
Categories: Labour, Economics, Geography, History, Migration And Resettlement, Newfoundland And Labrador Studies, Policy And Politics
Series: Social and Economic Studies
Series Number: 70
Paperback : 9781894725033, 248 pages, January 2005


In Global Game, Local Arena, geographer Glen Norcliffe explores how powerful forces of global economic integration have played out in Corner Brook and interprets the town's creation as a company town in the colonial era, its slow transformation into a public municipality, and the phase of vigorous restructuring launched in 1984 to raise the paper mill's performance in response to increased global competition. Restructuring introduced lean production, and in turn this impacted on workers' families, and on the larger community. Through extensive interviews with former and present mill workers and their families, and by examining written records — newspaper accounts, legislative acts, earlier published sources — the author sheds valuable light on how the process of globalization has played out in one small but typical local arena. Since 1984 Corner Brook has experienced large-scale out-migration of younger adults, and a rapid aging of the population. Community resistance to this process has been mostly subtle, taking the form of a reconnection to the population's local roots in outports and the woods.


"Glen Norcliffe's book is important and topical. "

- James Overton, The Canadian Historical Review

"Global Game, Local Arena is a thoughtful analysis of the myriad ways economic globalization affects resource-dependent communities. Focus on a specific global-local nexus is rare, and Norcliffe's explanation of a dense, jargon-filled field in engaging, succinct prose deserves praise. "

- Neil White, International Journal of Maritime History