Rebuilding rural Newfoundland

Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Sociology and Anthropology

First Advisor

George, Glynis (Sociology & Anthropology)


Political Science, Public Administration.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


This thesis draws on a governmentality approach to explore how rural development has been informed by the emergence of neoliberal governing in Newfoundland and Labrador. I explore how neoliberal techniques, specifically partnership and responsibilization, create an approach to 'community' and set the terms for local engagement in community initiatives. Using critical discourse analysis, I explore how government documents draw on neoliberal discourse to govern rural development initiatives and sketch the effects of this governing on the initiatives of a particular community, Goose Brook. I argue the monolithic approach to neoliberalism, which has been characteristic of governmentality studies, is limited. The neoliberal policy which is embedded in federal and provincial government documents is contested and reproduced by local actors' own interpretations. I conclude that further ethnographic research can bring forth the interpretive possibilities of actors towards modes of governing and can enhance our analysis of neoliberalism as a flexible, porous process.