Theme One: The importance of social relationships and the standard of living to settlement patterns
Abstract: Our initial hypothesis is that social relationships are an important reason why people choose to remain in small communities, despite a lower, cash-based standard of living there. To test this hypothesis, we first compare the standard of living between small and large communities across regions of the Arctic. We then compare the strength of social relationships, again between small and large settlements. We expect to find small communities tend to have a lower standard of living and stronger social relationships. We will then examine the association of social relationships and the standard of living to decisions to move or remain in a community. We also expect to find that social relationships are closely tied to the harvest/herding-based sector of the economy.
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