|dc.description.abstract||The thesis addresses the question: "What are
the factors influencing the level of ethnic culture
retention among Thunder Bay Finns?" The investigation
is focused on three characteristics: residency (urban
or rural), residential propinquity to other Finns,
and socio-economic status.
The survey instrument gathers additional respondent
characteristics to allow evaluation of the influence
of other factors. In measuring culture, a distinction
is made between knowledge and practise of Finnish
customs and culture and efforts to maintain a Finnish
identity. The latter allows a response to current
ethnic assimilation literature which suggests a resurging
interest in selective areas of ethnic heritage.
Preceeding the review of the literature, a
historical perspective is given to the present situation
by summarizing the history of the Finnish people, their
emigration to Canada, and the experiences of the immigrants
in Canada and particularly Thunder Bay.
Among the young adults of Finnish descent who
formed the sample population, those who were raised
in an urban setting were likely to have a higher culture
retention level than those raised in a rural setting.
Not surprising, those raised in a neighbourhood predom-inantly Finnish also had a higher culture retention level
than those raised in a non-Finnish neighbourhood.
Socio-economic status proves interesting in that those
respondents from families having a low socio-economic
status retain more of their culture than those from
families having a high socio-economic status. However,
when the respondent’s own present socio-economic status
is considered, those with a high socio-economic status
retain more Finnish culture than the low socio-economic
status respondents. It is arguable that upward mobility
among this group has not resulted in abandonment of
their ethnic heritage. An adjustment, where both success
in the dominant society and a continued identification
with one’s ethnic heritage co-exist, appears to have
occurred. The bond of ethnic affinity displays considerable