Page 18

2. Stories/ narratives Why talk about stories? Are there not hard facts that can simply tell us how to move forward? Doesn’t a bust tell us objectively that we need a new boom? We would argue that facts become such through the stories we use to construct reality. This is true for the construction of good and bad communities, and good and bad things within a community. What counts as democracy or as good democracy, as a pleasant community, as efficient governance, as inclusive, fair, and just governance will differ over place and time. What is considered social justice in Québec might be seen as socialism in Alberta, or weak and inefficient governance in China. “Good” governance is indeed relative.

Image: Stéphane Lavoie]. Atlas Coal Mine Museum, Drumheller, Alberta. Coal mining leases from 1911 to 1987.

We make up our world through stories and ideologies: stories about “good” democracy and the “good” community, stories explaining what’s happening to and within our community, stories on the “right” answers to events, the “right” type of knowledge to use in dealing with challenges, the

When talking and looking around in Western Canada, the story of the “good community” underlies many other stories on policy and development, existing in several versions that vary across local contexts. Is a good community mostly a growing one, with a growing population, growing average income, or growing number of businesses? Is a good community a place where people can keep their traditions? A place with a tight knit social fabric, or rather a place of personal reinvention and freedom? None of these basic stories is right or wrong, but it’s good to know which one we’re dealing with in our community, and if competing versions exist, to discuss which version we prefer, identify with, and want to coordinate our strategy around. 6

Boom and Bust: a guide

Profile for University of Alberta Extension

Boom & Bust: A Guide, Managing Ups and Downs in Communities  

Boom and Bust: A Guide is the result of a collective effort at the University of Alberta to better understand the dramatic ups and downs whi...

Boom & Bust: A Guide, Managing Ups and Downs in Communities  

Boom and Bust: A Guide is the result of a collective effort at the University of Alberta to better understand the dramatic ups and downs whi...

Advertisement