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Economic changes, household strategies, and social relations of contemporary Nunavik Inuit

  • Marcelle Chabot (a1)

This article examines current economic practices of the Inuit of Nunavik and the consequences of these practices on social relations. In western societies, recourse to market and increasingly frequent use of money have been identified as major factors related to a decline in household production. These practices are also associated with a reduction of interpersonal dependency and with the emergence of instrumental rationality. In Nunavik, like in many Arctic regions, money and commodities represent an increasing portion of the economic resources of Inuit households. Household production also contributes substantially to their resources. An examination of the Inuit household budget shows a diversity of lifestyles supported by various economic activities and strategies that aim at satisfying material needs of family members. These strategies demonstrate that Inuit are economically rational and make use of monetary calculation. This rationality does not influence all economic behaviours, which are also motivated by traditional values and customary obligations. However, the emergence of diversity in lifestyles indicates the existence of a greater margin of self-determination for individuals.

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Polar Record
  • ISSN: 0032-2474
  • EISSN: 1475-3057
  • URL: /core/journals/polar-record
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