Network sampling of social divisions in a rural Inuit community

Kirk Dombrowski, Bilal Khan, Joshua Moses, Emily Channell and Nathaniel Dombrowski

This paper describes results from a network survey of Nain – a predomi- nantly Inuit community of ~1200 people located on the northern coast of Labrador. As part of a larger social network research project, we used peer- referral sampling to recruit 330 residents for interviews about food sharing, housing, public health and community traditions. The peer-referral chains were analysed statistically to determine the presence and absence of social divisions in the community. The results of these analyses show that ethnic identification, relocation status and household income were the most signifi- cant social divisions in the community, while gender, education level and employment status show little or no effect on patterns of between-group interconnection. We argue that statistical patterns in the presence (and absence) of intergroup links offer novel ways to examine the interrelationship between recent economic development and the historical disruptions caused by Inuit community relocations in the 1950s.
Keywords: Inuit; Labrador; respondent driven sampling; social network analysis; inequality; sampling