Status and stigma: The history of Meadowview, Nova Scotia
LE3 .A278 2012
Bachelor of Arts
History & Classics
Meadowview, Nova Scotia was an unplanned working-class community composed primarily of the working-poor It developed on the edge of the Cornwallis River floodplain on the periphery of Kentville. From the start, it was a convenient path of least resistance and encroached upon by the development of a military base, a tuberculosis sanatorium, a series of open-pit dumps and a toxic county landfill. As a result, residents lived with an unequal amount of environmental risk in comparison to other local areas, particularly after it became a dumping ground for the county. Due to class division, an overall low socio-economic status, and the physical state of the community, Meadowview was perceived as a slum and notoriously known as a rough place full of impoverished bootleggers, criminals, and dump pickers. The resulting stigmatization, and the inadequate access to social institutions, economic opportunities and political processes, led to internal disempowerment that rendered residents unable to stop further dump sitings, or procure the resources to improve their living conditions. This had negative implications for residents' health and well-being and resulted in an "us" versus "them" scenario that pit the "haves" in nearby communities against the "have nots" in Meadowview In the latter twentieth century, this situation began to change as residents successfully advocated for, and accessed, improved community services and the closure of the landfill. This allowed them to overcome the widespread demoralization and shed much of the stigma that had plagued their community.
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