ECON 321 Research Project, Step 2
Due March 9, 2022 by 11:59 PM, Victoria B.C. time
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By submitting this assignment you agree to the following honor code, and understand that any violation of the honor code may lead to penalties including but not limited to a non-negotiable mark of zero on the assignment:
Honor Code: I guarantee that all the answers in this assignment are my own work. I have cited any outside sources that I used to create these answers.
Q1 + Q2
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Table of Contents
ECON 321 Research Project, Step 2 1
Question 1: Choosing a topic and story 2
1.a. What is your topic? 2
1.b. Shrink your topic 3
1.c. Start telling your story 4
1.d. What is the main economic point of your story? 5
Question 2 (Challenge) 6
2.a Find and cite a primary source (5 marks) 6
2.b. Why is this source relevant? (5 marks) 7
2.c. What your source taught you (5 marks) 7
Question 1: Choosing a topic and story
1.a. What is your topic?
In Step 1, you were asked to pick an article from a sourcebook, and start thinking about a topic you would like to research, based on that article. It’s time to finally set down the topic you’ve chosen. In Step 1, I suggested that your topic would probably end up being based on one of the ‘2 things that you didn’t understand or that were missing from the article’ part of your 3-2-1 report. I still believe that’s an excellent way to go around choosing a topic.
You’re going to be spending a few weeks of your life researching this topic, and at the end of the course, unless you object, it will be included as part of an open-access sourcebook that I will put together, and that will be made available to the general public. Because of that, make sure you pick something that you are genuinely interested in learning about, and that you want to share with the world.
What is the topic you are researching?
How the Minimum Wage in British Columbia Affected Female Workers
For example, if the article you chose was ‘The Chinese Immigration Problem (1924)’, a possible topic inspired by that article could be, “Why was immigration to Canada so restricted for Chinese people in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and how did this compare with restrictions on the immigration of other visible minorities?”
Why did you choose this topic?
I chose this topic because it must have been painful having your wages lowered because you are a woman. I wanted to explore on how the women were affected by the minimum wage.
1.b. Shrink your topic
Many of the topics inspired by the article you chose in Step 1 are likely to be very broad: you could write an entire book or thesis about some of them. It’s time to think small, Shrink your topic. Narrow it down to the smallest story that you can still tell completely. This serves a few different purposes: smaller topics are more straightforward to research when you have limited time, they tend to provide more interesting stories (would you rather read a table of bankruptcy statistics or learn about how one specific person lost everything due to a bank failure, and the effect this had on their family?), and it’s often easier to clearly see the economics of the situation, because the sacrifices and tradeoffs, opportunities taken and lost, are on full display.
How the Minimum Wage affected the Teachers in Ontario and Quebec
Ontario and Quebec
Continuing the Chinese immigration example above, smaller topics could be something like, “The effect of Canada’s different immigration policies for Chinese and Japanese people on Vancouver’s anti-Asian riot of 1907 and its aftermath,” or “The role of Canadian and U.S. Chinese immigration policies on human trafficking in Windsor, Ontario, and Victoria, British Columbia, from 1858 to 1908”.
1.c. Start telling your story
Start telling your story. Very briefly, tell me the basics of what happened. What was the original situation? What happened? What changed as a result of what happened? Provide sources for any claims you make.
Although not absolutely required by this assignment, you may find it very useful to find a peer-reviewed journal article about your chosen topic. An easy way to do that is to go to https://scholar.google.ca and search for relevant keywords. Google Scholar restricts its search mostly to peer-reviewed and professionally published sources. Once you find an article via Google Scholar, you can search for the article’s name at https://library.uvic.ca to access a free-to-UVic-students version. You WILL be required to have at least one peer-reviewed article as a source in a later step of this project, so this is a great opportunity to kill two birds with one stone: you can work ahead, reducing your future workload, and do better in this step, thanks to the extra information.
When the minimum wage was set in British Columbia, it was established only to affect women. The minimum wage depended on the industry that the women were working in. Some of the women that were affected by this minimum wage were the teachers. The minimum wage at this time was set as a way of ‘putting women in their ‘place’. The minimum wage affected them immensely because they were performing a lot of tasks during the time the minimum wage was approved. Many of the teachers between 1910-1925 were often overlooked, and their labor was ignored.
During the nineteenth and the early twentieth century, most of the teacher labor force in Ontario and Quebec comprised of women., The minimum wage for women came at this time when the teachers were struggling in the education sector in that the system was making various changes. For one, there was the introduction of new subjects and teaching methods, which most of the teachers were contending. During the time, there was also an increase in the amount of paperwork that was to be handled by the teachers. Apart from these changes, the elementary public-school teachers were required to focus more on the discipline and uniformity aspects in these hierarchical workplaces. These factors alone would be deemed appropriate to give the teachers the wages that they deserved without focusing on the weight between what the females earned versus what the male workforce was earning.
Besides the technical changes in the educational structures, the teachers had to deal with unhealthy working conditions in the schools. Additionally, they often argued on who’s responsibility was to ensure that the school was in good shape regarding the school’s general upkeep and physical look. Even with these challenges, the teachers, a sector that the female gender had dominated, kept receiving low pay because of the minimum wage law that had been passed in British Columbia.
One significant impact that the minimum wage had on the women who were in the teaching occupation was that it pushed them towards forming protective associations that were only considering a single-gender women. These associations were majorly composed of the teachers from the urban areas. However, not all the women in the education setting were thrilled to join these associations. For instance, some of the school mistresses were adamant about joining the other organized workers. These women refused to consider themselves as unionized workers. The single-sex associations that were formed were based on the fact that the women in this industry came to realize that they were facing a lot of challenges, but the giant of all was because of their gender identity, they were female.
The female teachers had come to understand that they had not met most of the goals that they anticipated to reach, and this was because they were women; hence they were underpaid. They did not consider themselves as self-identified workers as they had aspired to be. Even so, they did not consider themselves as professionals, and they attributed this to the fact that they were women. This factor showed how much the teachers had been forgotten in the history of education. Additionally, it indicated how much the teachers had been overlooked as part of the workforce. This factor contributed to them being given minimum wages despite their unhealthy working environment and increased workload.
Sources you used, cited in APA format:
McCallum, M. (1986). Keeping Women in their Place: The Minimum Wage in Canada, 1910-1925. JSTOR, 29-56
1.d. What is the main economic point of your story?
What is the main economic point of your story? (Answer this like you would answer the same question in a 3-2-1 report.)
The main economic point of the story is that most of these teachers were working in unhealthy environment. Besides that, they had a huge workload that they had to handle. With the minimum wages, it meant that in the economy, the workforce might have been doing a lot of work, but they underpaid. Therefore, they were not being paid according to the value of work they were doing
Question 2 (Challenge)
In this question, you need to find a primary source related to your (narrowed down) topic. This source should be from the time period in question (or written later by someone who participated in the event you’re writing about), and should be an original source of information. So, for example, a letter written by a government official in 1913 about the situation on the Blood Reserve would be a primary source on that topic. A peer-reviewed article published in 2018 that talks about that letter would NOT be primary source. For the purpose of this assignment, newspaper and journal articles written at the time of the event you are talking about are primary sources.
The following list of resources can help you find a primary source:
The ‘bookshelf’ section of the course’s Brightspace page
Library and Archives Canada Advanced Search: https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/collectionsearch/Pages/collectionsearch.aspx
Peel’s Prairie Provinces (Newspapers for Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, 1871 – 2013): http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/newspapers/
Censuses (Library and Archives Canada) (1825 – 1926): https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/census/Pages/census.aspx
The British Colonist (Victoria newspaper, 1858 – 1970s): https://britishcolonist.ca/
B.C. Historical Newspapers (1859 – 1995): https://open.library.ubc.ca/collections/bcnewspapers
Hudson’s Bay Company Archives – Biographical Sheets: https://www.gov.mb.ca/chc/archives/hbca/biographical/
2.a Find and cite a primary source (5 marks)
(5 marks) Find a primary source that is relevant to your topic, and cite it in APA format:
Canadiana. (1915, December). The Teachers’ Monthly. Canadiana, 21(12). Retrieved March 8, 2022, from https://www.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.8_04475_252
2.b. Why is this source relevant? (5 marks)
Briefly explain why this source is relevant to your topic. How are they connected?
This source is relevant because it shows some of the rules that the teachers had to follow and
how they overworked.
2.c. What your source taught you (5 marks)
Briefly explain what you learned from this source, and how it affected your understanding of the economics of the situation you are studying.
From this source I learnt that the teachers had been given many roles some of which were
extreme like carrying water and washing the classrooms and keeping the school clean. This article
helped me to understand that the workforce in that economy was overworked. It also
indicated that this workforce was majorly women and not a male dominated industry.
ECON 321 Research Project, Step 2