The formation and early development of an urban ethnic community : a case study of the Germans in Winnipeg

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Grenke, Arthur.
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The study will trace the historical development of the German community of Winnipeg in the period 1872-1919. To do so the most important dimensions of German community life will be isolated. Community needs will be examined as well as the most important influences which, while primarily outside the community, greatly affected its development. Organizational ties which emerged within the community between the local German community and German communities outside Winnipeg or this community and the charter groups, will be analysed and mapped. Studies on the formation of urban ethnic communities have in the past confined themselves largely to the ethnic community in a specific spatial area - the ethnic community in a town or city. Their examination concentrates on the social organizations and the residential patterns found in the communities. Srole and Warner, for example, in their study of ethnic communities in Yankee city concern themselves primarily with the residential mobility and social organizations of the ethnic groups in a New England town. Little attention is given to the influence which immigration or the patterns of settlement of the new arrivals in America may have had upon the local residential patterns or social organizations. Nor does the study isolate and examine the links between social organizations of the ethnic groups and those of the charter groups, or the effect which such links may have had upon the development of ethnic social organizations. Similar shortcomings are evident in other studies concerned with the formation of ethnic communities. Although Wirth's analysis of the ghetto places the emergence of the ghetto in American cities in the context of the historical ghetto, the study confines itself largely to the urban Jewish communuity and gives little attention to the relationship between this community and the larger gentile society. Again, Iverson traces the development of the voluntary association of "Turners" of New Ulm, but does not examine the relationship between the "Turners" of New Ulm and those of other American cities. The following analysis, while concentrating on the social organizations of the urban German community, will isolate and examine links between social organizations within and outside this community. Important influences outside the community which affected its development will also be looked at...