Mennonite Business in Town and City: Friesens Corporation of Altona and Palliser Furniture of Winnipeg
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Thiessen, Janis. "Mennonite Business in Town and City: Friesens Corporation of Altona and Palliser Furniture of Winnipeg." Mennonite Quarterly Review 73(3) (July 1999): 585-600.
Historians of the Mennonite experience have made scant use of the approaches of secular economic historians, particularly those of labor historians. Jim Halteman observes that, among Mennonites, there is "almost no recognition of labor as a cog in a social structure that might be critiqued and challenged toward some new social order." In their religious life, Mennonites promote community over individualism. In their daily practices, however, most Mennonites have accepted uncritically capitalism's exaltation of the individual. Most of the work done in Mennonite business history has emphasized the skilled entrepreneurship of the founders. What is needed is acknowledgement of the role played in the success of these businesses by Mennonite community networks and the interaction of Mennonite cultural and religious values with class-based labour relations. The importance of such an awareness is revealed by the history of two prominent Manitoba Mennonite businesses: Palliser Furniture of Winnipeg and Friesens Corporation of Altena.