Identity, connection & responsibility: insights from feminist poststructuralism and the ethics of care on homelessness in Canada

Huget, Laurel (2022) Identity, connection & responsibility: insights from feminist poststructuralism and the ethics of care on homelessness in Canada. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Recent narratives on homelessness and poverty in Canada at the time of COVID-19 have exposed contradictions and limitations to dominant conceptualizations of connection, responsibility, and care. The global pandemic has highlighted routes of connectivity that are normally obscured, and has thus prompted a surge in advocacy for the responsibility to care for the wellbeing of others to whom such a responsibility is not normally recognized. However, this sentiment of care has not been similarly extended to unhoused persons among the most vulnerable to the social, economic, and public health consequences of COVID-19. This thesis explores this contradiction as the product of neoliberal logics that individualize homelessness, stigmatize the people experiencing it, and deny the domiciled population’s connection to the phenomenon and their shared responsibility for addressing it. Against neoliberalism’s description, diagnosis, and treatment of homelessness, this thesis examines the ethics of care and feminist poststructuralism as frameworks that can expand limited conceptualizations of connection and responsibility. The author argues that together, feminist poststructuralism and the ethics of care provide the impetus and foundation for countering the stigma of homelessness, the narratives that distance and separate the domiciled against the unhoused, and ultimately the inadequate social and political treatment of homelessness.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 15711
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 111-117)
Keywords: ethics of care, feminist poststructuralism, homelessness, neoliberalism, responsibility
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Political Science
Date: July 2022
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Homelessness--Canada; Neoliberalism--Canada; Poststructuralism; Feminism--Canada; Caring--Canada; Social service--Moral and ethical aspects--Canada; COVID-19 (Disease)--Canada

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