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Thirty Days in a British Columbia Transition House: Feminist Governance on the Frontline of the Settler-State

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Thirty Days in a British Columbia Transition House: Feminist Governance on the Frontline of the Settler-State

Wallman, Heather (2018) Thirty Days in a British Columbia Transition House: Feminist Governance on the Frontline of the Settler-State. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The goal of this thesis is to elucidate how British Columbia transition houses function through the intersection of the Canadian neoliberal economy and settler-state: do transition houses become an indirect branch of the welfare system that contributes to a Canadian settler-state? Between 2016-2017, approximately seventy percent of women who used Lake House services identified as First Nations, according to demographic statistics we gather during intake. Therefore, I argue that BC transition houses not only give an impression that a neoliberal government is trying to ameliorate violence against women, transition houses play a part in sustaining a settler-state through its policies, protocols and paperwork that co-terminously create and monitor subjects who bolster the neoliberal class divide. Transition houses (in their best intentions) continue to reproduce marginalized subjects whose scarce economic “rights” allow the new neoliberal class, one that is formed by “restrict[ing] in favour of the freedoms of the few” (Harvey 2005: 70), to maintain hegemony through property and land ownership. Consequently, residents of the transition house are left with few housing options: monitored social housing, an unaffordable BC housing market or returning to an abusive situation. Through autoethnography, I plan to unpack my argument from the position of the transition house worker in relation to a woman calling the crisis line (the point of first contact) to her outtake (exit out of the house), parsing the development of “our” (the workers) relationship with her through our policies, protocols and paperwork. Furthermore, I ask the following question about the role of workers in Canadian NGOs: Are we on the frontlines of change or protecting the settler-state?

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Wallman, Heather
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Social and Cultural Anthropology
Date:14 May 2018
Thesis Supervisor(s):Forte, Maximilian
ID Code:984011
Deposited By: Heather Wallman
Deposited On:16 Nov 2018 15:43
Last Modified:16 Nov 2018 15:43
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