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When stories change our worlds: An ethnography of basic income in Lindsay, Ontario

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When stories change our worlds: An ethnography of basic income in Lindsay, Ontario

Werner, Leah Barrett (2021) When stories change our worlds: An ethnography of basic income in Lindsay, Ontario. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Based on 3 months of ethnographic fieldwork in Lindsay, Ontario, this thesis explores personal and collective narratives about basic income in the context of the Ontario basic income pilot project that ran in three municipalities in the province from 2018-2019. The pilot project reflected a novel approach to poverty reduction in the province in that it marked a departure from existing means-tested social assistance programs, until it was cancelled prematurely by the new Ontario provincial government. Using the methods of participant observation and semi-structured interviews with former basic income recipients and advocates, the thesis discusses the ways in which basic income captured the imagination of recipients, long-time advocates, and the larger community within Lindsay. It finds that the telling and sharing of hopeful and positive stories were central both to the way basic income was expressed within the community, and to the advocacy work done around it, which sought to challenge long-standing narratives about poverty and work. Finally, it suggests that basic income provided a new narrative framework through which participants in the projects and advocates alike began to imagine a different, and better, future.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Werner, Leah Barrett
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Social and Cultural Anthropology
Date:31 March 2021
Thesis Supervisor(s):Hurl, Chris
ID Code:988170
Deposited By: Leah Barrett Werner
Deposited On:29 Jun 2021 22:32
Last Modified:29 Jun 2021 22:32
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