Navigating income assistance: An ethnography of PWD (Persons With Disabilities) applications

Date created: 
2015-05-11
Identifier: 
etd9016
Keywords: 
Income assistance for Persons with Disabilities
PWD
Participatory ethnography
Bureaucracy
Ableism
Abstract: 

This participatory ethnography examines the experiences of four women and one of their male partners living in British Columbia who have navigated applications for Income Assistance for Persons with Disabilities (PWD). I was inspired to do this research after hearing of the complexities of PWD applications while working in social justice organizations. Research methods included co-created ethnographic conversations, participant observation, and document analysis. Influenced by partial, positioned feminist epistemologies and the research participants’ analyses, findings are connected to literature from anthropology and critical disability studies. Research participants endured and critiqued the dominating neoliberal ideology of Income Assistance through skilled agentive negotiations of ableist bureaucratic processes; however, these experiences also impacted their sense of self and their relationships to their disabilities and other people in consequential ways. This thesis closes by discussing participants’ suggestions for providing service not dominated by neoliberal ideology and that could be more effectively navigated by claimants.

Document type: 
Thesis
Rights: 
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Dara Culhane
Parin Dossa
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Sociology and Anthropology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.
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