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Panic! In the suburbs: Investigating moral configurations of risk, neoliberal rationality, and middle-class anxiety in Maple Ridge B.C.

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Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
Date created
In this thesis, I examine how the emergence of a homeless encampment in Maple Ridge, British Columbia in 2017 produced a reaction that I argue was the result of a moral panic. I seek to understand how a homeless encampment, as a hyper visible, centralized, and politically active hub for a marginalized community contributed to the sense of urgency around homelessness. I draw upon moral panic scholarship including theories around risk, neoliberal rationality, and the attending hybrid moral configurations produced by both to account for the hyper emotional reaction to homelessness in Maple Ridge. I situate this panic within the development of neoliberal disciplinary mechanisms that compel individuals to internalize ways of being that reimagine their relationship to the state and implore them to manage the conduct of others accordingly. Finally, I argue that this event was produced by a latent anxiety around economic precarity within middle class suburban communities.
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Copyright is held by the author.
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Scholarly level
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Lacombe, Dany
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