This study investigates the material conditions of frontline grocery work in Metro Vancouver during the first year of the global pandemic, and contrasts the everyday experiences of grocery workers with the discursive production of essential workers as 'heroes' in the corporate media. I argue that the political response to the pandemic was a corollary of the continued interaction between the neoliberal project which exploits crisis to transfer wealth upward, and the settler colonial project which utilizes racial capitalism to structure the divisions between types of labour. Finally, drawing upon theories which span across the tradition of Black studies and critical feminist geography, I argue that the biopolitical nature of the BC Provincial government response to the pandemic exposed those marked as less grievable to necrotic conditions, and served as a warning of the further deterioration of conditions for the most vulnerable in the event of future crises.
Copyright is held by the author(s).
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Strauss, Kendra
Member of collection