"Let's talk supportive housing": a critical discourse analysis of responses to homelessness in Maple Ridge, BC

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Thesis type
(Project) M.Urb.
Date created
The Royal Crescent and Garibaldi Ridge supportive housing projects in Maple Ridge, BC generated significant opposition from local residents, and conflict between provincial government actors, people experiencing homelessness, and housed Maple Ridge residents. Through an adapted version of Critical Discourse Analysis and informant interviews I identified how provincial government actors and opponents to supportive housing framed the issue of homelessness and poverty in Maple Ridge. My study found that provincial government actors both challenged and reproduced stigma toward people experiencing homelessness, maintaining power inequities between people experiencing homelessness, housed residents of Maple Ridge, and provincial government actors. My findings identified three prominent points of tension between provincial government actor and opponent framing: (1) safety and security; (2) support services and treatment, and (3) social control and reform. These points of tension demonstrate the complexities in discursive and policy responses to homelessness, and how stigma can become normalized in these responses.
78 pages.
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Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Ferguson, Karen
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