Download the full-sized PDF of Seeking Shelter among Settlers: Housing, Governance, and the Urban/Aboriginal DichotomyDownload the full-sized PDF



Permanent link (DOI):


Export to: EndNote  |  Zotero  |  Mendeley


This file is in the following communities:

Graduate Studies and Research, Faculty of


This file is in the following collections:

Theses and Dissertations

Seeking Shelter among Settlers: Housing, Governance, and the Urban/Aboriginal Dichotomy Open Access


Other title
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Crookshanks, John Douglas
Supervisor and department
Altamirano-Jiménez, Isabel (Political Science)
Examining committee member and department
Harder, Lois (Political Science)
Dacks, Gurston (Emeritus Political Science)
Gotell, Lise (Women's and Gender Studies)
Peters, Evelyn (Geography)
Department of Political Science

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
This dissertation looks at urban housing fields (its policies, services, actors, and structures) in two Canadian cities: Edmonton and Winnipeg. Using a Bourdieusian method of field analysis, I ask how local networks of actors engaged in the struggle over housing resources govern and are governed in the city, with an emphasis on the positions, roles, and experiences of Aboriginal people. Employing an analytic matrix that seeks to cast light on differences amongst Aboriginal people, I ask how and why the shaping of the housing field differentially affects Aboriginal women and men, how some Aboriginal people can meet their needs through gathering valuable resources, and what roles Aboriginal political groups play in the housing fields. Finally, I explore whether strategies for inclusive, Aboriginal collective action are being attempted in urban housing fields, in response to, or in light of, the political-economic order that hinders Aboriginal control over housing. Combining questions about political economy, gender, and Aboriginal politics in Canada, I use a multileveled analysis to show how hegemonic ideas shape housing fields and the people within. At the same time, urban residents of all backgrounds are also responsible for shaping the field around them. Powerful, historically based field structures reward certain kinds of behaviour, but also seek to constitute actors as certain kinds of people. Aboriginal women and men find themselves with behaviours, beliefs, or dispositions that often leave them at odds with cultural, political, and economic forces in the city. I argue that a complex dichotomy that puts Aboriginal people at odds with the ideal urban citizen (the urban/Aboriginal dichotomy) is challenged, or disrupted, by the ways in which people contest the common-sense assumptions of the contemporary housing field. However, a great amount of resources – social, cultural, economic, and symbolic – are required in order to change colonial, patriarchal, and neoliberal structures and shift power from the privileged actors that have benefitted from them for so long.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication

File Details

Date Uploaded
Date Modified
Audit Status
Audits have not yet been run on this file.
File format: pdf (Portable Document Format)
Mime type: application/pdf
File size: 17302015
Last modified: 2015:10:12 10:46:08-06:00
Filename: Crookshanks John Douglas Spring 2013.pdf
Original checksum: 9136e92add7a3f67a791b8b8bff4ef0c
Well formed: true
Valid: true
Status message: File header gives version as 1.4, but catalog dictionary gives version as 1.3
File title: Microsoft Word - 1 - title page.docx
File author: JD
Page count: 419
Activity of users you follow
User Activity Date