Engaging Individuals Experiencing Poverty in Poverty Initiatives

  • Author / Creator
    Wallace, Emma-Lynn
  • Despite increasing awareness of poverty in Canada, the number of individuals living in poverty is still rising. In response, all three levels of government and in particular, municipalities, are directly taking on responsibilities for reducing poverty. Across these municipal initiatives is a remarkable commitment: engaging those experiencing poverty in their efforts. Specifically, EndPovertyEdmonton—recognizing that community engagement is seen as crucial in addressing complex social issues and nurturing sustainable communities—is paying a lot of attention to how those experiencing poverty can be engaged in their governance structure. However, they are struggling with how to proceed in ways that are not tokenistic and there is a lack of literature to guide this process. However, there are many other initiatives in Canada that are attempting to engage those living in poverty in their efforts and learning from would be advantageous. Therefore, this thesis describes how community engagement is understood by people working in poverty-related initiatives. Using focused ethnography, I conducted interviews, participant observation, and document review to present peoples’ understanding of community engagement, along with their experiences of success, struggle, and hope. In the discussion and conclusion (Chapters 5 & 6), I go into detail on why and how these results are relevant, not only to initiatives looking to engaging people experiencing poverty in their work, but also to the community engagement literature.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2019
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
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