Organizing Against Poverty in Edmonton: A Case Study of EndPovertyEdmonton Movement Organization

  • Author / Creator
    Oduro, Razak
  • This study examines the antipoverty efforts and social movement-building approach of EndPovertyEdmonton (EPE). In the context of poverty, social movement organizing refers to groups of actors working together as a collective and in a coordinated manner to change fundamental structures that reinforce poverty. While some research has examined poverty-related social movements, the focus has been in the global south as opposed to community-focused initiatives in Western developed countries. As a result, little is known about the processes and how community-focused social movements organize and contribute to the elimination of poverty in Western developed countries. Specifically, the objectives of the study were as follows: 1) to determine what accounted for the emergence of EPE with the aspiration to build a movement to end poverty in Edmonton; 2) to examine the core strategies of EPE to achieve the goal of ending poverty in Edmonton; and 3) to ascertain the socio-contextual factors that enable or constrain EPE in the process of organizing against poverty in Edmonton. Using a case study methodology, and generating data through one-on-one interviews and a document review, findings from the study offer insights into the dynamics, strategies, and contexts of antipoverty organizing of EPE. The findings indicate that EPE has embarked on a bold vision to build a movement to end poverty in Edmonton. This huge undertaking by EPE represents a novel approach aimed at eliminating poverty and it signals a focus to drive conscious collective change. As well, the study found that the development of EPE has influenced and renewed motivation for anti-poverty work and has resulted in important accomplishments that are likely to contribute to the elimination of poverty in Edmonton. However, despite EPE’s accomplishments, the findings indicate that strategies that are critical for effective movement-building are largely missing. For example, I show how there is a disconnection, what I refer to as “the missing link” between the key aspirations that gave rise to the movement organization and current EPE strategies. Furthermore, I detail the influences of socio-contextual factors (e.g., resources, political and policy factors) on the work of EPE, underscoring the socio-contextual factors that facilitate and constrain efforts to build a movement to end poverty in Edmonton. Finally, I discuss how the findings of this study provide practical implications for theory, research, and practice.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2022
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.