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dc.contributor.authorNowell, Magnusen
dc.description.abstractHarm reduction, its aspirations, politics, and discourses, have changed dramatically since its origins as a grassroots, drug user-led movement in Canada. Public health played a critical role in helping implement harm reduction, but in doing so has aligned it in ways that have accommodated neoliberal priorities and technocratic discourses, thus contributing to its depoliticization as a social movement. By absconding from meaningfully attending to social determinants of health, which underlie drug-related harm in favour of risk-mitigating individual approaches, public health’s implementation of harm reduction has fallen short in challenging social injustices and inequities at the root of Canada’s legacy of drug criminalization. The arrival of fentanyl and the overdose crisis in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES) has proven to be a turning point in this history by leading marginalized tenants of privately-owned single room occupancy (SRO) hotels to organize overdose response for one another. In December 2016, the Downtown Eastside SRO Collaborative Society, a housing advocacy organization, partnered with public health to develop the Tenant Overdose Response Organizers (TORO) program, which uses community organizing to support these efforts. Through participant observation and key stakeholder interviews undertaken between November 2017 and April 2018, this research explores harm reduction’s politics, practices, and discourses through a case study of the novel, peer-led TORO program. I found that despite the hesitancy of public health to support housing advocacy as a critical component of harm reduction, TORO has supported SRO tenants in their responses to oppressive physical, social, and structural environments. My analysis of the work of TORO within the broader context of the DTES has also supported the development of the “therapeutic riskscape” as a theory that attempts to provide an approach to harm reduction that recognizes the recursive relationship between community-driven responses to structural environments and relational experiences of place-based healing.en
dc.relation.ispartofseriesCanadian thesesen
dc.rightsCC0 1.0 Universalen
dc.rightsQueen's University's Thesis/Dissertation Non-Exclusive License for Deposit to QSpace and Library and Archives Canadaen
dc.rightsProQuest PhD and Master's Theses International Dissemination Agreementen
dc.rightsIntellectual Property Guidelines at Queen's Universityen
dc.rightsCopying and Preserving Your Thesisen
dc.rightsThis publication is made available by the authority of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private study and research and may not be copied or reproduced except as permitted by the copyright laws without written authority from the copyright owner.en
dc.subjectOverdose Crisisen
dc.subjectHarm Reductionen
dc.subjectHealth Promotionen
dc.subjectPublic Healthen
dc.subjectRisk Environmenten
dc.subjectTherapeutic Landscapeen
dc.subjectDowntown Eastsideen
dc.titleExploring Politics, Practices, and Discourses of Harm Reduction in the Overdose Crisis: the Case of the Tenant Overdose Response Organizers and the “Therapeutic Riskscape”en
dc.contributor.supervisorMasuda, Jeffreyen
dc.contributor.departmentKinesiology and Health Studiesen
dc.embargo.termsI wish a restriction be placed on this thesis to protect my community partner's relationship with the funders of their harm reduction program. The thesis may reveal ways in which the community partner has attempted to circumvent restrictions placed upon them by funding organizations and may have the potential to negatively impact their current funding and their potential for future funding.en
dc.embargo.liftdate2019-09-25's University at Kingstonen

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CC0 1.0 Universal
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as CC0 1.0 Universal