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Title: Refracted truths : mediating constructions of identity through the illness and healing experience of homeless Native American men along the Wasatch Front, Utah
Author: Stolfi, D.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5359 2521
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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The thesis investigates how homeless Native American men in Salt Lake City, Utah navigate their experience of homelessness, as well as the social suffering it gives rise to, in order to affirm a sense of personhood and personal identity. It examines how this experience is constructed, presented, and mediated through a series of ambivalent spatial and agentic practices that contribute to shaping a contemporary and localized expression of Native American masculine identity. The thesis argues that, for Native Americans, the notions of personhood and identity are deeply rooted in a culturally and spiritually embodied sense of place. When this bond with place is ruptured, it not only complicates our understanding of indigenous homelessness, but the possibility for homeless Native American individuals of living fulfilling lives is fundamentally compromised and can lead to severe and debilitating forms of suffering that are difficult for us to comprehend. Their experience of homelessness also underlines the difficulties many of these individuals encounter in trying to reclaim a meaningful sense of self in order to lead ‘good’ lives. Unfortunately, it also reminds us in many cases of their failure to do so. The thesis presents these themes as multiple representations and suggests that Native American homelessness constitutes a neglected narrative within the Native American identity and healthcare discourse. It also includes an investigation of the efforts to address this complex and problematic reality on the part of the independent agencies that work with homelessness in Salt Lake City and considers possible implications for future research, practice, and advocacy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available