Author

Valorie Cooks

Date of Award

9-2001

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Geography

Supervisor

Vera Chouinard

Language

English

Abstract

Little research into the lives of women with arthritic conditions has been conducted by geographers and other social scientists; particularly using qualitative methodologies. We therefore know little about how these women negotiate experiences within Canadian society and space. Further, few researchers to date have viewed people with disabilities as being policy experts, and looked to their lived experiences to inform policy directions. The focus of this feminist geographic study is on explaining the workplace experiences of eighteen women residing in the City of Hamilton, Ontario since acquiring an arthritic condition, and examining how these lived experiences can be used to help assess and improve government employment policies and programs for persons with disabilities. The experiences of paid employment, the workplace, and changing life spaces investigated include: the types of workplace accommodations these women have sought from their employers; the women's changing views of themselves as being 'productive workers'; how experiences in the workplace are affected by experiences in other spaces of daily life; and the government-funded and community support programs they have used to assist them in remaining in the workplace or with the transition to unemployment. The overall objectives are to explain why and how these women's experiences of paid work and the workplace have changed in a particular place, namely the City of Hamilton, and to discuss the implications of their experiences and policy recommendations for current and future policy and program directions.

McMaster University Library

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