Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
This thesis presents a multi-level and mixed-method analysis of the health-care experiences of predominantly Colombian migrants living in Ottawa, Canada. It incorporates survey, interview, archival and participant-observation data to answer a series of linked questions regarding health and migration under contemporary Canadian liberal governance. Specifically, the thesis elucidates connections between bodily experiences of illness and healing, linguistic and cultural fractures within communities, and the legal positioning of refugee migrants in Canadian law. In doing so it follows the "three bodies" model of medical anthropology proposed by Lock and Scheper-Hughes. The first three chapters of the thesis provide multiple layers of context for the fourth chapter, which contains the bulk of the primary ethnographic evidence. The first chapter analyzes the positioning of the refugee subject in Canadian legislative and policy discourse, highlighting the phenomenon of the immigrant as subaltern nationalist "hero" who is denied a full voice in public affairs but whose passive qualities are considered essential for the cultural reproduction of the nation. The second chapter discusses relevant changes in the governance of health and social services in Canada, pointing out how neoliberal ideology attempts to mobilize "social capital" (that is, networks of unpaid labour) to replace withdrawals of public capital. The third chapter explores the entanglement of Colombian migrants in the language politics of the Canadian state, specifically the politics of iv the Ontario-Quebec border between English- and French-speakers. The fourth chapter presents the stories of Latina/o migrants focusing on their health, illness and perspectives on Canadian state participation. In conclusion, the thesis presents an analytical framework privileging the tie between the linguistic practices of nationalist projects and the linguistic underpinning of healing relationships. In both cases, a struggle for accurate and just recognition, conducted through linguistic practice, is a consequence of the human search for well-being.
Galley, Andrew, "COLOMBIAN REFUGEE MIGRANT EXPERIENCES OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES IN OTTAWA, CANADA: NAVIGATING LANDSCAPES OF LANGUAGE AND MEMORY" (2012). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 6867.
McMaster University Library