Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
This research project asks: to what extent are voluntary organizations included in the policy processes that make decisions regarding the needs and interests of atypical groups? Both urban Aboriginal peoples and Travellers are defined as atypical groups due to their indigeneity and their separate treatment by the state because of cultural differences characterized by nomadism, language and distinctive lifeways preserved by oral traditions. Their marginalization was exacerbated as they transitioned to urban centres after the middle of the twentieth century and the state, although it acknowledged these groups, did not accommodate their needs and interests. In an era of neoliberalism where significant responsibility for welfare has shifted to the voluntary sector, marginalized groups still require disproportionate assistance by the state in policy areas of education, health and housing and they rely on voluntary organizations to provide culturally appropriate programs and services and to advocate for their needs and interests. Applying a scalar analysis, this project isolated three key concepts that are interdependent yet distinct, that are critical to inclusion. First, is incorporation of culturally relevant programs on the micro scale. Second, is atypical group representation in policy processes on the meso scale. And third, their collaboration with government on the macro scale. On balance it appears that urban Aboriginal peoples in Canada have moved closer to inclusion in policy processes due to their success in incorporation, representation and collaboration. In contrast, Travellers in Ireland face greater obstacles in collaborating with government, which impacts on their representation in policy processes and their incorporation of programs and services to meet the needs and interests. The trajectory of these findings suggest that urban Aboriginal peoples will continue to collaborate with government and move closer to goals self-determination while Travellers will continue to struggle against prevailing societal domination to achieve ethnic minority status.
Heritz, Joanne M., "The Inclusion of Atypical Minorities in Public Policy: Urban Aboriginal Peoples in Canada and Travellers in Ireland" (2012). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 7308.
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