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Ending Poverty? Critical Interrogations of Class Subjectivities, Agency, and Ideologies in Discursive and Embodied Texts From a U.S. Nonprofit

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Ending Poverty? Critical Interrogations of Class Subjectivities, Agency, and Ideologies in Discursive and Embodied Texts From a U.S. Nonprofit

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Title: Ending Poverty? Critical Interrogations of Class Subjectivities, Agency, and Ideologies in Discursive and Embodied Texts From a U.S. Nonprofit
Author: Lawless, Brandi
Advisor(s): Collier, Mary Jane
Committee Member(s): Cramer, Janet
Milstein, Tema
Herrera, Brian
Department: University of New Mexico. Dept. of Communication and Journalism
Subject: Poverty
Agency
Critical Discourse Analysis
Ideology
Embodied
LC Subject(s): Critical discourse analysis
Intercultural communication
Nonprofit organizations -- Case studies
Classism -- Case studies
Degree Level: Doctoral
Abstract: This dissertation explores subjectivities, agency, and power relations that emerge in discourses and performances related to one U.S. nonprofit organization attempting to end poverty, referred to as Transforming Poverty Partnerships (TPP). The author analyzes training materials, interview transcripts, and performance texts documented through participant observation. This study reveals a number of discourses in each of the texts, which function to reproduce dominant societal ideologies about individual hard work as a pathway to success, individual responsibility to create change, the normalization of the middle class, and a reinforcement of whiteness. The author takes a praxical approach in using theories from critical intercultural communication, performance studies, and critical pedagogy as a framework for understanding how subject positioning is realized and actualized in this organizational setting, how agency is enabled and constrained, and how texts reveal discourses, which ultimately function to reinforce and/or resist hegemonic systems of oppression. This framework and analysis leads to several recommendations for this nonprofit, with implications for similar organizations.
Graduation Date: July 2012
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/21053


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