Dissertations

2015 Past Oral Defences

Julia Brassolotto

Dissertation Title: "Querying Everyday Scarcity: A Feminist Political Economy Analysis of Kidney Dialysis and Transplantation in Rural British Columbia"

Committee Members:  (Chair) M. Hynie, (Supervisor) T. Daly, (Member) P. Armstrong, (Member) M. MacDonald, (Outside Member) D. Davidson
Date of Defence: October 16, 2014
University, Degree and Year: York University, PhD, 2015
Current Email: julia.brassolotto@uleth.ca

Abstract: This thesis uses a feminist political economy perspective to analyze the findings from a qualitative case study regarding kidney dialysis and transplantation in rural and remote British Columbia. This case study was conducted in order to investigate the concept of "scarcity," which is very common in organ transfer discourse. Critical ethnography and document analysis were used to examine the ways in which scarcity manifests in policy, practice, and everyday life. The main areas of focus include: the systemic context for the practices; the intersection of social location and geographic isolation; the intersection of gender, work and health; the implications of work in the local resource industry for renal health and renal replacement options; the role of unpaid care work provided by family members; and the implications of shifting care from institutions to families and individuals – particularly in a rural and remote context. Broadly, I argue that the scarcity of transplantable organs remains the dominant public discourse, that this discourse informs policies and practices, and that, despite these trends, lived experiences of scarcity at this site of study have more to do with the scarcity of human and health care resources, particular services, and health and life-sustaining resources for patients.