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Food Insecurity in the UK: A Critical Narrative Analysis

Wczasek, Ryan (2018) Food Insecurity in the UK: A Critical Narrative Analysis. Other thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

Food-insecurity is a serious and growing problem in the UK. The following research details the levels and causes of the problem and sets this in the context of the biggest contributors to food-insecurity, namely poverty and welfare-reform. The existing psychological research in the area is critiqued, and whilst it positively draws attention to the problems faced by food-insecure people, it does so through a positivist and medicalised lens that draws attention away from structural issues and towards the individual. As conceptions of distress grounded in relation to unequal power and access to resources may go some way to address this, several theories of power and resistance are outlined. Research questions addressing the context of food-insecurity, the power imbalances people faced, and how they resisted these imbalances were identified. Four participants who had experienced food-insecurity were interviewed for the study. Data was analysed using the Listening Guide, a method designed to listen for multiple complementary and contradictory voices within a person’s narrative. The method was adapted to add an extra layer of analysis, examining the voices of participants for how they reflected reproduction or resistance of structural power-imbalances in society. None of the participants spoke about problems of food-insecurity or mental-health in isolation from other areas of their lives, and all discussed their distress in relation to structural forces. The results suggest that framing distress in models of power and resistance has utility in both research and clinical psychological practice.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Health and Social Care, School of
Depositing User: Ryan Wczasek
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2018 10:55
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2018 10:55
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/21690

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