UBC Community, Partners, and Alumni Publications

‘Not your “poor dear”’ : Practices and politics of care in women’s non-profit housing in Vancouver, Canada Thompson, Samantha


Care is a political process, a set of social relations, and a marketized product. The spatialization of care is complicated when there are diverse caring relations within sites of marketized care. I focus on how care is produced and conceived in non-profit housing for women, in Vancouver, Canada, and how people experience and feel about their homes. I demonstrate the significance of mutual care, caring relations that subvert the giver-receiver hierarchy, and socio-spatial practices that enact care in ways that seek to rewrite structural and historical oppressions that shape women’s experiences of housing. I argue that care in this non-profit housing is entwined within a set of relationships, which range communal practices of care to friction and fragility. This underscores that relationships of care remain susceptible to politics, conflict, and institutional shifts. Finally, I theorize that the provision of mutual care from tenants to their neighbours is a significant element within a wider complex of care in non-profit housing sites.

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