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Woodsquat : a sociological analysis Berretta, Thea Michelle

Abstract

The Downtown Eastside neighborhood of Vancouver, British Columbia, is a contested zone of municipal, community, health, political and social debate. In the fall of 2002, these tensions erupted with the creation of a squat at 101 West Hastings, also known as the Woodward's building, created by the Vancouver affordable housing social movement. Using photographs, oral interviews, in addition to Vancouver Sun newspaper articles and a squatters' diary this comparative- qualitative methodological study creates a written history, while also formulating a sociological analysis of the Woodward's building squat and affordable housing social movement that occurred from September 14, 2002 to December 14, 2002. This critical investigation examines the Woodward's squat and affordable housing social movement employing the theories of social constructionism, sociological framing and journalistic framing. In particular, the meanings, framings and constructions of the squat and movement that are evident in the squatter's diary are compared to the understandings and images of the squat and movement offered by the local media, The Vancouver Sun newspaper. The analysis of the two documents reveals that the framings of the squat and affordable housing social movement argued and publicized by the Vancouver affordable housing social movement are not supported and reproduced by the framings of the squat and movement in The Vancouver Sun. Key words: Squatting, homelessness, historical research, framing theory, Vancouver Downtown Eastside community and housing.

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