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Resources as resistance : an intersectional feminist approach to healthcare access and advocacy through patient navigation

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Title: Resources as resistance : an intersectional feminist approach to healthcare access and advocacy through patient navigation
Author: Sorrells, Breanne M.
Abstract: Many structurally marginalized social groups in the U.S. commonly experience restricted access to healthcare. Barriers to accessing quality resources for health, wellness, and illness prevention stem from and reinforce systemic inequalities. Navigating the healthcare system and autonomous patient self-advocacy are therefore tremendously difficult. However, members of structurally marginalized social groups are not simply passive victims. Many rural Humboldt County, California residents maneuver through barriers to healthcare by utilizing local resources as a means of survival and resistance. I use an Intersectional Feminist and Disability Studies framework to examine the relationships between what is, for many, a disempowering healthcare system, those who are adversely impacted, and some of the strategies of resistance used to obtain healthcare resources in Humboldt County despite barriers. Patient navigation models are one mode of resisting and overcoming barriers to healthcare access, and the patient navigation model developed by the Humboldt Community Breast Health Project (HCBHP) exemplifies one such mode. I use semi-structured qualitative conversations, participatory action research, and document analysis to inform my case study of HCBHP and their patient navigation model. My methodology and project overall are grounded in my commitment to collaborative horizontal knowledge production. My investigation of institutional barriers to healthcare and the use of local resources as resistance through the theoretical lenses of Intersectional Feminism and Disability Studies, attendant to interlocking relations of power, privilege, and oppression may provide a more comprehensive model for examining issues of health, wellness, and illness prevention beyond the scope of this project. Given the unique understanding of inequality, agency, and resistance that Intersectional Feminism and Disability Studies employ, my research may also contribute to wider community mobilization around autonomous patient self-advocacy and patient navigation. Finally, my research will enrich the growing body of Intersectional Feminist literature on health and wellness and strengthen the burgeoning relationship between Intersectional Feminism and Disability Studies.
Description: Thesis (M.A.)--Humboldt State University, Social Science: Environment and Community, 2010
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2148/626
Date: 2010-04

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  • Masters Theses [874]
    A collection of selected Masters Theses in electronic format.

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