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Pop-up non-governmental organizations: (Re)producing colonial helping relations

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posted on 2021-05-23, 13:24 authored by Elizabeth McFadden
This qualitative study engages a postcolonial lens to examine the (re)production and disruption of neocolonial, racist power relations in Pop-Up Non-Governmental Organizations’ (PUNs) transnational helping relationships. Recognizing the historical and contemporary use of representations to further colonizing, racist goals, the analysis examines the use of text-based self-representations and refugee representations. This study utilizes five critical discourse analysis tools on four PUN websites’ texts through which the PUNs self-describe, share their work, and seek support. In analyzing these websites, this research aims to identify how the four PUNs navigate the inherent power imbalance between their Northern organizations and the Southern refugees they seek to support. Ultimately, the analysis presents evidence that, although the four PUNs endeavour to disrupt colonial practices, the websites’ representational practices (re)produce colonial, racialized helping relations. It is hoped that this research will support others working from White, Northern perspectives to reflect on their approach and consider alternatives.





Master of Social Work


Social Work

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type


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