Graduation Year

2005

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Communication

Major Professor

Carolyn Ellis.

Keywords

Engaged scholarship, CASA (Community Action Stops Abuse), Action research, Feminist research, Poetic activism, Life stories, Narratives

Abstract

This dissertation is an experiment in thinking with the story, not about the story in order to erase the boundaries between analysis and narrative. CASA, Community Action Stops Abuse, is the context for this research on the lived realities and meaning of working with an empowerment philosophy. A University-Community Initiative (UCI) grant with CASA and the University of South Florida is the occasion to study the communicative aspects of individual and collective perceptions of empowerment. The dissertation focuses broadly on two UCI project goals: developing a collaborative relationship and producing a booklet of stories about the work of paid staff and volunteers. The heart of the dissertation is my relationship with the CASA workers and how scholarship and advocacy intersect with a philosophy of reciprocal and compassionate empowerment.

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