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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 101, Issue 1, pp 92–95 | Cite as

Lived Experience of Economic and Political Trends Related to Globalization

  • Jennifer A. CushonEmail author
  • Nazeem Muhajarine
  • Ronald Labonte
Qualitative Research 2009 Student Award Winner
  • 2 Downloads

Abstract

Objective

A multi-method case study examined how the economic and political processes of globalization have influenced the determinants of health among low-income children in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. This paper presents the results from the qualitative interview component of the case study. The purpose of the interviews was to uncover the lived experience of low-income families and their children in Saskatoon with regards to political and economic trends related to globalization, an important addition to the usual globalization and health research that relies primarily on cross-country regressions in which the personal impacts remain hidden.

Methods

In-depth phenomenological interviews with 26 low-income parents of young children (aged zero to five) who were residents of Saskatoon. A combination of volunteer and criterion sampling was used. Interview questions were open-ended and based upon an analytical framework. Analysis proceeded through immersion in the data, a process of open coding, and finally through a process of selective coding.

Results

The larger case study and interviews indicate that globalization has largely not been benefiting low-income parents with young children. Low-income families with young children were struggling to survive, despite the tremendous economic growth occurring in Saskatchewan and Saskatoon at the time of the interviews. This often led to participants expressing a sense of helplessness, despair, isolation, and/or anger.

Conclusions

Respondents’ experiences suggest that globalization-related changes in social conditions and public policies and programs have great potential to negatively affect family health through either psychosocial effects in individuals and/or decreased levels of social cohesion in the community.

Keywords

Child; health; interview; economics; politics 

Résumé

Objectifs

Au moyen d’une étude de cas multiméthodes, nous avons examiné l’influence des processus économiques et politiques de la mondialisation sur les déterminants de la santé des enfants de familles à faible revenu à Saskatoon, en Saskatchewan (Canada). Nous présentons ici les résultats des entretiens qualitatifs menés dans le cadre de l’étude de cas. Ces entretiens visaient à dévoiler le vécu des familles à faible revenu et de leurs enfants face aux tendances politiques et économiques liées à la mondialisation; il s’agit d’un ajout important aux études habituelles sur la mondialisation et la recherche en santé, lesquelles font principalement appel à des régressions à l’échelle nationale qui dissimulent les répercussions personnelles.

Méthode

Entretiens phénoménologiques approfondis avec 26 parents à faible revenu vivant à Saskatoon avec de jeunes enfants (de zéro à cinq ans). Nous avons combiné un échantillon de bénévoles et l’échantillonnage par critère. Les questions posées étaient ouvertes et inspirées d’un cadre analytique. L’analyse s’est faite par immersion dans les données, par un processus de codage ouvert, et enfin par un processus de codage sélectif.

Résultats

Selon l’étude de cas en général et les entretiens en particulier, la mondialisation n’a pas été avantageuse, dans l’ensemble, pour les parents à faible revenu vivant avec de jeunes enfants. Ces familles luttaient pour leur survie malgré la formidable croissance économique en Saskatchewan et à Saskatoon au moment des entretiens. Ces difficultés ont souvent amené les participants à exprimer des sentiments d’impuissance, de désespoir, d’isolement ou de colère.

Conclusion

L’expérience des répondants donne à penser que les changements liés à la mondialisation, dans les conditions sociales et les politiques et programmes gouvernementaux, ont très probablement des conséquences néfastes sur la santé familiale, soit par leurs effets psychosociaux sur les personnes, soit par l’effritement de la cohésion sociale dans la collectivité.

Motsclés

enfant; santé; entrevue; économie; politique 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer A. Cushon
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nazeem Muhajarine
    • 2
  • Ronald Labonte
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Community Health and EpidemiologyUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Community Health and EpidemiologyUniversity of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research UnitSaskatoonCanada
  3. 3.Department of Epidemiology and Community MedicineUniversity of OttawaCanada
  4. 4.Institute of Population HealthUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada

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