Bella Wheeler
Research student (Social Work and Social Care)
E:

Research

PhD thesis title 'Spaces after Modernity: A Systems Based Exploration of Narrative Formation and Environments for Health and Cohesion'

The research proposes a study into the nature of the relationship between environment and individual and group sense and meaning making. Taking a socio-ecological and systems theory perspective, this seeks to understand the extent to which individual and group narratives might be altered and shaped through the process of engagement with particular environments.

As a collaboratively funded ESRC project, the research explores these ideas as applied specifically to busy inner city community centre, the Brighton Unemployed Centre Families Project (www.bucfp.org), East Sussex. In using its organisational ethos and physical space to offer – not prescribe - multiple opportunities for engagement and participation, the research explores that the environment of the BUCFP may enable the forming of creatively working and self managing groups wherein participants experience a self determination and mastery that may be closely tied to concepts of health.

Within the environment of the BUCFP the research proposes exploring ideas of potential narrative reformation and ‘sense making’ through creative group arts activity. Using the principles of action research, with attendant notions of participation and knowledge co-construction, the research seeks to explore how participant experiences surrounding the topic of food poverty may (or may not) be co-constructed and re-constructed through engagement with the project.

Narrative analysis seeks to uncover participant experience through analysis of emergent themes surrounding the topic of food poverty and experiences of the group, and of the BUCFP.