Managing more than poverty when living with addiction: Parents’ emotion and identity work.
Refereed Article, 2021
Gazso, A. (2021). Managing more than poverty when living with addiction: Parents’ emotion and identity work. Journal of Family Issues. https://doi.org/10.1177/0192513X211041981
In this article, I qualitatively explore the emotion and identity work of parents living with addiction to drugs or alcohol and accessing social assistance, specifically Ontario Works, in Toronto, Canada. Through narrative and discourse analysis of in-depth interviews, I show how parents (re-) produce or (re-) negotiate their identities as mothers and fathers in relation to feeling rules constituted in three broader, cultural discourses about family relations, addiction, and poverty: welfare dependency; intensive mothering; and families as a safe haven. I argue that this emotion and identity work is necessitated by how these feeling rules collude or clash with parents master status of addict entrenched in their relationships with social assistance policy and caseworkers and perceived by others too. I conclude with a consideration of the social policy and justice implications of my findings, including the need to overturn the stigmatization of addiction and poverty.