"Crisis" in the Four Pillars: A Mixed Methods Discourse Analysis of Human Security and Overdose in BC




Fraser, James

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The crisis of overdose deaths in British Columbia (BC) continues into its seventh year. This thesis applies a human security lens to a mixed methods computer-assisted discourse analysis on a corpus of public-facing documents from drug enforcement organizations in BC, and one from community-run harm reduction organizations in BC. Analysis uses a “What is the Problem Represented to Be”? (WPR) approach to analyze conflicting conceptual logics and answer the question “What human security problems are constructed in Harm Reduction and Enforcement discourses surrounding the crisis of overdose deaths in British Columbia?” Conclusion: Both corpora construct different problematizations. Whereas enforcement discourses emphasize criminality and proximal substance use harms, harm reduction discourses look at enforcement as a structural threat to people who use drugs.



Overdose, Drug Policy, Human Security, Securitization, Discourse Analysis, British Columbia