Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

From homeownership to foreclosure: Exploring the meanings homeowners associate with the lived experience of foreclosure
by Murphy-Nugen, Amy B., Ph.D., Indiana University, 2014, 288; 3668043
Abstract (Summary)

This study is an interpretative phenomenological analysis that explored the meanings homeowners associated with their lived experience of foreclosure. In the wake of the 2006 housing crash and 2008 Great Recession, questions have been posed about the continued efficacy of homeownership as an asset-based strategy. In addition, the conversation has been dominated by traditional economic and business interests. Discussions about housing policy and foreclosure response have marginalized the voice of vulnerable populations. The literature on housing policy reflects a positivist perspective that privileges analysis of unit production, economic costs and benefits. Secondary attention is given to exploring housing and foreclosure from a critical and constructivist standpoint. Consequently, this study intentionally engaged people who have experienced foreclosure. Depth and meaning were uncovered through interpretative phenomenological analysis. A purposive sample of five homeowners who experienced foreclosure was identified. The five homeowners participated in semi-structured interview. Transcribed interviews were analyzed using the six-step process articulated for interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA). IPA combines three philosophical foundations—phenomenology, hermeneutics, and idiography—to approach qualitative and experiential research. The findings of this study discovered that foreclosure represents disconnection for the participants. Specifically, due to experiencing foreclosure, participants felt separated from their self-identity, from housing finance literacy, from their relationship with their mortgage lender and servicers, from the benefits of homeownership and from self-sufficiency due to their social service-based, helping-based, and/or low-wage employment. Study findings both affirm and challenge relevant theoretical frameworks. In addition, this research underscores the need for social work education to address financial literacy. Further, social work practitioners should be prepared to either provide or refer consumers to home-buyer education and training. Social workers should also challenge exploitative consumer practices and offer empowering alternatives in their place. Lastly, this research offers strategies and practices to strengthen housing policy and foreclosure response for the benefit of consumers.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Adamek, Margaret E.
Commitee: Byers, Katharine V., Luca Sugawara, Carmen, McGuire, Lisa E., Suess Kennedy, Sheila
School: Indiana University
Department: Social Work
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 76/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social work, Public policy
Keywords: Foreclosure response, Great recession, Housing policy, Interpretative phenomenological analysis, Lived experience of foreclosure
Publication Number: 3668043
ISBN: 978-1-321-42680-9
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