Socio-spatial entanglement theory, the I2S2A method, and civil legal service realized accessibility
Author(s)Schultheis, Eric (Eric Waibel)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning.
Amy K. Glasmeier.
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Most spatial and social service accessibility studies are unidimensional; they examine one dimension of service accessibility in isolation. These unidimensional studies are not responsive to the realities of service usage. This is because unidimensional service accessibility studies implicitly assume that spatial and social service accessibility factors are not entangled with one another. Everyday experience and common sense conflict with a unidimensional conceptualization of service accessibility. For instance, the ease of traveling twenty five miles to receive a service is different for the single dad receiving public assistance with no car and the single adult who has stable employment and a car. In fact, many types of differences between users could result in substantive differences in how service accessibility is experienced. In this thesis, I develop a theory, socio-spatial entanglement theory, and method for realized service accessibility research. Socio-spatial entanglement theory is a way of theorizing service accessibility that accounts for the why and how of service accessibility. Socio-spatial entanglement theory posits that spatial and social service accessibility factors are necessarily entangled and that these entanglements capture and explain the lived-experience of service accessibility. This theory is based on applied Critical Realist conceptions of the ontology of the social world. I also develop a method, the integrated, interactive socio-spatial accessibility (12S2A) method, to explain socio-spatial entanglements and generate explanations of the why and how of realized service accessibility. The 12S2A method is informed by Critical Realist understandings of how researchers can know the social world. Lastly, I apply socio-spatial entanglement theory and the 12S2A method to explain the factors and causal mechanisms that mediate civil legal service usage amongst low-income households. These explanations allow policy makers and civil legal service providers to design interventions that target the underlying phenomena that impact service usage in furtherance of increasing realized access to civil legal services.
Thesis: Ph. D. in Urban and Regional Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, 2016.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis. Page 174 blank.Includes bibliographical references (pages 165-173).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.