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The Impact of Lived Experience Representative Bureaucracy on the Perceived Humanness and Deservingness of Clients: Analyzing First Responders’ Attitudes Toward People with Opioid Use Disorder

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Date Issued:
2023
Abstract/Description:
Representative bureaucracy theory has mainly been used to understand how identities related to race, ethnicity, and gender influence how bureaucrats administer public services. Although representation through lived experience has expanded the scope of the theory, this theoretical thread has mostly focused on the perspectives of management. In addition, the literature has generally analyzed the values, beliefs, and actions of minoritized bureaucrats rather than those of the racial and ethnic majority. The purpose of this dissertation is to employ lived experience and traditional representative bureaucracy theories to understand the influence of first responders’ experiences with addiction on their viewpoints regarding the humanness and deservingness of clients with opioid use disorder; examine how white first responders perceive clients of different races; and analyze the effect of lived experience on sentiments regarding clients of color. In this dissertation, I surveyed county- and municipal-level EMS-providers and law enforcement workers in the United States, utilizing a survey experiment and mediation models for the analysis. Results show that indirect and direct lived experiences—respectively, having a family member or friend who has experienced an addiction and feeling addiction has had a direct impact on respondents’ lives—predicted increases in client deservingness, mediated by ascribed humanness and driven largely by EMS-providers. However, responding to opioid overdoses and administering naloxone— on-the-job lived experiences—were associated with reduced deservingness and ascribed humanness in both law enforcement and EMS organizations. Regarding the race of the client, white police personnel had more positive views of white clients with opioid use disorder relative to Black and unidentified clients, with effects amplified by on-the-job and indirect experiences but blunted by direct experiences.
Title: The Impact of Lived Experience Representative Bureaucracy on the Perceived Humanness and Deservingness of Clients: Analyzing First Responders’ Attitudes Toward People with Opioid Use Disorder.
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Name(s): Lofaro, Ryan J. , author
Sapat, Alka K. , Thesis advisor
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
School of Public Administration
Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Created: 2023
Date Issued: 2023
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 250 p.
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Representative bureaucracy theory has mainly been used to understand how identities related to race, ethnicity, and gender influence how bureaucrats administer public services. Although representation through lived experience has expanded the scope of the theory, this theoretical thread has mostly focused on the perspectives of management. In addition, the literature has generally analyzed the values, beliefs, and actions of minoritized bureaucrats rather than those of the racial and ethnic majority. The purpose of this dissertation is to employ lived experience and traditional representative bureaucracy theories to understand the influence of first responders’ experiences with addiction on their viewpoints regarding the humanness and deservingness of clients with opioid use disorder; examine how white first responders perceive clients of different races; and analyze the effect of lived experience on sentiments regarding clients of color. In this dissertation, I surveyed county- and municipal-level EMS-providers and law enforcement workers in the United States, utilizing a survey experiment and mediation models for the analysis. Results show that indirect and direct lived experiences—respectively, having a family member or friend who has experienced an addiction and feeling addiction has had a direct impact on respondents’ lives—predicted increases in client deservingness, mediated by ascribed humanness and driven largely by EMS-providers. However, responding to opioid overdoses and administering naloxone— on-the-job lived experiences—were associated with reduced deservingness and ascribed humanness in both law enforcement and EMS organizations. Regarding the race of the client, white police personnel had more positive views of white clients with opioid use disorder relative to Black and unidentified clients, with effects amplified by on-the-job and indirect experiences but blunted by direct experiences.
Identifier: FA00014282 (IID)
Degree granted: Dissertation (PhD)--Florida Atlantic University, 2023.
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): Includes bibliography.
Subject(s): Public health administration
Bureaucracy
Opioid Crisis
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00014282
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Host Institution: FAU