Poverty dynamics: shame, blame and responsibility [Multidimensional Poverty and Poverty Dynamics (MDDP) Study Group]

Keetie Roelen (Institute of Development Studies)
Room 14 (Examination Schools)
Start time:
13 September, 2016 at 11:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

Sessions in this panel reflect on linkages between poverty and responsibility, blame and shame focusing on (1) discourse, (2) measurement and (3) social protection.

Long abstract:

Research into the causes of poverty and potential solutions for poverty inevitably link to questions of responsibility. Understandings of suchare embedded in structural theories of social reproduction versus individual agency and 'cultures of poverty'. Implicitly or explicitly findings of such research is often used to point fingers, placing the blame with either governments and wider institutions or the poor themselves. This panel aims to unpick questions of responsibility and offer some critical reflection about how research into multidimensional poverty dynamics engages with questions of responsibility without playing into the process of assigning blame and causing shame. Studies investigating individual agency and subjective dimensions of poverty may inadvertently lead to blaming or shaming of the 'poor' with poverty considered to be the result of personal failings rather than structural inequalities. The three sessions for this panel focus on specific sub-themes: 1. Poverty: shame, blame and responsibility 2. Poverty measurement: shame, blame and responsibility 3. Social protection for reducing poverty: shame, blame and responsibility