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Poverty: lived experience and field of political intervention

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in or organisation of workshop, seminar or course

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Nina Holm Vohnsen - Organizer

Bagga Bjerge - Participant

Maj Nygaard-Christensen - Participant

Katrine Duus Terkelsen - Organizer

Louise Christensen - Participant

This seminar reflects the conveners’ research interest in poverty as lived experience and poverty as a field of political intervention respectively. We want to examine and nuance how we might think about poverty through ethnographies that offer insight into the ways in which people (be they policy-makers, providers of care and help, or ‘poor’) themselves work with limits and barriers that poverty imposes, and imagine achievements, development and wealth in their own terms.
Ethnographic accounts of poverty have added a human face to what can otherwise be overly generalized laments about neoliberalism, capitalism and austerity. Rather than the quantification of poverty and emphasizing magnitude and scale, ethnographic insights demonstrate that the category of poverty is not specific, but rather it conveys a range of associations, aspirations, creative adjustments and dependencies. New productions of poverty and inequalities are entwined with arguments of injustice, humiliation and local demands for respect, dignity and new moral frameworks about the good life, particularly amongst groups who are at the sharpest end of punitive structural adjustment policies and abandonment.
The purpose of this workshop is to explore how particular perceptions and experiences of poverty are imaginatively transposed into present and future aspirations, hopes, desires, fears and preparations for the future. What does a future look like when one’s life experiences have been and remain influenced by the limitations that poverty impose? How is poverty explained and explained away in different social fields and across contexts? What are the analytical frameworks that may allow for a reconceptualization of the implications of poverty and how brighter futures are imagined and prepared for?
This workshop welcomes papers that try to push the analytical frame of poverty beyond the misery of entrapment, dependence, judgment and debt by exploring the creative strategies, interdependencies and their limits in anticipation for the future.

10 Dec 201712 Dec 2017


SeminarPoverty: lived experience and field of political intervention


  • Ethnography, public policy analysis, Poverty

ID: 120476702