The Experience of Poverty in an Unequal Society | Poverty

Please download to get full document.

View again

of 11
All materials on our website are shared by users. If you have any questions about copyright issues, please report us to resolve them. We are always happy to assist you.
Information Report
Category:

Others

Published:

Views: 4 | Pages: 11

Extension: PDF | Download: 0

Share
Related documents
Description
This paper looks at the relationship between poverty, the way our economy is structured and the precarious nature of our reliance on consumption, arguing that dependence on consumption is detrimental to all people who make up society. The author also highlights the discrimination suffered by people living in poverty and claims that the first step to tackle poverty is tackling stigma. This paper is part of a series of papers which have resulted from the Whose Economy? seminar series, held in Scotland in 2010 – 2011, whose purpose was to provide a space for researchers, representative organisations, policy-makers and people with experience of poverty to come together and explore the causes of poverty and inequality in today’s Scotland.
Transcript
    Oxfam Discussion Papers The experience of poverty in an unequal society  A Whose Economy   Seminar Paper Sarah Welford June 2011   www.oxfam.org.uk  The experience of poverty in an unequal society    A Whose Economy   Seminar Paper, June 2011 2 About the author Sarah Welford  is a Policy and Parliamentary Officer for Poverty Alliance. Sarah currently works on the Evidence Participation Change project which aims to create more participatory forms of policy-making and to create spaces for the voices of people experiencing poverty to be heard in policy debates. Sarah previously worked for the international anti-poverty and human rights organisation ATD Fourth World, and has worked alongside people living in poverty in the UK and abroad developing participatory methods of working. Sarah is a strong believer in the empowerment and participation of people in policy-making processes that ultimately affect their lives, and in working towards a society in which everyone has access to all of their human rights. Email: sarah.welford@povertyalliance.org    Whose Economy Seminar Papers  are a follow up to the series of seminars held in Scotland between November 2010 and March 2011. They are written to contribute to public debate and to invite feedback on development and policy issues. These papers are ‘ work in progress’ documents, and do not necessaril y constitute final publications or reflect Oxfam policy positions. The views and recommendations expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of Oxfam. For more information, or to comment on this paper, email ktrebeck@oxfam.org.uk  The experience of poverty in an unequal society    A Whose Economy   Seminar Paper, June 2011 3 Contents Executive summary ................................................................................. 4   Introduction .............................................................................................. 4   Repercussions of our obsession with the economy ............................ 5   The worst thing about living in poverty ................................................. 5   The rationale behind stigma .................................................................... 6   The myth: the biggest injustice of all? ................................................... 7   Discrimination and language .................................................................. 7   The deserving   and undeserving   poor ................................................. 8   Conclusion ................................................................................................ 9   Notes ....................................................................................................... 10    The experience of poverty in an unequal society    A Whose Economy   Seminar Paper, June 2011 4 Executive summary This paper focuses on the experience of poverty in an unequal society, from the perspective of a policy worker who has years of experience working alongside people living in poverty in the UK and abroad. The paper looks at the relationship between poverty, the way that our economy is structured, and the precarious nature of our reliance on consumption. It argues that heavy dependence on consumption is not only environmentally unsustainable, but is also detrimental to all people who make up society –  including those at the very top and those who find themselves at the bottom. It also looks at the stigma and the humiliation at the heart of the experience of poverty, and offers an insight into why it is that, as a nation, we are so quick to place the blame on individuals who find themselves in difficult circumstances. The paper touches on the discrimination that people living in poverty are subject to and argues that this discrimination is on a par with racism, sexism and other prejudices, yet is still to be recognised. People living in poverty are the last group of people for whom it is acceptable to label and discriminate against without repercussion. Lastly, it offers a possible course of action that could help realise support for better policies and contribute to better service delivery. The paper argues that in order to effectively tackle poverty, we need to tackle stigma and raise awareness of the realities of the lives of people living in poverty. Introduction The economy: the social and environmental elephant in the room The Oxfam ‘Whose E conomy?’ seminar series and subsequent papers get to the real crux of the matter, which all too often goes unmentioned in poverty debates –  like a large, invisible elephant in the room. Social and environmental injustice hang as repercussions of the precarious situation we are in, with regards to our dependency on an economy that is not only environmentally unsustainable and unrealistic, but is also detrimental to our very wellbeing as individuals and as a nation. The UK, alongside the rest of Europe, is obsessed with the notion of economic growth. We have become dependent on this idea as the only definition of progress. Our economy relies on an insatiable thirst for shopping, buying and
We Need Your Support
Thank you for visiting our website and your interest in our free products and services. We are nonprofit website to share and download documents. To the running of this website, we need your help to support us.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support.

No, Thanks