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Representing poverty and attacking representations: Perspectives on poverty from social anthropology

  • Maia Green
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    This article considers the potential contribution of social anthropology to understanding poverty as both social relation and category of international development practice. Despite its association with research in communities and countries now considered poor anthropology has remained disengaged from the current poverty agenda. This disengagement is partly explained by the disciplinary starting point of anthropology which explores the processes though which categories come to have salience. It is accentuated by the relationship of anthropology as a discipline to the development policy and the research commissioned to support it. An anthropological perspective on poverty and inequality can shed light on the ways in which particular social categories come to be situated as poor. It can also reveal the social processes through which poverty as policy objective becomes institutionalised in development practice and in the social institutions established to monitor, assess and address it.

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    File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00220380600884068
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    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Development Studies.

    Volume (Year): 42 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 7 ()
    Pages: 1108-1129

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:42:y:2006:i:7:p:1108-1129
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    1. Robert Chambers, 2001. "The World Development Report: concepts, content and a Chapter 12," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(3), pages 299-306.
    2. Anna McCord, 2003. "An Overview of the Performance and Potential of Public Works Programmes in South Africa," SALDRU/CSSR Working Papers 049, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    3. Caterina Ruggeri Laderchi, Ruhi Saith and Frances Stewart, . "Does it matter that we don't agree on the definition of poverty? A comparison of four approaches," QEH Working Papers qehwps107, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
    4. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521004886 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Green, Maia & Hulme, David, 2005. "From correlates and characteristics to causes: thinking about poverty from a chronic poverty perspective," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 867-879, June.
    6. Carvalho, S. & White, H., 1997. "Combining the Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches to Poverty Measurement and Analysis. The Practice and the Potential," Papers 366, World Bank - Technical Papers.
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