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Type: Journal article
Title: Contesting representations of poverty: Ethics and evaluation
Author: Bletsas, A.
Citation: Policy & Society, 2007; 26(3):63-82
Publisher: Faculty of Economics and Business, Government and International Relations, University of Sydney
Issue Date: 2007
ISSN: 1449-4035
Statement of
Angelique Bletsas
Abstract: This paper starts from the proposition that poverty is a contested concept and that debates about poverty are about more than questions of measurement and technical definition. Debates about poverty, I argue, are ultimately debates about the appropriate role of governments in the alleviation of poverty, and hence are about governance. On these grounds I claim that evaluations of competing conceptions of poverty should be interrogated not merely for their technical or epistemological soundness, but also on ethical grounds. To develop this argument, I explore representations of poverty in government policy. I look briefly at the Commonwealth Government’s1 understanding of poverty and more comprehensively at the South Australian Government’s Social Inclusion Unit. I find that, in both examples, poverty is represented to be an outcome of the poor choices of individuals, and proceed to reflect upon the inadequate ethical and governmental commitments that I find this particular representation of poverty entails.
Description: Copyright © 2007 Policy & Society Associates (APSS) Published by Elsevier Ltd.
RMID: 0020076828
DOI: 10.1016/S1449-4035(07)70116-9
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Appears in Collections:Politics publications

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