File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_2003/bhaskar.0312, message 82

Subject: BHA: Re: Poverty
Date: Mon, 8 Dec 2003 23:11:55 -0500

Hi Wendy,

I always thought Samar Amin's "Accumulation on a World Scale," implied its
obverse, "Immiseration on a World Scale."  That would imply that a realist
perspective on poverty would start from the underlying social structures
that generate unspeakable wealth at one pole and unacceptable suffering at
the other.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "wendy olsen" <>
To: <bhaskar-AT-lists.village.Virginia.EDU>
Sent: Thursday, October 30, 2003 5:15 AM
Subject: BHA: Poverty

> Dear critical realists,
> Does anyone have suggestions on the topic of poverty and critical
> realism?  My thoughts begin with :
> the normative overtones and under-harmonics of poverty discourses;
> the problem of meaning-realism;
> how empirical reserach on poverty uses diverse techniques
> illustrating the value of the structure/agency dynamic which CR
> advocates;
> and then a series of exemplars, ranging from the explicitly CR to
> the less explicity but potentially CR:
> Gryffyd Jones' [similar to, but more explicit than,  Barbara Harriss-
> White, Gordon White, John Cameron forthcoming, Brohman, Hardt
> & Negri, and H. Friedmann, Bernstein, and Byres] explicit link of
> marxist thought with growth/poverty debates;
> feminist analyses of empowerment as they link to poverty debates,
> notably grass-roots development agency research, illustrating
> emergence of new power (as capabilities, ie power-to);
> recent work by Pip Bevan stressing explicitly that causal
> mechanisms and emergence need to be integrated into
> poverty/well-being studies;
> the framework of well-being arising from Macgregor et al. in Bath,
> as a non-explicit but implicitly CR approach;
> capabilities approach of Nussbaum as having the link between
> abstract conceptions of The GOod with Empirical research on what
> people think is good -- from their diverse socio-historical locations -
> consistent with CR but not explicitly so.
> Study of chronic poverty and social exclusion as identifying the un-
> truths of reformist anti-poverty discourse whilst also doing empirical
> reserach on the reality of experience of poverty.
> All this begs the question of the existence of poverty as an
> intransitive or prior condition, before the research starts.  In my
> view what we refer to as poverty is that which is unacceptable
> suffering.  Thus I'd finish up by linking poverty studies to
> emancipation, distinguishing realism [a la Malcolm Williams' book]
> from critical realism [a la the human flourishing school].
> If you have suggestions to add to this review, or want detailed
> references sooner, let me know.
> This will go into my 'poverty ' 500 word entry in the Encyclopedia,
> but is only a first stab at it
> Yours
> Wendy
> Wendy Olsen
> Lecturer in Socio-Economic Research
> Cathie Marsh Centre for Census & Survey Research
> University of Manchester
> Manchester M13 9PL
> 0044-161-275-3043
>      --- from list ---

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