Poverty and ShameGlobal Experiences

Poverty and ShameGlobal Experiences

Elaine Chase and Grace Bantebya-Kyomuhendo

Print publication date: 2014

ISBN: 9780199686728

Publisher: Oxford University Press


This book draws on evidence to demonstrate how paying greater attention to the psychological and social consequences of poverty provides new insights into how poverty is perpetuated. It reveals how, irrespective of whether people live above or below a designated poverty line, in cultures as diverse as rural India, Uganda and Pakistan, urban/suburban UK, China, Norway, and South Korea, the ability to participate in society as a full and recognized citizen is largely contingent on having the material resources deemed normal for that society. When such means are not available, the common response is to save face by withdrawing from society, thus limiting opportunities to exit poverty and helping to perpetuate its cycle. Yet society in turn plays its role in persistently evaluating others against dominant norms and expectations and prioritizing certain explanations of poverty over others. Hence shame in relation to poverty is co-constructed, a dynamic interaction of internally felt inadequacies and externally inflicted judgements. The volume offers unique insights into the ‘poverty–shame nexus’ in each of the societies studied. To do so it draws on: analysis of popular media such as film and literary works to examine the cultural conceptions of poverty and shame and their interaction; the narratives of people living in poverty; and the perceptions and attitudes of the general public and the media.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction

Elaine Chase and Grace Bantebya-Kyomuhendo

4 Film and Literature as Social Commentary in India

Leemamol Mathew and Sony Pellissery

6 Poverty and Shame

Elaine Chase, Robert Walker, and Sohail Anwar Choudhry

10 Tales of Inadequacy from Pakistan

Sohail Anwar Choudhry

11 ‘I Am Not Alone’

Sony Pellissery and Leemamol Mathew

13 The ‘Shame’ of Shame

Elaine Chase and Robert Walker

14 Social Isolation and Poverty in South Korea

Yongmie Nicola Jo and Robert Walker

16 Poverty the Invisible and Inseparable ‘Shadow’

Amon Ashaba Mwiine and Grace Bantebya-Kyomuhendo

18 Persistence of Shaming in a Hierarchical Society

Sony Pellissery and Leemamol Mathew

20 Constructing Reality?

Elaine Chase and Robert Walker

22 Poverty and Shame

Elaine Chase and Grace Bantebya-Kyomuhendo

End Matter