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Poverty and ShameGlobal Experiences$
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Elaine Chase and Grace Bantebya-Kyomuhendo

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199686728

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199686728.001.0001

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‘No One Should Be Poor’

‘No One Should Be Poor’

Social Shaming in Norway

(p.270) 21 ‘No One Should Be Poor’
Poverty and Shame

Erika Gubrium

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the broader perceptions of wider society towards those living in poverty in Norway. Data for this analysis were drawn from a random sample of national news articles spanning a five-year period, and group discussions with members of the ‘general public’. The chapter reveals a public tendency to emphasize the individual rather than structural causes of poverty. These findings tally with those reported in earlier chapters and reiterate a Norwegian narrative that adheres to the idea of a generous welfare state ensuring not just economic security but also social mobility for all the country’s residents. Those who struggle to make ends meet, therefore, present a perplexing anomaly in a public Norwegian understanding of egalitarianism. The findings largely confirm why those facing economic hardship may experience marginalization and help to explain how the recrimination and shame aimed at those who have not fared so well comes about.

Keywords:   Norway, economic hardship, media, public opinion, individual causes, structural causes, egalitarianism

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