Language and myths of poverty
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Citation:Haigh, D. (2020). Language and myths of poverty, Whanake: The Pacific Journal of Community Development, 5(1), 67–79. Unitec ePress. Retrieved from: http://www.unitec.ac.nz/epress
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4909
“Poverty strikes dead the very souls of all who come within sight, sound or smell of it.” G.B. Shaw, Major Barbara This paper explores the popular and political myths and language used about poverty and those who are poor. These are viewed through three historical periods: the Victorian era, the period of the 1930s great depression and the contemporary world since neoliberalism took hold in the 1980s. Each period has its own language about those in poverty. The Victorians imposed a harsh system comprising transportation of poor petty criminals to the British colonies, and incarceration in workhouses for others. Writers and researchers such as George Bernard Shaw and Charles Booth deplored the cruelty of the workhouse system. The experiences of the unemployed during the depression were highlighted by Tony Simpson, and through articles and letters to the editor in local New Zealand newspapers. Contemporary thinkers such as Jonathan Boston and Susan St John continue to expose the myths of poverty and point to policies for a more benevolent system.
Keywords:poverty, myths, perceptions, narratives, history, neoliberalism, social policy, Great Depression (1929-1939), Depressions, 1929., causes of poverty, social inequality, welfare policy
ANZSRC Field of Research:160512 Social Policy, 209999 Language, Communication and Culture not elsewhere classified
Copyright Holder:Unitec ePress
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