Poverty and Critique in the Modern Working Society

Critique 41 (4):515-529 (2013)
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Poverty is more than a ‘welfare status’ among others. In this paper I want to show that poverty is not only a failure of distribution of income but that it is a state of humiliation. In the first section I will examine poverty knowledge, how poverty is conceptualised and what norms are inherent in the measures of the poor. In the second section I will show that poverty is humiliating because it is bound to failure and deficiency. To be poor means to be unable to take care for oneself. In the third and final section I will turn to social critique and its relation to the subjects of poverty. There are good reasons to be sceptical of the poor and their judgements and to seek for objective criteria, but this cannot replace the subject and their experience.



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Gottfried Schweiger
University of Salzburg

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References found in this work

Reason, Recognition, and Internal Critique.Antti Kauppinen - 2002 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 45 (4):479 – 498.
The Centrality of Work.Jean-Philippe Deranty & Christophe Dejours - 2010 - Critical Horizons 11 (2):167-180.
Workfare: The Subjection of Labour.Daniel Attas & Avner De-Shalit - 2004 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 21 (3):309-320.

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