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Poverty and Social Exclusion in the UK: Vol. 2The Dimensions of Disadvantage$
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Glen Bramley and Nick Bailey

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447334224

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447334224.001.0001

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Poverty and social harm: challenging discourses of risk, resilience and choice

Poverty and social harm: challenging discourses of risk, resilience and choice

(p.245) Ten Poverty and social harm: challenging discourses of risk, resilience and choice
Poverty and Social Exclusion in the UK: Vol. 2

Simon Pemberton

Christina Pantazis

Paddy Hillyard

Policy Press

This chapter explores the injurious nature of poverty as a condition and a generative context which determines the experience of related injury. Drawing on the social harm approach we seek to contextualise these injuries and to provide a counterpoint to dominant narratives of risk, resilience and choice that serve to individualise the harms of poverty. Using both quantitative and qualitative data from the PSE-UK study, four key findings emerge. First, poverty increases the risk of injuries in the home and at work, as well as the likelihood of being the victim of violence. Second, powerlessness is a key injury of poverty; the loss of control over key aspects of individuals’ lives is anxiety provoking – the PSE poor were three times more likely to report suffering from a mental illness than the non-poor. Third, the injuries of stigma and disrespect are daily features of life on a low income – the PSE poor were nearly eight and six times more likely to report instances of misrecognition due to class and disability. Finally poverty injuriously impacts relationships and the ability to participate socially; under financial constraint, PSE survey participants are more likely to relinquish friendships

Keywords:   Social harm, Resilience, Risk, Behavioural theories, Poverty

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