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The language of poverty: an exploration of the narratives of the poor

Misturelli, F. and Heffernan, C. (2011) The language of poverty: an exploration of the narratives of the poor. Sustainable Development, 19 (3). pp. 206-222. ISSN 1099-1719

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1002/sd.437

Abstract/Summary

Within the development discourse, the narratives of the poor are a well utilized rhetorical tool to describe poverty and its causes. However, narratives can also reveal the beliefs and ‘world-view’ of the narrators. To explore this influence, the authors applied a discursive approach, to deconstruct the narratives of 101 slum dwellers in Kibera, Nairobi. The results revealed that poverty was largely attributed to external constraints, beyond an individual's control. Despite wanting a better life, participants held low expectations for the future. Hopes and dreams were placed on their children. While risk and uncertainty was a constant theme, large differences were found between genders as to the aspirations for the future. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Economic and Social Sciences Division > Livelihoods Research
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Biodiversity, Crops and Agroecosystems Division > Centre for Agri-environmental Research (CAER)
ID Code:25157
Uncontrolled Keywords:narratives; urban poverty; discourse analysis; poor livestock keepers; language
Publisher:Wiley

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