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Beyond the Developing World

2020-2021

This year the blog entries are on Adobe Spark. You can read them here: 

2019-2020

Not Hired, On-Boarded: Precarious Employment and Shaping the Neoliberal Subject

By Naomi Harris, Ruth Jackson, Esther Kinn, Oscar Tambini, Nichola Valentine, Toby Walkland, Isabella Walls 

In this blog we are going to use Michel Foucault’s concept of ‘biopolitics’ to examine how precarious employment is shaping the neoliberal subject within contemporary British society, questioning the distinction between the Global North and the Global South. Foucault defines biopower as when: ‘the basic biological features of the human species became the object of a… general strategy of power’ (1977:1). It is, in other words, when whole populations and individual citizens are shaped through policy enacted over bodies. By controlling definitions of acceptable health, work, family, and so on, the state and other actors create an image of the ideal worker that citizens are obliged to embody in order to earn and exist. Precarity is part of this image. [Continue reading.]

How does an anthropological perspective help us to understand the role of development in Moss Side?

By Honor Gitsham, Sara Kurdi, Ellis Harbord, Sioned Williams, Elspeth Denison, Kathryn Leaver, Rohan Williams.

Anthropology has a complex history with development as both a discourse and a practice (Lewis, 2014). During colonialism, anthropologists repeatedly reinforced a dichotomy between ‘Third’ and ‘First World’ countries, where the former was reduced to a site of study in need of ‘modernisation’ (or ‘development’), whilst the latter – already considered ‘developed’ – was neglected as a site of study (Prato and Prado, 2012; Ferguson, 1997: 155, 158). Since then, neoliberal capitalism has led to a global increase in inequality and has meant that poverty – or ‘underdevelopment’ – is ‘no longer [only] features of an exoticized global South’ (Kehr, 2018: 370; see also Ferguson, 1997: 163). [Continue reading]

2018-9

How can anthropological perspectives help us understand the Grenfell Tower fire as a humanitarian issue?

By Gwen Rose Baynham, Francesca Fiennes, Eleanor Hurley, Nooa Karlo, Tessa Keijzer, and Ellen Kingston

This blog aims to demonstrate that anthropological perspectives warrant inclusion in discussions on UK-based poverty. Particularly in the case of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, there are many points of discussion that can be raised from this perspective. This blog will argue three points. Firstly, that shared scholarship between ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ worlds and a cross-disciplinary approach is imperative when discussing humanitarian issues. [Continue reading]

Responsibility of care: who is responsible for the most vulnerable?

By Daisy Courtauld, Jonathan Boyd, Laura Frampton, Nathan Bromley, and Thembi Adams

In this blog we raise the question of who is responsible for the vulnerable citizens of a supposedly ‘developed’ nation. We will analyse the frameworks of care currently operating to aid the most vulnerable. Neoliberalism has led to a shrinking of state provisions, leaving non-state actors like charities to potentially replace state support. Anthropology is valuable in offering a perspective on the lived experience of poverty and what it means to be cared for under state and non-state frameworks. [Continue reading]

2017-8

How can we understand poverty beyond the developing world?

By Cecilia Anderson, Joel Ansbro, Henrietta Cloake, India Huggett, Zoe LeMaistre, and Isabel Muttreja

‘Tough benefit caps stops scroungers claiming thousands of pounds’ (Maddox, 2017) is just one example of negative news coverage on those most likely to be living in poverty in the U.K. Clickbait headlines such as those, along with shows such as Benefits Street, perpetuate negative stereotypes of the most vulnerable sections of the population. As poverty escalates in the U.K., we argue that an anthropological understanding of how poverty is represented in the media and policy is paramount. [Continue reading]

Beyond the developing world: anthropological perspectives on foodbanks

By Laurie Sinclair-Emerson, Rebekah MacDonnald, Joseph Llewellin, Shamima Khonat

Food poverty has been defined as the ‘inability to acquire or eat an adequate quality or sufficient quantity of food in socially acceptable ways’ (Dowler et al., 2001). Food poverty has been shown to rise significantly over the last decade. For example, in 2013 there was a 19% increase in hospitalizations due to malnutrition, compared to 2012 (Garthwaite et al, 2015). Accordingly, foodbanks have grown rapidly in the UK in recent years. [Continue reading]

2016-7

Beyond the binary of ‘developed’ and ‘developing’

By Joss Bennett, Angharad Boddington-Jones, Nicola Helen Dale, Hermione Francis, Sebastian Marco James Notarmarco Pope, Yusufu John Yusufu

In this blog we will address the ways in which anthropology can help us understand development and humanitarian expertise better. Using the work of Lewis’s ‘Time to Abandon “Parallel worlds”’ and Ferguson’s ‘Anthropology and Its Evil Twin’, we point to the self-reflexive view of anthropological enquiry which can identify issues that are unacknowledged and foreground them toward positive change. As a discipline that is ‘hyper-aware’ of its colonial past, we argue that anthropological analysis is intertwined with issues relevant to development and humanitarianism. [Continue reading]

Dialogue through anthropological approaches

By Marisa Bell, Connor Davies, Lars Holdgate, Julian Wong

This blog aims to show how NGOs, in particular Oxfam, can benefit from ethnographic approaches in tackling poverty in the UK. Anthropological approaches are able to create a more equal dialogue between givers and receivers of aid. Ethnography can be beneficial to policy makers in providing them with a rich and varied description, which would help build upon quantitative data. [Continue reading]