Experiential and empathetic engagements with global poverty: ‘Live below the line so that others can rise above it'

Schwittay, Anke and Boocock, Kate (2015) Experiential and empathetic engagements with global poverty: ‘Live below the line so that others can rise above it'. Third World Quarterly, 36 (2). pp. 291-305. ISSN 0143-6597

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Abstract

In recent years events that physically challenge Northern publics have emerged as a new form of engagement with global poverty. In this article we examine the ‘Live Below the Line’ (LBTL) campaign, which asks participants to live on a small amount of money equivalent to the international poverty line for five days, as an example of experiential exercises that complement physical challenges with the simulation of some aspect of poor people’s lives. Drawing on interviews with participants in the 2013 New Zealand campaign, we argue that LBTL creates a limited understanding of poverty focused on poor food consumption caused by low income. While participants were able to have a more embodied and empathetic engagement with poverty, they projected their own physical and emotional sensations onto imagined poor others. As a result, stereotypes about those living in poverty were reinforced rather than challenged.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
Depositing User: Sharon Krummel
Date Deposited: 20 May 2016 07:33
Last Modified: 20 May 2016 07:33
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/61102
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