Date of Award

7-7-2020

Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology

First Advisor

Gerald Cradock

Keywords

Childhood, Discourse, Governmentality, Neoliberal, Policy, Poverty

Rights

info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Abstract

This study analyzes policy-oriented approaches to addressing poverty on a municipal, provincial, and national level. Pairing the Foucauldian governmentality framework with the new sociology of childhood, I explore how neoliberal subjectivities are reinforced through Poverty Reduction Strategies, and how the public has come to accept the Poverty Reduction Strategies as progressive, virtuous, and best practice. Using a genealogical approach and discourse analysis, I orient the strategies among previous techniques of poverty reduction to demonstrate that they are a product of their history and have been legitimized over time. I discover that these strategies use virtuous language to pair social and economic well-being through techniques of human capital development and economic contribution. The explicit focus on childhood throughout serves as rationale for reducing poverty by reinforcing an adult/child binary where children are seen as innocent, dependent, and passive. Children are subjected to the most intervention because of their limitless potential. I conclude by arguing that it is imperative that children are seen as social beings who are capable of contributing to their social worlds.

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