Bread of Shame: Mechanisms of Othering in Soup Kitchens

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Abstract

This article examines processes of othering in seven soup kitchens in Israel through participant observations as a staff-volunteer and as a diner. The empirical study of othering and otherness in relation to poverty is focused mainly on discourse analysis of texts that appeared in the media. This article contributes to this body of knowledge by analyzing the everyday routines, habits, norms, rules, and arrangements of space and time that turn the diners from "ordinary" people to "others." This process contains four simultaneous mechanisms: drawing boundaries, distancing and rejection, stripping of personal identity, and the attribution of stigma. The article discusses these mechanisms in the context of othering of people in poverty. In addition, the article discusses methodological issues that derive from the unique use of body senses as a research tool.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)398-413
Number of pages16
JournalSocial Problems
Volume64
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2017

Keywords

  • body
  • ethnography
  • fieldwork
  • othering
  • soup kitchen

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