Critical Poverty Knowledge: Contesting Othering and Social Distancing

Michal Krumer-Nevo, Orly Benjamin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Poverty knowledge has made a long-term contribution to the images and representations of people in poverty. Yet one can find only limited analysis of poverty knowledge and the politics of representation. This article describes current directions in poverty knowledge and analyses the degree of their enhancement or their challenging of Othering towards people who live in poverty. Specifically, the article refers to the hegemonic narrative, which reflects and creates stigmatized and punitive representations of people in poverty, and to three counter-narratives that try to challenge these reductionist images: the structural/contextual counter-narrative, the agency/resistance counter-narrative and the counter-narrative of voice and action. The analysis highlights the critical value of each of the counter-narratives, while pointing to the possibility that specific usages of these stances of investigation carry the risk of themselves producing Othering and social distancing. The article concludes by referring to several approaches to poverty research which encourage a resistance to Othering through combining components of the three counter-narratives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)693-714
Number of pages22
JournalCurrent Sociology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 8 Sep 2010


  • Othering
  • hegemony
  • knowledge
  • narrative
  • poverty
  • resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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