Bringing classes back into poverty discussions

Özgün, Gizem
Dolcerocca, Antoıne
The 1980s saw a shift in the emphasis of discourse on poverty from production relations to consumption relations, with levels of consumption and purchasing power used to define poverty. Based on this concept, much of the research establishes absolute poverty lines or develops relative indicators to distinguish between “poor” and “non-poor.” This paper makes the case that such poverty measurement, while useful for assessing trends over the long term or taking into account relative dynamics, distorts our knowledge of poverty by hiding its root causes and results in overly optimistic interpretations. These discussions also decontextualize poverty from its political and economic context by uncritically accepting and promoting neoliberal regime. Moreover, the article questions the meaning of the “eradication of poverty” and suggests that the nominal rise in PPP income obscures historical capitalist accumulation processes (such as dispossession, proletarianization and depeasantization). As a result, the study suggests to recenter the analysis on the material causes of poverty, which are rooted in the functioning of the capitalist system, its antagonistic character, and the class-based contradictions of production itself.
Frontiers in Sociology


A class-based analysis of poverty reduction discussions and global middle-class argument in light of antagonistic character of capitalism: case study of Turkey between 2000-2020
Özgün, Gizem; Dolcerocca, Antoıne; Department of Social Policy (2022-8)
The discussions about poverty, which started in 1980 and peaked in the 2000s, shifted from production relations to consumption relations. This orientation has reduced poverty debates to consumption relations and purchasing power by defining the poor at their consumption and purchasing power levels. Thus, based on monadic explanations, concepts such as individual-based social exclusion, citizenship rights, absolute poverty, and capability approach have replaced the class-based approach. Some debates have gon...
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In this paper I take up one particular aspect of deprivation that is often ignored or given less significance in discussions relating to poverty and inequality: that of time poverty. I will argue that ignoring this important dimension of poverty results from a related and possibly more substantive deficiency: the inadequate conception of what constitutes work that underlies much of our empirical data collection and our policies and programmes. This in turn has many adverse implications in terms of gend...
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The question of poverty which is a result of capitalism is one of the biggest problems in the world and Turkey; and one of the best ways in order to understand the relation between dominant Islamist ideology and capitalism is to search how dominant Islamist ideology sees the question of poverty. This thesis, tries to explore how the question of poverty is encoded and how the poor is represented in Beşinci Boyut which is one of the Islamic TV series. In order to show that the role of Islamist discourse in th...
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Tekgüç, Hasan (Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi (Ankara, Turkey), 2013-12-1)
Investigating vulnerability to poverty is crucial to the development of forwardlooking policies to fight poverty. I investigate the consumption of self-produced food as a strategy available to households to mitigate vulnerability in two dimensions: food and non-food consumption. First, I show that the consumption baskets of rural households that produce their own food are different and less expensive than those other rural households, which rely exclusively on retail food purchases. Second, I also show that...
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Gündoğdu, İbrahim; Şengül, Hüseyin Tarık; Department of Political Science and Public Administration (2006)
In the last thirty years, capitalist social relation on the one hand, created a world that is interconnected in the means of economic and political; on the other hand, produced differentiated and fragmented uneven spaces. In this context, social theory has interested in space and spatial differences, and inserted space into analysis of social relations for some time. In this thesis, the current issue of the construction of subnational regional space is explored through a conceptual approach in which space i...
Citation Formats
G. Özgün and A. Dolcerocca, “Bringing classes back into poverty discussions,” Frontiers in Sociology, vol. 7, pp. 0–0, 2023, Accessed: 00, 2023. [Online]. Available: