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Poverty Knowledge in South Africa: A Social History of Human Science, 1855-2005: Book by Grace Davie

Poverty Knowledge in South Africa: A Social History of Human Science, 1855-2005

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ISBN: 9780521198752    Publisher: Cambridge University Press Year of publishing: 2014     Format:  Hardback No of Pages: 320        Language: English
Poverty is South Africa's greatest challenge. But what is 'poverty'? And how can it be measured and addressed? In South Africa, human-science knowledge about the cost of living grew out of colonialism,...Read more
Poverty is South Africa's greatest challenge. But what is 'poverty'? And how can it be measured and addressed? In South Africa, human-science knowledge about the cost of living grew out of colonialism, industrialization, apartheid, and civil resistance campaigns, which makes this knowledge far from neutral or apolitical. South Africans have used the Poverty Datum Line (PDL) and other poverty indicators to petition the state, to chip away at the pillars of white supremacy and, more recently, to criticize the post-apartheid government's failures to deliver on its promises. Rather than advocating one particular policy solution, Davie argues that poverty knowledge - including knowledge of the tension between quantitative and qualitative observations - teaches us about the dynamics of historical change, the power of racial thinking in white settler societies, and the role of ordinary people in shaping state policy. Readers will gain new perspectives on today's debates about social welfare, redistribution, and human rights.
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About the author: Grace Davie
Grace Davie is Associate Professor of History at Queens College, City University of New York. Her articles have appeared in the Journal of Southern African... Read more
Grace Davie is Associate Professor of History at Queens College, City University of New York. Her articles have appeared in the Journal of Southern African Studies, Waging Nonviolence, YES! magazine, and OD Practitioner.
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