Language of Poverty
gbarrett at AMERICANDIALECT.ORG
Mon Sep 20 02:40:51 UTC 1999
Interesting article regarding language and definitions of poverty used by bureaucrats, aid agencies and the poor themselves when discussing their conditions and solutions. It is not specifically dialect-related, but interesting in a Noam Chomsky thinking-is-language kind of way.
Poverty as a blot on society has been eclipsed by other priorities, especially the need to determine a financially acceptable level of social welfare cover. The swings in public opinion between concern and indifference reflect an ongoing controversy about the nature of poverty. The issue is a political football. And the argument cannot be solved by a straightforward appeal to the "facts" because the statistics are open to interpretation by those who set out to define the characteristics of the poor.
World New York
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