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Education, Utopia, Necessity, and Existential Poverty by Alex Dunedin

This paper explores a perspective emerging from a community education project called Ragged University. The philosophical underpinnings of the project came as a response to necessity brought about by the existential poverty being created as a result of the process of enclosing the commons of the intellect.

Corporate structures are being used to commodify and impoverish the human experience on multiple levels generating an underclass and the conditions for exploitation. As a response this is taken as a breaking of social contracts and legitimates a pedagogical position which liberates people compelled to develop their own intellectual life from these control structures. Read more

Podcast and transcript: Social Security Reform Panel with Ben MacPherson MSP, Alison Johnson MSP, Mike Vallance

This is an audio recording of two of the Members of Scottish Parliament who sit on the social security reform committee in the Scottish Parliament (Ben MacPherson MSP, Alison Johnson MSP) plus Mike Vallance who is part of Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty.  They are talking in a panel following a screening of the film ‘I Daniel Blake’ which has caused a ground swell response to the punitive measures being instituted by the Westminster Government, such that the Scottish government has arranged the taking over of 15% of the welfare budget to organise some benefits north of the border. Read more

The Monthlies; Project Naked by Hannah Mackay Tait

For five years, Project Naked has been running a blog (projectnaked.org) sharing stories from women and non-binary people about their experiences with their bodies. We wanted to change the conversation around bodies and give voice to people’s diverse experiences of their bodies – not just to promote body positivity, but to listen and to encourage open expression of people’s true thoughts and feelings about the bodies they inhabit. Read more

A Personal Account of Poverty in the United Kingdom: Entrenched Difficulty and Tenacious Myths by Alex Dunedin

I live in Edinburgh, capital city of Scotland, and a place of inequalities.  Walking from the new town at the centre of the city, you can go in several directions to find sink estates built of concrete modules to a plan which had either forgotten to incorporate important social and economic infrastructure or deliberately omitted it viewing it as a cost. Read more

Podcast: Classificatory Struggles; Class, Culture and Inequality in Neoliberal Times by Dr Imogen Tyler

Dr Imogen Tyler talks about “Classificatory Struggles: Class, Culture and Inequality in Neoliberal Times” for the Sociological Review Annual Lecture.   This lecture was kindly shared via the Ragged University after getting permission from the journal and the speaker.

The content of the talk is to unpack the problems surround the portrayal of poverty and disembodiment of the term class from discourse.  Starting with an analysis of popularly dubbed ‘poverty porn’ she then spends time rooting down into what language is used in reportage and what concepts are helpful to deconstruct the Neoliberal cultural shifts we are seeing today. Read more

Poverty and Social Exclusion in Britain: Research and Resources

The Poverty and Social Exclusion (PSE) Survey is the most comprehensive source of information on the extent and nature of deprivation in contemporary Britain. At the turn of the millennium, there were more people living in or on the margins of poverty than at any time in British history. According to the most rigorous survey of poverty and social exclusion ever undertaken in Britain, by the end of 1999 approximately 14 milion people in Britain, or 25% of the population, were objectively living in poverty.

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