Imagining Poverty: Live Below the Line as a Public Face of Development

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dc.contributor.advisor Schwittay, A en Boocock, Kate en 2014-08-14T23:27:19Z en 2014 en
dc.identifier.citation 2014 en
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dc.description Full text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
dc.description.abstract Non-governmental organisations in the global North play a key role in informing publics about what global poverty is and how it can be alleviated. Live Below the Line is a new experiential campaign supported by major development organisations, which challenges people to live on the extreme poverty line for five days for food and drink, to raise awareness and funds for those in poverty in the global South. This thesis considers how the campaign operates as a public face of development, facilitating an experience through which Northern constituents develop an understanding of global poverty. Two research foci are investigated. Using content and discourse analyses the discursive construction of poverty through campaign messages in the public realm is analysed. I will show that the multiple functions of the campaign: to raise awareness, raise funds, and encourage action, create conflicting constraints that narrow and simplify the depiction of poverty. In the public domain poverty becomes secondary to the main narrative which focuses on the Northern participant and the practicalities of living on $2.25 for food and drink. This creates a narrow lens through which poverty is seen through the experiences of Northern participants as a problem of a lack of resources. Findings from thirteen semi-structured interviews demonstrate the effects that Live Below the Line has on participants. The challenge provides the conditions for participants to imagine poverty through a bodily experience of hunger and physical fatigue, and develop empathy with imagined characters. While the challenge creates a sense of heightened awareness that illuminates the privileges participants benefit from, the campaign fails to provide the necessary tools to locate these privileged positions within unequal global structures. In its current form, the campaign encourages understandings of the relationship between North and South as one mediated by charitable giving, and poverty as disconnected from the same structures that create privilege in the global North. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights Restricted Item. Available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland. en
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dc.title Imagining Poverty: Live Below the Line as a Public Face of Development en
dc.type Thesis en The University of Auckland en Masters en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The Author en
pubs.elements-id 449442 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2014-08-15 en

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