Response to scholarly article pt.2
In this blog I will be responding to another scholarly article I discovered about Geographical relational poverty studies. Relationality scholarship provides ontological, theoretical, and epistemological interventions that extend prior relational poverty work. We synthesize these three elements to develop an explicitly geographical relationality and show how this framework offers a politics of possibility for knowing and acting on poverty in new ways.
Relational thinking reveals poverty as inextricably tied up with a range of material and discursive oppressions and socially and politically constructed boundaries and norms that can be/are being challenged and transformed. The article states, “Understanding poverty in these ways is both a theoretical and always already political project that necessarily calls for making new poverty knowledge politics: challenging divisive geopolitics of knowledge, changing what counts as poverty knowledge, taking apart elite notions of expertise and rethinking who is knowledgeable and who can make change” (Elwood). Meaning, geographical relational poverty work engages in boundary-crossing processes of mutual learning, creative alliance making, and forms of academic activism that transform the existing poverty knowledge apparatus.
When it comes to politics, poverty can be a broad topic, one move to change could be, “Relational socio-spatial ontologies and epistemologies also insist that knowledge-making is a dialectical process of (re)making selves and worlds together. Boundary-crossing and dialogic learning between academics, policymakers and lay researchers can tear open siloed and normative categories (of class, race, caste, gender, ability, coloniality, religion, etc.), which depoliticize privilege and obscure the root causes of impoverishment” (Lawson).
Another act of change that I didn’t put much though into was collaborative mutual learning about processes of impoverishment and oppressive categories can help catalyze new understanding of the issue such as political subject and acts of change. The Fed-Up Honeys (a multi-racial group of academic and youth researchers in New York) illuminate structural causes of gentrification and poverty in their community, re-writing gender, race, and class stereotypes that inflect their own identities, relationships, and sense of agency in community change.
This is an important example because it is important to recognize the issues in your own community to make even the smallest of changes just as the Fed-Up Honeys did just by simply addressing the issue of poverty within their community. So “community building” would be a local attempt to tackling the poverty issue.
These initiatives share practices that can help realize the political possibilities of a geographical relational poverty studies, transforming how we theorize and act on poverty by developing networks and building open spaces of mutual learning.
With this being a new topic with poverty I think it was important for me to comprehend and respond to the different geographical relational poverty studies.
Elwood, S. Lawson, V. Sheppard. Geographical relational poverty studies. Progress in Human Geography, Dec2017, Vol. 41 Issue 6, p745–765. 21p.