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  • The Social Question All Over Again

    Jan Breman, Kevan Harris, Ching Kwan Lee, Marcel van der Linden

    Chapter from the book: Breman, J et al. 2019. The Social Question in the Twenty-First Century: A Global View.


    In this book, we offer an alternative analytical lens, one that shows that poverty and precarity results from loss of property—of land and cattle as well as of tools and skills in the nearby or remote past—and is often compounded by dissolution or even collapse of the social fabric, state support, and the public economy. It is an argument that leads us to perceive the accumulation versus dispossession binary as processes that are not disconnected but interact in tandem. In the accelerated process of globalization, pauperism and pauperization has risen to an alarming height under the banner of predatory capitalism and has found expression in the creation of surplus people, a contingent of humankind classified as redundant to demand. Emphasizing the interdependency between growing wealth and impoverishment implies that a life of human quality for all requires a fundamental redistribution of the sources of existence.

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    Breman, J et al. 2019. The Social Question All Over Again. In: Breman, J et al (eds.), The Social Question in the Twenty-First Century. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.74.b

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    Published on July 30, 2019