The Power of Labelling: How People are Categorized and Why It Matters, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

The Power of Labelling

How People are Categorized and Why It Matters, 1st Edition

Edited by Rosalind Eyben, Joy Moncrieffe


208 pages

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Paperback: 9781844073948
pub: 2007-06-01
Hardback: 9781844073955
pub: 2007-06-01
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781849773225
pub: 2013-09-05
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�The Power of Labelling illuminates a fundamental and intriguing dimension of social and political life. Striking cases from a range of policy contexts generate eyeopening analyses of labelling�s causes and consequences, uses and abuses, and of alternatives in thinking and relating.� DES GASPER, INSTITUTE OF SOCIAL STUDIES, THE HAGUE �The authors convincingly and often vividly explain how the unavoidable framings and labellings of the objects of policy secrete relations of power which can obscure as much as they reveal and often lead, in policy itself, to perverse outcomes. Their detail is riveting, their analyses persuasive, what they suggest realistic and deeply sensible. This immensely readable collection is indispensable for anyone who wants to think about how they think about 'development', and should be forced on all who don�t.� GEOFFREY HAWTHORN, PROFESSOR OF INTERNATIONAL POLITICS, UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE �This is an essential book not only for those interested in understanding the development industry but also for development practitioners. It discusses key questions concerning the ways in which knowledge is generated by development agencies and reaffirms the importance of understanding who categorizes people, why and how.� R. L. STIRRAT, PROFESSOR OF SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF SUSSEX 'Very important.' Martin Kalungu-Banda, Oxfam GB What does it mean to be part of the mass known as �The Poor�? What visions are conjured up in our minds when someone is labelled �Muslim�? What assumptions do we make about their needs, values and politics? How do we react individually and as a society? Who develops the labels, what power do they carry and how do such labels affect how people are treated? This timely book tackles the critical and controversial issue of how people are labelled and categorized, and how their problems are framed and dealt with. Drawing on vast international experience and current theory, the authors examine how labels are constituted and applied by a variety of actors, including development policy makers, practitioners and researchers. The book exposes the intense and complex politics involved in processes of labelling, and highlights how the outcomes of labelling can undermine stated development goals. Importantly, one of the book�s principal objectives is to suggest how policy makers and professionals can tackle negative forms of labelling and encourage processes of �counter-labelling�, to enhance poverty reduction and human rights, and to tackle issues of race relations and global security. The Afterword encapsulates these ideas ands provides a good basis for reflection, further debate and action.

Table of Contents

Introduction. Labelling, Power and Accountability: How and Why �Our� Categories Matter * Labels, Welfare Regimes and Intermediation: Contesting Formal Power * Labelling People for Aid * The Politics of Representing �the Poor� * Disjunctures in Labelling Refugees and Oustees * When Labels Stigmatize: Encounters with �Street Children� and �Restavecs� in Haiti * Poverty as a Spectator Sport * �Muslim Women� and �Moderate Muslims�: British Policy and the Strengthening of Religious Absolutist Control over Gender Development * Black Umbrellas: Labelling and Articulating Development in the Indonesian Mass Media * Labelling �Works�: The Language and Politics of Caste and Tribe in India * Exploring the Intersection of Racial Labels, Rainbow Citizenship and Citizens� Rights in Post-Apartheid South Africa * Afterword: Changing Practice * Index

About the Authors/Editors

Joy Moncrieffe is a political sociologist and Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS, UK), who is working on issues of accountability, citizenship and power, with special interest in children growing up in violent contexts in Africa and the Caribbean. Rosalind Eyben, is a development social scientist at IDS with a career in international development policy and practice, and editor of Relationships for Aid (2006).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Economic Development