The Power of Labelling : How People are Categorized and Why It Matters book cover
1st Edition

The Power of Labelling
How People are Categorized and Why It Matters

ISBN 9781844073948
Published May 31, 2007 by Routledge
208 Pages

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Book Description

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

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Joy Moncrieffe is a political sociologist and Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS, UK).

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).