Determining Dimensions of Poverty Applicable in China: A Qualitative Study in Guizhou
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While China has succeeded in dramatically reducing income poverty, it is increasingly recognized that poverty is multidimensional. Moreover, all countries are expected under the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to halve poverty in all its dimension by 2030 “according to national definitions”. However, there is little agreement, either in China or elsewhere, as to what the dimensions should be. Therefore, qualitative research was undertaken in Guizhou in 2019 to identify the dimensions of poverty through discussion with people with direct experience of poverty. Forty-two people participated in one of five extended creativity groups that met for up to 12 hours over two days. One group comprised people on middle incomes, the others, people in poverty, a substantial minority of whom were functionally illiterate. Eight dimensions of poverty were identified in addition to low income and poverty duration: lacking decent work; material deprivation; physical suffering; emotional suffering; social abuse and exclusion; institutional injustice; powerlessness; and struggle and resistance. If replication confirms these dimensions, indicators should be developed to enable multidimensional poverty to be adequately measured and anti-poverty policies better evaluated.
CitationLichao Yang, Chulin Jiang, Xiaodong Ren, Robert Walker, Jian Xie & Yandong Zhao (2021) Determining Dimensions of Poverty Applicable in China: A Qualitative Study in Guizhou, Journal of Social Service Research, 47:2, 181-198, DOI: 10.1080/01488376.2020.1734712
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