Chapter

Poverty as trauma: methodological problems when reality gets ugly

Hans Husum and Odd Edvardsen

in Disability and poverty

Published by Policy Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9781847428851
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302063 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847428851.003.0012
Poverty as trauma: methodological problems when reality gets ugly

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People can dance around issues of poverty in the fields of philosophy and science, and many can find plausible answers that guide and provide comfort. When reality becomes ugly, the sympathetic nerve system makes the heart beat hard; muscles contract, the brain shrinks its focus: people experience trauma. Minefields and massacres are ugly; they catch people at point-blank range, and, by instinct, people protect themselves from danger. This chapter uses the examples of minefields and aerial bombing to reflect on some methodological problems in research on poverty issues. It presents a typical case story – Abdul's – as told by one of the research informants, a mine medic named Hikmat.

Keywords: poverty; psychology; disabled people; minefield; mine medic; poverty research; aerial bombing

Chapter.  7699 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility

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