Author Perdigon, Sylvain
Article Title “For Us It Is Otherwise” : Three Sketches on Making Poverty Sensible in the Palestinian Refugee Camps of Lebanon
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Source Current anthropology. vol. 56, no. spp.11 (Oct. 2015), p. S88-S96
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Call number Article
Journal Title Current anthropology.
Copy vol. 56, no. spp.11 (Oct. 2015), p. S88-S96
ISSN 0011-3204
Brief substance In this paper I seek to attend to the paradox of Palestinian refugee poverty in Lebanon, a poverty engineered and deliberately perpetuated through the play of recent state sovereignties, and incorporated in the material and bodily lifeworlds of a majority of Lebanon’s Palestinians. This poverty is not effectuated in the recognizable form of a “political subject of poverty”—a “I, poor”—who would emerge in the interpretative act of establishing a semiotic relationship of some kind between her malnourishment, ill health, or exposure to dampness and dust on the one hand and on the other a field of social belonging in which she would claim inclusion. In order to do so, through three brief ethnographic sketches I draw attention to processes of disclosure of self and world strung together from the everyday run-ins with the world that the lives of the refugee poor entail. If there is a politics of refugee poverty, I argue, its distinctiveness lies in shunning the category of citizenship and the manner in which this category fastens an ethical imaginary of the sovereign self to the sovereignty of the state and to the life of a population
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