Our ESRC/DFID funded research (RES-167-25-0557) suggested that shame associated with poverty is ubiquitous and structural being imposed by others in their dealings with people in poverty. Shame may serve to perpetuate poverty through eroding individual agency, while policies that stigmatise could be counterproductive in adding to the debilitating effects of shame.
Picture: mcandrea licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0
The research examines Amartya Sen's contention that shame is an attribute of poverty in all societies. Shame is believed to reduce a person's agency, the capacity to act constructively, and to increase social exclusion which, in turn, curtail economic development.

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