The shape of change: A memetic analysis of the definitions of poverty from the 1970s to the 2000s

Federica Misturelli, Claire Heffernan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The authors illustrate how notions of poverty are constructed around specific 'memes', or replicating units of cultural information, around which concepts and ideas develop and change. Three 'memes' characterising definitions of poverty over the previous years were identified: 'basic needs', 'multidimensional' and 'deprivation'. The analysis illustrated the semantic space in which each term was utilised and to the extent it changed and modified over time by different actors. The results revealed how 'memes' compete with one another across the discourse. Within this competition, older concepts are almost never fully abandoned, but rather repackaged and reutilised. Thus, new definitions of poverty are less innovative than portrayed in the wider literature.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of International Development
Volume24
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012

Keywords

  • Discourse analysis
  • Meme
  • Poverty

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The shape of change: A memetic analysis of the definitions of poverty from the 1970s to the 2000s'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this