The Priviliged and the Poor. Being Rich amid the "lazy ignorant"
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The segregation of the privileged from the poor is found, produced and reproduced at several levels simultaneously. To notice who did what where, and with whom, was essential as I tried to learn the ways of my informants. What distinguished my informants from others, and how they knew without speaking to someone who they were" in society, seemed deeply integrated in my informants every day practices. Most of the interaction I had with my informants was in private or semi-private contexts, like family lunches, religious home-meetings, exercise walks and car drives; situations where they were surrounded by employees whose individuality were not distinguished. One significant focus in this thesis is therefore how both employees and the poor in general" were not seen as persons with agency unless their agency was perceived as dubious; when they were thought to steal, lie or consume conspicuously. This entails that when my informants noticed their socially, economically and educationally inferior, their noticing was often pre-tainted negatively, and facilitated a non-nuanced way of seeing the other; something I argue aids my informants in keeping a mental and physical distance to the poor, enabling them to live as they do.
PublisherThe University of Bergen
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