Stigma of place is a core feature of extreme poverty in Ireland, according to new research published on Friday October 6th by the School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin.
The study employed an innovative walk-and-talk research method – 11 participants who have experienced poverty in Dublin led a researcher on a walk-through Dublin to reflect on their lives.
This testimony, captured in the medium of maps, photography, and sound recordings, paint a stark picture of the spatial and geographical contours of class and social inequality in Dublin.
Dr Joe Whelan, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work and Social Policy said: “The stigma of where you come from and a lack of ‘good’ options were described by the participants as core dimension of poverty. These were as real and visceral as material deprivation showing that poverty isn’t just a lack of money, it can also mean not having access to things others take for granted, not having opportunities for growth, for education, for hobbies, for mental health.
“In Ireland we have no shortage of information and public comment on poverty, but we have poor insight into the lived experience of poverty in Ireland today. Without this understanding, and an appreciation of the agency and voice of those experiencing poverty, we are ill equipped to fully take action to confront poverty.”
“By involving participants in our research at every stage and by capturing their experiences through the medium of photography, sound recording and drawing/mapping this research has been able to connect with lived experiences of poverty in a tangible and visceral way.”
The research was funded by the Irish Research Council and was conducted in collaboration with NGO All Together in Dignity. It was launched in the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission this morning.
The report, maps and photographs are available to view on the project website: https://sites.google.com/view/povertytalks. The project also involved the production of a short, animated film using the testimony captured during the walking interviews and this is also available on the project website.