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Penny-Pinching Pedagogy: Gendering 'poverty porn' and the romances of austerity and thrift.
Date: 20 May 2014 Time: 12.30-2.00 pm
Venue: Bowland North Seminar Room 10, Lancaster University
Lancaster University proudly presents a special lunch time seminar hosted jointly by the Centre for Gender and Women's Studies and the Centre for Social Justice and Wellbeing in Education featuring Dr Tracey Jensen from the University of East London.
Penny-Pinching Pedagogy: Gendering 'poverty porn' and the romances of austerity and thrift.The current radical welfare state restructuring has been accompanied by an explosion of media representations (and misrepresentations) of 'poverty porn' media culture, which presents those at the bottom of the labour market as responsible for their own poverty. The political erosion of social security is also overlaid with a new moral imperative around 'thrift' and its virtues, embrace the challenge of 'doing more with less', finding ways to live on, and thrive, in a time of increasing precarity.'Thrift' and 'penny-pinching' have become new genres of popular pedagogy, a kind of austerity self-help, promising to re-orient our moral compass and cure us of our profligacy and our spendthrift habits. In particular, it is women who are invited (or perhaps compelled) to become desirable 'thrifty subjects'. Consequently the figures of failure, waste, excess and indiscipline are also powerfully gendered - and held up as evidence of a bloated welfare state. This seminar examines the 'cruel optimism' (Berlant, 2011) of thrift, the futures it tantalisingly promises, the consoling and constructed national nostalgias that it animates and the pathologies that are re-circulated across poverty porn which seek to connect poverty to the 'wrong' kind of consumption.
Who can attend: Anyone
Organising departments and research centres: Centre for Gender and Women's Studies, Centre for Social Justice and Wellbeing in Education, Educational Research
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