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By Simon J. Charlesworth

Charlesworth examines issues of poverty and sophistication through concentrating on a selected town--Rotherham--in South Yorkshire, England, and utilizing the private testimony of deprived those that dwell there, obtained via recorded interviews and conversations. He applies to their existence tales the interpretative instruments of philosophy and social idea, drawing specifically at the paintings of Pierre Bourdieu and Merleau-Ponty. Charlesworth argues the tradition defined during this ebook isn't really exact to Rotherham and the issues pointed out during this e-book could be favourite to economically powerless and politically dispossessed humans in every single place.

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Extra resources for A Phenomenology of Working-Class Experience

Sample text

The 1980s were a similar time for the English working class, ravaged by unemployment, they were content merely to hang on to what work there was, too weak to fight even against the poverty that was ravaging their communities. As in the Great Depression, personal life for working class families was scarred by the strains of economic marginality and vulnerability. I will turn now and look at the view that is presented in demographic data. 2. Rotherham: a demographic view We have, now, a sense of the Rotherham that has passed.

The differences that exist between this position and those of the people described, thus need to be brought into view and considered. Bourdieu’s notion of a ‘reflexive sociology’ is based around such a premise. Bourdieu’s notion of a ‘reflexive’ sociological method is implied in his ontology, and I use the term to depict my own work. The notion of ‘reflexivity’ has come to be somewhat modish in the arts and causes some disquiet. In this work, it means little more than a constant epistemic vigilance throughout the process of thinking, living and writing.

It was a process of mobilizing the feelings in myself in order to re-constitute them linguistically. The reconstitution is this writing. I have tried to show through this description why these people suffer and how they suffer. The process of theorizing, the generalizations, the concepts, are not driven by the desire to create an objectifying distance, but to honour the suffering of these people in a way that is adequate to its significance: to do justice to them, to honour their lives. As Wittgenstein suggested (Wittgenstein 1980) the intellectual’s task is comparable to that of a draughtsman whose job it is to arrange before our eyes the relations between phenomena, and this is exactly what my task has been: to take the everyday embodied understanding of the people and to set it within a pattern of thinking that draws out its latent significance, what I believe they are really saying to one another when they say what they say.

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