Poverty and Shame

Interactional Impacts on Claimants of Chinese Dibao

in The International Journal of Social Quality
Restricted access

Abstract

The Chinese minimum living standard guarantee (dibao), which has been in place since the 1990s, is one of the most important social assistance programs run by the Chinese government. There is extensive literature on dibao, a majority of which deals with how it is allocated in rural communities and its effectiveness in alleviating rural poverty. Receiving dibao is often considered a sign of poverty. Scholars have long discussed the shame experienced by people in poverty. However, very few empirical studies have paid attention to the interplay between shame and dibao. This study draws on one month of qualitative fieldwork, focused on dibao implementation in both urban and rural China. It aims to understand how dibao and shame are connected in relation to three elements of policy provision: discretion, rights, and negotiation.

Contributor Notes

Jian Chen is a doctoral candidate at the School of Social Development and Public Policy of Beijing Normal University. She earned her master’s degrees at Beijing Normal University in 2011 and Oslo and Akershus University College in 2012, both in social welfare study.

Lichao Yang is an assistant professor at the School of Social Development and Public Policy of Beijing Normal University. She holds a doctorate in anthropology from the Australian National University and a master’s degree in Sustainable Resource Management from the Technical University of Munich, Germany.

The International Journal of Social Quality

(formerly The European Journal of Social Quality)

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