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In Memoriam

W. S. F. Pickering

William Watts Miller

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Indignity in Cash Transfers

The Senior Citizen’s Grant in Uganda

Grace Bantebya Kyomuhendo

Abstract

Although development policy approaches in Uganda and elsewhere have changed over time, many of them share a failure to consider and respond to the potential for shaming, given the persistent presence of social norms and practices shaped by poverty. Research evidence of the lived experiences and practices of the providers and beneficiaries of the Senior Citizens’ Grant (SCG) antipoverty measure had spaces and a process of dignity building and shaming. The overriding policy implication that antipoverty policymakers need to be aware of is that antipoverty policies that create spaces for poverty shaming are counterproductive and less than optimally effective in achieving antipoverty objectives than policies that impart a sense of dignity in the participants. The latter kind of policies has a greater capacity to deliver on antipoverty objectives by recognizing the participants’ rights and promoting their human dignity, equitable participation, social inclusion, political voice, and individual or collective agency.

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Matthieu Béra

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Cet article commence par présenter le cadre de travail de Durkheim à Paris, c’est-à-dire les deux bibliothèques de l’ENS et de la Sorbonne qu’il fréquenta de 1902 à son décès en novembre 1917. Les traces qu’il a laissées dans les registres de prêts concernent un peu moins de 200 emprunts, surtout concentrés de 1902 à 1906 (67%). L’analyse de ce corpus passe par deux étapes : d’abord, en le triant par « disciplines » ou domaines de savoirs, en se fondant sur les cotations locales de ces deux grandes bibliothèques. Ensuite, en mettant ces emprunts en relation avec leurs usages et leurs destinations probables, comme dans notre article de 2014 sur les emprunts de Bordeaux. Pendant les quatre premières années, Durkheim consulta essentiellement des documents pour son grand cours d’histoire et sociologie de l’enseignement secondaire et universitaire (paru en 1938). On trouve ensuite des emprunts peu nombreux sur la religion (cours de 1906/1907), sur le pragmatisme (1913) et l’impérialisme allemand (1914). Ces emprunts donnent à voir un Durkheim avant tout enseignant, alors que ses recherches portaient, comme on le sait, sur les Formes élémentaires de la vie religieuse depuis 1894.

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Marie Jaisson

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Adeel Hamza and John Gannon

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This introduces the first English translation of Marcel Mauss’s article, ‘Critique interne de la “Légende de l’Abraham”’, published in 1926 in the Revue des études juives. In suggesting ways in which the translation offers anglophone scholars new perspectives on Mauss’s thought, it explains how his sophisticated textual exegesis of the Legend of Abraham drew on nineteenth-century scholars such as Salomon Munk, but also how it above all involved a critique of deeply racist currents of European social thought. In particular, Mauss challenged a racist anthropology of African societies that became known as the ‘Hamitic hypothesis’ and linked it with the agitation over the ‘Jewish Question’ that continued to persist and was even growing in the world around him. A fundamental argument of his essay is that the social category of ‘race’ is not a category that denotes civility, but a system of categorization that stems from an analysis he deems ‘wanton’.

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Poverty and Shame

Interactional Impacts on Claimants of Chinese Dibao

Jian Chen and Lichao Yang

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.

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Sisyphean Struggles

Encounters and Interactions within Two US Public Housing Programs

Erika Gubrium, Sabina Dhakal, Laura Sylvester, and Aline Gubrium

Abstract

We operationalize the concepts of rights, discretion, and negotiation in service provision at two public housing sites, exploring their connections to the generation of shame or dignity building for residents. Using data from in-depth interviews with housing residents and caseworkers, we found that resident rights were limited by a decentralized system that actively prevented them from taking control of their lives. Residents frequently experienced caseworker discretion as personally intrusive, yet there was some, if limited, space for negotiation between caseworkers offering personalized care and residents evaluated as worthy of such focus. These interactions offered the potential for enhanced recognition and dignity.

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Editorial

Brexit, Sustainability, Economics, Companies’ Responsibilities, and Current Representations

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An Exogenous Path of Development

Explaining the Rise of Corporate Social Responsibility in China

Ka Lin, Dan Banik, and Longfei Yi

Abstract

Although the notion of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been largely Western driven, it has now also entered the popular discourse in many non-Western countries. In dissimilar social settings, the driving force of CSR development differs between its Western origins and its non-Western adaptors. This study examines the developmental dynamics of CSR in China, and how such force have influenced the CSR discourse in this country. This Chinese experience helps illustrate how an exogenous path of CSR development evolved in China. With this experience, we maintain that the standards of CSR have instrumental value in promoting social quality through its function on enterprises, in regard to improvising social relations of the companies with their employees, the local communities, and the public agents of localities.