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Across the political spectrum politicians line up to denounce the effects of welfare ‘dependency’ upon local communities and national economies.

But the question of who gets to be described as ‘dependent’ is left largely unexplored.

Why, for example, is the low-paid worker reliant on state support to top-up wages dependent, while the stockbroker who earns millions through ‘networks’ she may have been born into described as ‘independent’?

In this group we seek to ethnographically explore the performative effect of ascribing ‘dependence’ to others as a means of politically shaping the world we live in.

The group has two sub-groups, one of which focuses on gender and kinship and the other on different kinds of relations of dependence across the Pacific. The latter group works with English researchers in partnership with the University of Cambridge.

Contact person for sub-group on gender and kinship: Keir Martin

Contact persons for sub-group on the Pacific: Keir Martin or Ingjerd Hoëm.

Random people in a street in a city. Photo: Sasha Zvereva/Unsplash
Photo: Sasha Zvereva/Unsplash


Published Mar. 22, 2017 10:08 AM - Last modified May 7, 2019 1:24 PM