Dr Hayley Bennett from What Works Scotland, discusses the Poverty Alliance’s campaign to address the stigma of poverty.
Author: Dr Hayley Bennett, What Works Scotland
Date: 15 May 2015
The Poverty Alliance launched its Stick Your Labels campaign to challenge the stigma of poverty. Sigma is so important because the language, perceptions and assumptions of poverty can create and perpetuate stigmas—negative connotations of the attributes and behaviour of a group of people. The benefit system, for example, is “riddled with stigma”.
Stigmatising citizens individualises problems and limits policy debate, distracting it from contributory factors such as labour market issues and flaws in public policy making. Reducing negative language and ideas about people in particular situations can affect the production of anti-poverty policies and the delivery of services. It creates the right spaces, policies and systems for those who need support.