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Philosophy Research Archives

Volume 12, 1986/1987

John D. Jones
Pages 557-575

Poverty as a Living Death
Toward a Phenomenology of Skid Row

I argue that stigmatization and inferiorization constitute the most destructive form of everyday poverty, the meaning of which is shown through a phenomenological interpretation of skid row. There are three parts to the paper. First, there is a brief discussion of poverty as a philosophical problem. Second, and ancillary to the analysis of skid row, there are discussions of the character of human dignity, everyday meaningful action and the psycho-social dynamics of stigmatization. Third, there is an analysis of skid row which, drawing on Heidegger’s death-analysis in Being and Time, concludes by characterizing skid row poverty as a kind of living death.

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