British academy

THE BRITISH ACADEMY LECTURE

'To count for nothing':
Poverty beyond the statistics

Professor the Baroness (Ruth) Lister of Burtersett CBE FBA FAcSS

Thursday 5 February 2015, 6-7.15pm followed by a reception
The British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AH

Chaired by: Professor Sir John Hills CBE FBA, London School of Economics

Beyond the statistics that tend to dominate much public debate, a focus on the experience of poverty reveals its relational as well as material nature. The lecture explored this understanding of poverty with reference to the impact of the discourses that shame 'the poor' as 'the other' who 'count for nothing'. It argued that acknowledgement of the agency of people in poverty and the structural constraints and insecurity within which it is exercised together with a focus on human rights can frame counter discourses. The lecture ended with some brief reflections on political and policy implications.

About the speaker:
Ruth Lister is a Member of the House of Lords and Emeritus Professor of Social Policy, Loughborough University. She is also Honorary President and former Director of the Child Poverty Action Group, and Member of the Joint Committee on Human Rights. Baroness Lister has served on various independent Commissions, and she has published widely on poverty, social security, citizenship and gender.

Image: AP/Press Association Images