Is poverty a collective trauma? A joint learning process with women living in poverty in the City of Haifa in Israel

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Abstract

This paper describes an exploratory joint learning process with long-term welfare clients aiming to understand their identification of poverty as collective trauma. The joint learning group included twelve women living in poverty. The process included three stages: (i) addressing and thematically analysing aspects of collective trauma in the participants' life stories; (ii) comparing themes emerging from the stories with aspects of collective trauma; this led to the heuristic conceptualisation of poverty as a special type of collective trauma characterised by persistent and never-ending exposure of people living in poverty to traumatic adversities; (iii) analysing repetitive behaviour, thoughts and feelings, which are 'trauma-based behaviour', and exploring possible 'resilience-based behaviours'. Implications of the process for participants and for theory of practice and policy are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1718-1735
Number of pages18
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Volume48
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The British Association of Social Workers. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • collective trauma
  • joint learning
  • Poverty
  • social workers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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