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Sociology: Poverty, Shame & Stigma: From Representations To Lived Experience With Dr Vik Loveday & Dr Brett St Louis From Goldsmiths, University of London

28th March 2023 @ 12:45 - 13:30

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We will be joined by Dr Vik Loveday & Dr Brett St Louis from the Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London who will present: Poverty, Shame and Stigma: From Representations to Lived Experience.

Poverty in the UK’s media is frequently portrayed as a kind of moral shortcoming – a problem of individuals and families, rather than wider social, economic and political structures. Those living in poverty are shamed for their so-called ‘lifestyle choices’, such as a failure to manage budgets or to find adequately-paid work. This process of shaming is tied up in moral judgements about individuals’ behaviour, choices, and aspirations: dominant norms determine who counts as ‘deserving’ and who is seen as ‘lacking’; this process exists within the wider political context of austerity Britain where being the recipient of benefits is framed as an individual failure. The lecture contrasts these negative representations of poverty with the lived experiences of those who are living in poverty: by analysing how stigma functions and what it feels like to be shamed, we conclude by considering if resistance to dominant norms is possible.


Our events are designed so that a group of students can take part from a classroom or students and teachers can take part as individuals, either from school or from home. This means that sessions will continue irrespective of possible school closures.

As a live, participative event, this session will not be recorded but slides and other resources will be shared after the event, where available.


Suitable for: Year 12 & 13 students (and equivalent) studying, or with a possible interest in studying, Sociology and related disciplines. Student groups, and individual students and teachers are very welcome to join us.

Preparation/Pre-Reading: Students may wish to consider the topic and discuss some of the key elements in advance. Students can also think about questions they have about studying Sociology at university level.

The IT Setup: The event will be run on Bluejeans (similar to Zoom) and participants will be able to join using laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. If you are joining as a school group, we recommend connecting with one device and projecting on to a whiteboard. You will be able to interact with the university via a microphone and/or typed comments and questions. Full details will be sent to those who have registered (see below) prior to the event.

Booking a Place: This is free for schools and colleges. If you would like to take part in this event, please register your interest using the link to the registration form below:

Register here



28th March 2023
12:45 - 13:30
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