Using findings from a mixed-methods study of poverty dynamics in rural Bangladesh, including from 293 life history interviews, the paper explores how the alternative stance of viewing poverty dynamics from a social exclusion/adverse incorporation perspective can complement more conventional ways of exploring poverty dynamics. While there are obvious problems with labelling the one third of the population of Bangladesh who live below the poverty line as socially excluded, the insights from social exclusion/ adverse incorporation debates are nevertheless useful for a process-oriented examination of the causes of chronic poverty. The paper focuses on two areas of life: marriage and dowry, and health and medical care. It explores these using insights from social exclusion/ adverse incorporation debates to discuss how multiple, relational and categorical processes cause disadvantage for some people. In both of these spheres of life, gender appears as a key axis of social exclusion/adverse incorporation, and gender, socio-economic status, and access to other power-resources are intertwined. The more multidimensional, relational and dynamic view of poverty, as opposed to a conventional focus on individual or household economic status measured at one point in time, helps to draw attention to social mechanisms that support or hinder social mobility. Thus the perspective provides a complementary way of thinking about causation in poverty research, particularly drawing attention to those causes associated with, what Charles Tilly referred to as, categorical inequality (Tilly, 1999).
Davis, P. Social exclusion and adverse incorporation in rural Bangladesh: evidence from a mixed-methods study of poverty dynamics. CPRC Working Paper 193. Chronic Poverty Research Centre, London, UK (2011) 31 pp. ISBN 978-1-906433-65-9