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June 24, 2009

Article of Interest: "The Ethics of Poverty Tourism"

This blog has done a number of posts on poverty tourism or related activities (the debate over Slumdog Millionaire) and a new paper of interest tackles this head on: Evan Selinger & Kevin Outterson, The Ethics of Poverty Tourism (BU School of Law Working Paper No. 09-29).  The abstract is below:

Poverty tours - actual visits as well as literary and cinematic versions - are characterized as morally controversial trips and condemned in the press as voyeuristic endeavors. In this collaborative essay, we draw from personal experience, legal expertise, and phenomenological philosophy and introduce a conceptual taxonomy that clarifies the circumstances in which observing others has been construed as an immoral use of the gaze. We appeal to this taxonomy to determine which observational circumstances are relevant to the poverty tourism debate. While we do not defend all or even most poverty tourism practices, we do conclude that categorical condemnation of poverty tourism is unjustified.

-Thanks to Susan Bennett for the heads up!  E.R. erosser@wcl.american.edu

June 24, 2009 in Books/Articles/Reports of Interest | Permalink


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