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Rethinking poverty, power and privilege: A feminist post-structuralist research exploration | Hulme | HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies
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Original Research - Practical Theology

Rethinking poverty, power and privilege: A feminist post-structuralist research exploration

Thérèse Hulme

HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies; Vol 68, No 2 (2012), 7 pages. doi: 10.4102/hts.v68i2.1263

Submitted: 11 May 2012
Published:  29 November 2012


In this article, I described how the use of feminist methodology and post-structuralist analyses of the experiences of women in a poor ‘Coloured’ community in my research led to new understandings of the experiences of poverty and privilege. I discovered the relevance of Foucault’s historical analysis of the operation of ‘pastoral power’ through the narratives of women from the Scottsville community. Historical and current accounts of so-called ‘Coloured’ women’s subjugation and categorisation are reminders of how it came about that ‘being Coloured’ became associated in South Africa with shame and with ‘knowing one’s place’. Feminist post-structuralist analyses made visible the conditions that created practices of injustice in poor women’s lives whilst, at the same time, creating conditions of privilege for me. Justice-making in Scottsville therefore started with a radical rethinking of the terms by which people’s marginalisation took place and, consequently also of the terms of ‘just’ cross-cultural engagements.

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Author affiliations

Thérèse Hulme, Department of Practical Theology, University of South Africa, South Africa


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