Inequality and Poverty Research Programme

Welcome to the website of the Inequality and Poverty Research Programme in the Department of Anthropology at the LSE. You will find here the details of the events we are organizing, the projects we are linked with, as well as some of our publications.

The Inequality and Poverty Research Programme is dedicated to understanding the social relations through which some people are perpetually exploited, marginalized and subordinated, and to illuminating people’s creative and political responses to the conditions in which they find themselves.

At the heart of our endeavour is a reinvigoration of social science research by prioritising the value of long-term ethnographic fieldwork centering on popular ideas and social processes. Key issues of concern are life chances, subsistence and livelihoods, property, land, labour and work, cooperation, debt and dependency, development and civilisation, law and rights, ritual and religious life, the state and non-state action.

In the next few years our primary research focuses on India, analyzing the processes of the persistence of poverty amongst some of the world’s most marginalised communities. In particular, we explore the changing social, economic and political lives of a quarter of the subcontinent’s population who are Dalits and Adivasis, historically cast outside society as ‘untouchable’ and ‘savage’. We are concerned with politico-economic changes and class, kinship, gender, religion, caste, ethnicity and race. Through this focus we seek to analyse the relationship between different forms of inequality, poverty and political action.

The Inequality and Poverty Research Programme is funded by major awards from the UK Economic and Social Research Council and the EU European Research Council Starting Grant.