Imagining the Poor: The Discourse that Directs Western Intervention in Africa and its Impact on the Condition of American Poverty
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This thesis unveils how dominant Western imaginings of Africa detrimentally impact poverty in the United States. The limitations of notable texts are presented, arguing they fail to recognize structured pressures that constrain those interpellated within Orientalist apparatuses, and states the suggestively depoliticized presence of Christian missionaries parallels secular Western governmental interventions, implicitly delegitimizing the African State. By considering the influence of representations of Africa by dominant media, university, and state ideological apparatuses the thesis illustrates how the repetition and replication of imagined narratives about the continent create an American culture of differential empathy, framing all Africans as inherently destitute and needy, and poor Americans as lazy. Although a grim examination of the current state of affairs directing Western intervention in Africa and its impact on the condition of American poverty, the thesis ultimately offers a humanistic lens as an avenue towards the creation of more equitable social science and policy.
CitationEllison, Clarence Bradford (2016). Imagining the Poor: The Discourse that Directs Western Intervention in Africa and its Impact on the Condition of American Poverty. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/11930.
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Rights for Collection: Undergraduate Honors Theses and Student papers