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Our own poor: transnational charity, development gifts and the politics of suffering in Sylhet and the U.K.

Gardner, Katy (2018) Our own poor: transnational charity, development gifts and the politics of suffering in Sylhet and the U.K. Modern Asian Studies, 52 (1). pp. 163-185. ISSN 0026-749X

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Identification Number: 10.1017/S0026749X16000767

Abstract

Based on fieldwork in Bibiyana, NE Bangladesh, this paper compares the transnational charity offered to known individuals by migrant, UK based families, with the philanthropic efforts of the multinational company Chevron, who operate a large gas field in the neighbourhood. Applying Fassin’s notion of the ‘politics of suffering’ to both types of exchange, the paper argues that the two types of giving are underlain by incommensurate moral economies. Whilst in instances of transnational charity, social inequality and the compassion felt towards the suffering of known people, or ‘our own poor’, underscore the exchanges, in the philanthropic efforts of ‘community engagement’ the inequality of giver and receiver is repressed and the exchange is animated by a moral economy, rooted in Christianity, in which compassion guides actions towards the suffering of unknown, anonymous strangers.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.cambridge.org/
Additional Information: © 2016 Cambridge University Press
Divisions: Anthropology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Sets: Departments > Anthropology
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2016 11:55
Last Modified: 03 May 2019 11:39
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/68086

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