The Return of the Poor: The Creation of a New Underclass and how it Constitutes Society

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: This thesis puts forward the idea that the radical other that constitutes and threatens our society is not to be found outside its limits, but that it is something inherent to our society. It proposes that the threatening other, the constitutive outside of society, is the subject 'the poor', that in its failure to partake in the labour market, fails to conform to the rules of the market, and as such, fails to conform to the societal structures. The thesis introduces a new way of understanding the myth of society as being upheld by the ideology of the market. As such, any action that can be seen as putting the market mechanisms out of play is seen as a fundamental threat to the structural order. By using a post-structuralistic approach and a discourse analytical method I perform a deconstruction of the subject position 'the poor', which shows how the poor can be understood as a new underclass that is continuously excluded and re-excluded from society in a self-reinforcing process.

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