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‘Poverty’ and ‘place’ through the eyes of the poor: Outlining key strands of a conceptual framework, D-SPACE

Gopinath, Deepak; Nair, Murali


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Deepak Gopinath
Senior Lecturer in Planning and Urban Geography

Murali Nair


In spite of a range of work on engaging with poverty, particularly in the Global South, the significance of the poor in conceptualizing and responding to the relationship between poverty and place seems to be downplayed. This article addresses this gap in current thinking by developing a conceptual framework by which the poor can appreciate the possibilities and constraints of the context in which they are grounded. Key strands of this framework were developed through a participatory concept mapping exercise conducted in the city of Trivandrum in southern India. The aims of this framework, D-SPACE (Dynamic Spatiotemporal Analysis of Cooperative and Comparative Visions) are (1) to act as a tool (opportunity/constraint diagram) for the poor to understand the relationship between poverty and place and to map out self-rated measures on their progress toward well-being; (2) to produce an output (neighborhood well-being map) that policy makers can use to identify which groups within poor neighborhoods need urgent help and in what form; (3) to produce a methodology (concept mapping) that relies on involvement of volunteers/civil society members to develop the poor's understanding of and responses to poverty. By moving from standardized conceptions of and responses to poverty, this article will advance an understanding that spatiotemporal pathways to well-being from the point of view of poor individuals and families need to be charted prior to interventions by the state.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Sep 1, 2015
Journal Social Development Issues
Print ISSN 0147-1473
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 37
Issue 3
Pages 1-21
APA6 Citation Gopinath, D., & Nair, M. (2015). ‘Poverty’ and ‘place’ through the eyes of the poor: Outlining key strands of a conceptual framework, D-SPACE. Social Development Issues, 37(3), 1-21
Keywords concept mapping, India, institutional social capital, Kerala, participatory civic engagement, poverty and place, relational perspective, resource profile approach, visualization
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