Fromm’s humanism and child poverty: Neoliberal construction of the ‘have-not’
Tulloch, L. (2015). Fromm’s humanism and child poverty: Neoliberal construction of the ‘have-not’. Open Review of Educational Research, 2(1), 94–104. http://doi.org/10.1080/23265507.2014.989901
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/9988
Children are particularly vulnerable to structured inequalities in society. Building on the work of Erich Fromm (1900–1980), this article contends that modern (post)industrial capitalism corrupts the human capacity to operate in the ‘being mode’—that is, in altruistic and compassionate ways. Rather, within the individualistic logic of the ‘having’ mode of existence there are morally empty spaces where children become objectified, separated from caring communities, dominated and measured. The second part of this article will discuss these insights in relation to the significant impact of neoliberal regimes on children’s social and physical wellbeing. In particular, it is argued that from the mid-1980s in New Zealand, the restructuring of the welfare state in line with neoliberal ideology has increased the vulnerability of young children to poverty and related issues. The narrow conception of poverty that is integral to the ‘having’ mode of existence merely serves to justify the ruling ideological neoliberal consensus. It is argued that any genuine attempt at human progress and the elimination of poverty needs to operate outside of this logic.
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© 2015 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The moral rights of the named author(s) have been asserted.
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