2006 | 9 | 69-81
Article title

The Poor's Responsibility Philosophy or Poor Philosophy of Responsibility

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The essay considers a dilemma: is a philosophy insisting on responsibility of the poor connected with social progress or it is 'poor philosophy' which is a manifestation of crisis and regression of welfare state. Author draws on essential thought of Professor Jan Danecki's work: need to humanize the material progress with assistance of the social policy activities. On the basis of critical discourse analysis pertaining to social welfare policy, the author formulates eight theses which he recognizes as destitution manifestations of 'the poor's responsibility philosophy'. The philosophy apparently heads for elimination of the 'dependency culture' but really is bound for deepening dependence of the poor on the state and private gift. The philosophy divides society into two parts: 'the included' with negative freedom and 'the excluded' and dependent on the gift. So the latter may get into society only as stigmatized persons under severe control of administration. Thus the philosophy affirms a social order with assistance of 'the stigmatized'. The philosophy simultaneously supports a economic market and glorify a organic community leaned on reciprocity and beneficence norms. So one wants to unravel issues with assistance of the same measures which creates the problems. 'The poor philosophy' changes the crux of 'social gift' from an unconditional right to property and use of a part of social product to the conditional, devoid of the property use of the product. The philosophy demands a personal responsibility from the poor but in the first stage it rules outs a personal liberty and autonomy so really it precludes the responsibility. 'The irresponsible poor' are really needed for affirmation and legitimization of the social order in which emerges 'the end of work' phenomenon. According to the author the poor want comply with reciprocity norms and 'the irresponsible poor' are the 'Poor Philosophy of Responsibility' construction.
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  • J. Rossa, Panstwowa Wyzsza Szkola Zawodowa w Gorzowie Wielkopolskim, ul. Teatralna 25, 66-400 Gorzów Wielkopolski, Poland
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