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The re-aestheticisation of poverty: blogging hunger in the age of austerity

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This paper examines the re-aestheticisation of hunger and poverty with the emergence of austerity blogs. These blogs, which chronicle personal narratives while re-directing gaze in creating food through limited budgets and in sharing the intimate brutalities of hunger, bring a renewed focus and interest to poverty through daily lived experiences of hunger. Beyond personalising hunger in a climate of austerity, blogs as a symbol of articulation of the laypeople for the general public become interstitial spaces between government rhetoric and media representations, making poverty an intimate, personal and present proposition. Blogs as peoples’ archives of social history are hybrid spaces of personal iterations amenable to public consumption and media scrutiny. In the process these can re-mediate and disrupt the social reality of first-world hunger, inviting a gaze through first-hand narratives. Poverty becomes a contested entity online where blogs perform both resistance and reiteration of the neo-liberal stereotypes about the unemployed and those on benefits.
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Keywords: Poverty; aestheticisation; austerity; blogging; hunger

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Business and Management, Queen Mary, University of London, London, UK

Publication date: May 4, 2018

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