Representing Poverty and Inequality: the legacy of Charles Booth
Hosted by the International Inequalities Institute and LSE Literary Festival
Speakers: Joseph Bullman, Prof Mary Morgan (LSE), Sarah Wise (University of California's London Study Center, City University)
Chair: Prof Nicola Lacey (LSE)
Sat 25 February, Wolfson Theatre, NAB, 5-6.30pm
In the wake of the Centenary of the death of Charles Booth, whose poverty maps and surveys started a quiet revolution in the methodology of the social sciences, a group of writers will reflect on what we can learn from Booth’s work today in terms of the techniques available to write about, analyse and make present to the reader the realities of poverty and inequality. Booth’s maps can still teach us much, but many late Victorian classifications strike us today as highly moralistic, even disrespectful. Do classifications inevitably distort social reality, or are they an indispensable means to understanding and representing it? Can fictional writing or media such as documentaries achieve more, or different things, from social scientific or historical studies?