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Research on food insecurity and food aid has focused overwhelmingly on the experiences of women, particularly mothers, with little focus to date on exploring single men’s experiences. This article will explore the experiences of single men across two independent studies of food insecurity and food aid, based on an ethnographic study undertaken with predominantly male clients of food aid schemes in north-east England and a photo-elicitation study undertaken with single men experiencing food insecurity in Scotland. The article will explore how austerity measures heightened men’s levels of food insecurity and need for food aid, and how men’s perceptions of gender roles and stigma influenced where and when they asked for support. The article argues that adverse life events, such as homelessness, contribute to heightened levels of food insecurity. In addition, the social role of food aid will be explored, with participants using sites of food aid not just for physical nourishment but also as a space to connect. Finally, the article will explore the participants’ insights into high male attendance at sites of food aid, often blaming other men’s lack of basic budgeting and cookery skills so as to justify their own deservingness. The article seeks to contribute to addressing a gap in the literature in relation to men’s experiences of food insecurity, and concludes with recommendations on how to support men at risk of using food aid and experiencing food insecurity.

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Despite their significant dedication to the remarkable economic growth, the poverty rate of older adults in Korea remains the highest among developed economies. This study utilises the Shapley decomposition to analyse the effects of socio-economic changes and recently developed welfare system on poverty heterogeneity between older old and younger old. The findings indicate that the poverty rate for younger old improved from 47.9 per cent in 2003 to 32.3 per cent in 2020, whereas the rate for older old increased from 49.8 per cent to 60.1 per cent. Specifically, the contribution-based public pension presented smaller anti-poverty effects on older old than younger old, because it was implemented later, therefore, older old could not accumulate adequate contribution periods. In addition, means-tested benefits had limited effects in reducing the poverty risk for the two old groups, as they are not well-targeted and provide insufficient benefits. Furthermore, older Korean adults are compelled to participate in the labour market to make ends meet, and earned income significantly mitigated the poverty risk of younger old. Based on these findings, this article argues that the government needs to implement more inclusive fiscal measures to alleviate the poverty threat of older old.

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This article presents the development of a measure to assess the prevalence and patterning of multidimensional child poverty in South Korea. The first goal of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to reduce poverty in all its dimensions, and countries are increasingly developing their own measures of multidimensional poverty. This flourishing of different measures presents challenges for international comparisons. The article applies an internationally-validated method of assessing multidimensional poverty to demonstrate its suitability for use in a high-income Asian economy. Multidimensional child poverty is assessed by combining data on child material deprivation with their household income. Using data from the 2018 Korean National Children Survey, we show that child material deprivation is higher (15%) than income poverty (12%). When measured using a combined measure of material deprivation and income, around one in every three children in Korea were found to be either poor or vulnerable to poverty. These findings show that the official monetary poverty measure on its own may understate the percentage of children unable to afford necessities in Korea, as envisioned by international targets like the SDGs. In terms of policy, analysis of individual deprivations suggests that a combination of in-kind benefits such as vouchers for leisure activities or education and asset-building programmes as well as cash transfers are needed for tackling child poverty.

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This article examines the past, present and future of income maintenance schemes in Korea. Historically, income security schemes have been built on the idea of work-centred social insurance supplemented by social assistance. This approach was based on the premise of full employment. While current schemes have achieved institutional completeness and have contributed to alleviating poverty and inequality, they have exhibited limitations in responding to the qualitative shifts of capitalism, leading to welfare blind spots. Various alternatives have been proposed, such as universal basic income (UBI), which aims for equality, and residual Safety Income (SI), which aims for efficiency. The objective of this study is to validate the effects of basic income proposals and SI as alternative income maintenance schemes emerging in Korea. We simulated and compared the poverty alleviation and income redistribution effects of the two alternatives using data from the Survey of Household Finances and Living Conditions (2019~2021). The effects of poverty alleviation and income distribution were determined by analysing the hypothetical changes in absolute and relative poverty rates, as well as the Gini coefficient. The efficiency of benefits was assessed as the ratio of the amount used to reduce the poverty gap out of the total benefit amount. The study found that while SI appeared cost-effective in addressing absolute poverty, UBI was also effective in addressing relative poverty and income inequality.

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Public awareness of social welfare policies, along with their increasing political influence, has led to growing interest in welfare attitudes. However, there has been insufficient consideration of the effects of different cohorts and social exclusion groups on attitudes to welfare in Korean society, as well as the dynamics of these effects. This article specifically examines changes in attitudes to welfare in South Korea with a focus on cohort and social exclusion perspectives. First, the study found that recent attitudes towards redistribution highlight generational perspectives on intergenerational conflict rather than a focus on social exclusion. Second, cohorts associated with democratisation and the information age displayed reluctance towards tax increases but held favourable views regarding redistributive policies and universal welfare. Third, socially excluded groups tended to favour selective welfare and tax increases. Finally, the current elderly generation, represented by the War-industrialisation cohort, exhibited relatively negative attitudes towards the welfare system compared to subsequent generations. These findings underscore the necessity for expanding government policies to enhance welfare understanding and experiences among the post-war generation and socially excluded groups. Additionally, it is crucial to address generational distributional justice and to broaden discussions on solidarity.

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The moral discourse around low carbon transitions currently favours justice as its main virtue (often expressed through the concept of just transition), often highlighting injustice within the current system. When we aim for justice, our focus is on what is lacking rather than what is possible. Low carbon transitions are an opportunity to reinvent our systems and ways of life but also the associated virtues that guide them. The transition must exclude no one and must prioritize those most in need and most disadvantaged by the current system. In this context, the concept of justice (transitioning away from fossil fuels in a way which promotes a fairer world) is a useful guide. But is justice all we should be aiming for? This chapter experiments with positioning alternative virtues as guiding principles for low carbon transitions and reflects on the implications for inclusion and the promotion of thriving through transition. Ultimately, we put forward an alternative framework, which does not ignore justice but promotes the virtues of generosity and care as foundations of justice or complements to it. In concert, these virtues have the potential to shape transitions from the starting point of genuine concern for the wellbeing of others.

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Ocean soups of plastic have provided increasingly visceral signs of major problems with modern systems of production and consumption, leading to calls for action towards ‘zero waste’ by promoting the circular economy (CE). While superficially attractive, the CE idea faces a raft of problems that extend well beyond the technical and the monetary to everyday social practices. This chapter charts the problematic imaginary of the CE idea and domestic waste. In so doing five key points are made. First, that the CE focus on technology and behaviour change pays insufficient attention to distributional impacts, inclusion and social life. Second, that current approaches to domestic recycling are set to exacerbate already existing inequalities, and are unlikely to advance sustainability. Third, socio-material entanglements in domestic waste are centred as a means to approach inclusion. Fourth, social practices and the capabilities approach are both proposed as foundations for a future domestic discard regime. Finally, ideas are presented for relational-informed local waste governance.

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Climate change is making periods of extreme heat both more intense and more frequent in many places around the world. This chapter considers the interrelation between transitioning to a post-carbon condition and the need to simultaneously adapt to the growing threat from extreme heat. We conceptualize ‘keeping cool’ using the framework of the capabilities approach, before exploring how exclusion from cooling operates within low-income communities in the Global South. We argue that cool inclusion demands explicit attention to social justice, that it entails a fundamental recognition of the struggles involved in avoiding or coping with heat, and that it should be premised on the thermal autonomy to secure what cooling is most needed for. Strategies for cooling in a decarbonizing world must not assume blanket holding down of energy use, but rather engage in questions of justice in relation to populations routinely rendered invisible, illegal and impoverished, including in overarching transition discourses.

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This chapter briefly sketches a degrowth perspective revealing the challenge of inequities within global production for trade and flows of trade, and offers a Minority World analysis-cum-response of those implicated in an ‘imperial mode of living’ (Brand and Wissen, 2021). An Australian activist who tries to exchange this mode for a ‘solidarity mode of living’ (Brand and Wissen, 2021) is tracked, including their move to eco-collaborative housing (a key housing for degrowth strategy). Zürich’s ‘radical young housing cooperatives’ model is explored to demonstrate that accessible, affordable and ecologically sustainable best practice models of eco-collaborative housing incorporate aspects of an holistic, feminist, caring economy approach and have transformative potential to overturn the imperial mode of living, pointing towards a solidarity mode of living and caring commons. This discussion benefits from degrowth-aligned Majority World perspectives, engaging with degrowth discourses taking account of global dimensions of post-carbon inclusion.

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