Medicalisation and psychologisation of poverty? An analysis of the scientific poverty discourse from 1956 to 2017

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Stephan KrayterUniversity of Siegen, Germany

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Nadine ReiblingUniversity of Siegen, Germany

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Recent social science scholarship has argued that poverty is increasingly discussed as a problem that can have medical or psychological causes and could be tackled through therapeutic and health-related interventions. The aim of this study is to investigate if such a trend towards the medicalisation and psychologisation of poverty is present in the scientific poverty discourse. We analysed 13,553 articles on poverty in advanced, industrialised countries published between 1956 and 2017 and indexed in Web of Science. The results show that health sciences and psychology have been the fastest-growing research areas and the individual disciplines with currently the largest publication output on poverty.

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Stephan KrayterUniversity of Siegen, Germany

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Nadine ReiblingUniversity of Siegen, Germany

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