Challenging Orthodoxies: Understanding Poverty in Pastoral Areas of East Africa

Development and Change, A. Saith, M. Arsel, K. Biehart, A. Chhachhi, B. O'Laughlin & S. Storm, Published on behalf of the International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague

38 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2007 Last revised: 20 Aug 2014

See all articles by Peter D. Little

Peter D. Little

University of Kentucky - Department of Anthropology

John G. McPeak

Syracuse University - Department of Economics

Christopher B. Barrett

Cornell University - Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics & Management

Patti Kristjanson

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: March 1, 2008

Abstract

Understanding and alleviating poverty in Africa continues to receive considerable attention by a range of diverse actors, including politicians, international celebrities, academics, activists, and practitioners. Despite the onslaught of interest, there surprisingly is little agreement on what constitutes poverty in rural Africa, how it should be assessed, and what should be done to alleviate it. Based on data from an interdisciplinary study of pastoralism in northern Kenya, this article examines issues of poverty among one of the continents most vulnerable groups, pastoralists, and challenges the application of such orthodox proxies as incomes/expenditures, geographic remoteness, and market integration. It argues that current poverty debates homogenize the concept of pastoralist by failing to acknowledge the diverse livelihoods and wealth differentiation that fall under the term. The article concludes that what is not needed is another development label (stereotype) that equates pastoralism with poverty, thereby empowering outside interests to transform rather than strengthen pastoral livelihoods.

Suggested Citation

Little, Peter D. and McPeak, John G. and Barrett, Christopher B. and Kristjanson, Patti, Challenging Orthodoxies: Understanding Poverty in Pastoral Areas of East Africa (March 1, 2008). Development and Change, A. Saith, M. Arsel, K. Biehart, A. Chhachhi, B. O'Laughlin & S. Storm, Published on behalf of the International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=999623

Peter D. Little (Contact Author)

University of Kentucky - Department of Anthropology ( email )

202 Lafferty Hall 0024
Lexington, KY 40506
United States
859-257-6923 (Phone)
859-323-1959 (Fax)

John G. McPeak

Syracuse University - Department of Economics ( email )

Syracuse, NY 13244-1020
United States

Christopher B. Barrett

Cornell University - Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics & Management ( email )

315 Warren Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-7801
United States
607-255-4489 (Phone)
607-255-9984 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://aem.cornell.edu/faculty_sites/cbb2/

Patti Kristjanson

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
239
Abstract Views
1,585
rank
156,024
PlumX Metrics