Social Policy and Society


The ‘Broken Society’ Election: Class Hatred and the Politics of Poverty and Place in Glasgow East

Gerry Mooneya1

a1 Faculty of Social Sciences, The Open University in Scotland, Edinburgh E-mail:


This paper considers some of the ways in which representations of people experiencing poverty and disadvantaged places continue to be informed by ideas of individual inadequacy, dependency and disorder. Drawing on media reportage of poverty during the Glasgow East by-election in July 2008, it argues not only that people defined as ‘poor’ and locales that are severely disadvantaged continue to be ‘othered’ through such narratives, but also that this provides a clear indication of the ways in which the politics of poverty and state welfare are increasingly being fought-out in the media. It is argued that such misrecognition amounts to social injustice and stands in the way of progressive approaches to poverty and social welfare.