Poverty is generally defined as a lack of material resources. However, the relationships that poor people have with their possessions are not just about deprivation. Material things play a positive role in the lives of poor people: they help people to build social relationships, address inequalities, and fulfill emotional needs. In this book, anthropologist Erin Taylor explores how residents of a squatter settlement in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, use their material resources creatively to solve everyday problems and, over a few decades, radically transform the community. Their struggles show how these everyday engagements with materiality, rather than more dramatic efforts, generate social change and build futures.
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
How the Poor Transform Their Lives