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Talk:Charles Booth (social reformer)

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Life and Labour studyEdit

Report was compiled between 1886 and 1903

Findings: - 30% of the population of London were living in poverty - 45% of old people were living in 'dire poverty'- hyperlink this to dire poverty article - poor people were often too ill to work - unemployment was often beyond the control of the worker - more detail needed, and do the sam with seebohm rowntree's 1901 report —Preceding unsigned comment added by 194.81.36.61 (talk) 15:08, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

GB and US vocabularyEdit

I think it's a problem to use a purely American meaning of the word "liberal" in an article about a British person. Johncmullen1960 (talk) 10:45, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

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"35% were living in abject poverty"Edit

"This research, which looked at incidences of pauperism in the East End of London, showed that 35% were living in abject poverty – even higher than the original figure." It is not clear that this statement is justified by Charles Booth's work, or represents what he himself said.

Because it's hard to find an online, public domain version of Booth's book, from now on I shall use a review[1] which is, and quotes from it.

His claim about the 35% was:

Grouping the classes together, A, B, C, and D are the classes of poverty sinking into want, and add up to 314,000. or 35 per cent. of the population; while E, F, G, and H are the classes in comfort rising to affluence, and add up to 577,000, or 65 per cent. of the population (p. 62).[2]

Those classes represented very varying degrees of poverty. They ranged from "The lowest class of occasional laborers, loafers and semi-criminals" (Class A)[3] to "Small regular earnings" (Class D).[4]

To the best of my knowledge – I could be wrong about it – Booth never claimed all of those classes lived in "abject" poverty: itself an undefined, rhetorical expression. What he actually said was this:

The poor (C and D) are those whose means may be sufficient, but are barely sufficient for decent independent life. (p. 33.) Though they would be much better off for more of everything, they are not "in want." They are neither ill-nourished nor ill-clad, according to any standard that can reasonably be used. Their lives are an unending struggle and lack comfort, but I do not know that they lack happiness. (p. 131.)

[5]

We may argue whether people who are neither ill-nourished nor ill-clad according to any reasonable standard, and are not in want, can be said to be living in abject poverty. The point is that Booth himself did not say so. Hence it is wrong to attribute the statement to him.Ttocserp 11:13, 20 March 2018 (UTC)

ReferencesEdit

Huntingdon, F.C. (1889). "East London: Review". The Quarterly Journal of Economics. Oxford University Press. 4 (1): 83–96. JSTOR 1883004. 

A few points here: 1. A book does not have to be available online to be referenced here, whether directly quoted or indirectly summarised. 2. The veracity of a statement is not dependent upon it being easy for you to verify personally. 3. You stated yourself that you "..could be wrong", and that your grounds for doubting the veracity of the statement were tenuous, especially since you've not had chance to read the source material. Being hard to prove doesn't mean something is untrue. 4. Without reading the (rest of the) book(s) you cannot possibly know whether the quote you provided (from the review) was actually the origin of the statement, or if it came from elsewhere in the many published volumes. 5. It would appear that your actual problem was with the use of the word 'abject'. By modern standards and definitions, even the least severe poverty of the time may well be seen by most as 'abject' today. Without (largely irrelevant and unnecessary) research into the matter, we cannot know. Since the original statement was a summary rather than a direct quote), and nothing is really lost if the word is removed, I actually agree that the word as at best redundant and at worst a form of 'weasel words' and as such may be removed without issue. My issue is more with the fact you have challenged, researched and disputed the issue without even checking the source material first. I must admit to a burning curiosity to find out why you object so vociferously to the inclusion of that one single pre-modifying word in one indirectly quoted passage? Ie why does it matter so much if the poverty was\is perceived as being abject? Poverty is poverty, no matter who defines it or how. I don't think any sliding scale of how abject poverty may be exists, or should exist. Of course accuracy and precision are of vital importance in an encyclopedia. In this case, I think perceptions of the severity of the poverty described are largely irrelevant. I do not mean to be rude or abrasive, apologies if I've phrased this a little more spikily than I intended. :-)

Codeye (talk) 08:00, 29 May 2018 (UTC) Codeye (talk) 08:00, 29 May 2018 (UTC)

  1. ^ Huntingdon.
  2. ^ Huntingdon, 87
  3. ^ Huntingdon, 84.
  4. ^ Huntingdon, 85.
  5. ^ Huntingdon, 86.
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