Affording Ignorance

By: Owasim Akram  

Relying on a qualitative panel dataset this research aimed to explore the experience of exploitation, exclusion, and marginalization of elderly extreme poor (EP) of Bangladesh. Findings indicated that the EP elderly people are not only asset/income poor but also vulnerably relation poor. Fractured intergenerational relation/bargain and absence of state led support forced them to go for labor intensive manual jobs. Most of them lived either through begging or working as a domestic help. Access to social safety nets depended on their political loyalty and strength of social connections thus most of them were denied. All the respondents were virtually landless and reported severe housing problem. Living in their own land found to be the most important empowerment indicators. The lived experiences of the extreme poor elderly people in such destitution, marginalization, and vulnerability are tantamount to gross ignorance of their rights and entitlements which would be too costly for a nation to afford.

Ageing, Extreme Poverty, Bangladesh, Qualitative Research
Social and Cultural Perspectives on Aging
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Owasim Akram

Marie Skłodowska-Curie PhD Fellow, Political Science, Örebro University, Sweden