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Unformatted text preview: ere hang the jewels glittering like stars of the first magnitude, a wonderful sight to behold. If we now arbitrarily select one of these jewels for inspection and look closely at it, we will discover that in its polished surface there are reflected all the other jewels in the net, infinite in number. Not only that, but each of the jewels reflected in this one jewel is also reflecting all the other jewels. So that there is an infinite reflecting process occurring. . . this image . . . symbolizes a cosmos in which there is an infinitely repeated interrelationships among all the members of the cosmos (Cook, 1977: 2). Poverty in the Nexus I have used the idea of a nexus of relations in my own research into the nature of poverty which I have previously argued is discursively constructed (Yapa 1996). To explain a “poverty area” I place it in the middle of nexus of relations where each relation is linked to some other aspect of poverty (Figure 11). I group the relations into six bundles or nodes on the nexus: technical, economic, ecological, cultural, political, spatial, and academic. There is nothing fixed or immutable about these categories and poverty; I simply use them because they enable a useful conversation about poverty. Figure 11. The nexus of relations of poverty 6 Indra, the king of the gods, is an important deity in Vedic Hinduism. 16 I define technical relations as material inputs and methods of production, a concept similar to Marx’s forces of production. Economic relations refer to how ownership characteristics of the means of production affect what gets produced and how, referred to as social relations in Marxian economics (Marx 1989 [1869]).7 Production requires matter and energy as input and a repository to hold waste; these biophysical interactions define ecological relations of production. Cultural relations refer to the interaction of production with “the ways of life” of social groups. Political relations refer to how the exercise of power affects economic activity. Academic relations of production are central to any ki...
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