1.2.2 Different conceptualisations
We've also indicated that development interventions will see the interplay of different ideas about what the problem is and what needs to be done. One ‘academic’ way of expressing this is to talk of ‘different conceptualisations’, different ways of thinking about a real world phenomenon. Perhaps the most significant illustration of this concerns ‘poverty’. Some people think of poverty in terms of a lack of an adequate income. Some people think of poverty much more holistically, in terms of a lack of a range of things which make up a ‘good life’. Some people think about poverty in absolute terms, some people think of it in relative terms. Some people see poverty as something ‘the poor’ bring upon themselves. Some people see poverty as something created, nurtured and sustained by the actions of the rich and powerful.
This by no means completes the list of different conceptualisations of poverty! The important thing we ask you to recognise is that different understandings – of poverty, and of anything else connected with development – will be at work in any development intervention and will invest it with tension and conflict.