Breaking Barriers first stage

ATD Ireland are working on a new project funded by IHREC; Breaking barriers: A participatory approach to defining socio- economic discrimination.  So far, this project has brought together the voices of those with lived experience of poverty and socio- economic discrimination, academics and professionals working in the community and voluntary sector.  In a participatory way, we hope to raise awareness and build a deeper understanding of socio- economic discrimination, working to create a robust definition which will help progress the #Addthe10th campaign.

In the past several months we have conducted 21 interviews with both academics and professionals working in the NGO sector.  The purpose of these  interviews was to gain more foundational ideas around people’s understanding of socio- economic discrimination.   These interviews involved many insightful and thought provoking responses.  We are also looking at a series of previous work done with community activists of ATD Ireland.   Through an analysis of these interviews and our years of past work based on lived experience we picked out some important quotes.    

We then came up some key statements representative of these quotes.  Through categorising these quotes and statements into themes we came up with this conceptual design.

This design aims to portray a broader understanding of ‘what is socio- economic discrimination’, with a definition at the center. 

  • This will include narrowing down the personal characteristics that can contribute to a person’s SES?
  • Each of the layers of the circles attempts to break down this question covering what are the human impacts of socio- economic discrimination, as well as the material, financial and broader societal impacts?
  • What is discrimination and what are the specific types of actions that can be considered discriminatory?
  • What are the types of discrimination, how and where is it perpetuated?
  • What are systemic structures and societal attitudes that allow socio- economic discrimination to arise?
  • Finally, how can we combat socio- economic discrimination in the long term and how can we create more integration between different sections of society?

The circle design is a way of explaining how each of these sections are interlinked and interact with each other leading to a cycle of socio- economic discrimination.

At the next stage of the project we plan to bring people together – including those involved in the recent interviews as well as those with lived experiences of SED whose insights are at the heart of this project- to discuss the key statements, decide if they are representative of and accurately describe each theme and finally collectively decide how to define socio- economic discrimination.

We hope to then write a final report based on the collectively agreed definition and the subsequent themes.