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Title: Queuing in the sun, action at a distance : the social politics of a conditional cash transfer programme in Columbia
Author: Balen, Maria Elisa
ISNI:       0000 0004 5919 6888
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis seeks to convey the social rationale and experience of Familias en Accion, a major conditional cash transfer (CCT) programme in Colombia, 2000-2013. Combining actor-network theory and participant-action research, it identifies key controversies surrounding this particular CCT in the context of the prevalence of the CCT genre in social protection systems across Latin America and beyond. I analyse my material in terms of techniques and discourses around information, money/finance, women's empowerment, and changing modes of politics, with the more theoretical level of the account supported by a range of ethnographic material and 58+ interviews with designers, functionaries, participants and observers of this social policy as it played out in the Montes de Marfa region and in the country's capital, Bogota. These substantive and methodological contributions are regarded as having a wider purpose too, as I try to pursue the idea of sociology as map-making, thinking of this as what happens when the quest for social explanation has to flex in the face of situational and political complexity. Overall, the thesis argues that CCTs need to be grasped in terms of being traversed by the imperative of 'action at a distance'. This can rightly, in part, be regarded as a matter of the logic and pervasiveness of contemporary neoliberalism, but the thesis attempts to promote and explore a more pluralistic or inclusive approach to the politics of the social.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available