Elisa Alegre Agís  (Universitat Rovira i Virgili)


Topic: Poverty chronification: social rights, public policies and challenges within the social services of Catalonia

Language: English 


The economic and social crisis occurred as a result of Covid-19 has supersaturated the social services in Catalonia, tripling in some areas, the number of beneficiary families. The urgency context promoted the deployment of strategies and public policies in the national, autonomic and municipal levels in order to palliate the intensification of structural poverty and the arrival of new profiles in precarious situations. This communication presents the main results of the research “poverty chronification in Catalonia” carried out by the Social Inclusion professorship of the Rovira i Virgili University for the Social Rights Department of the Government of Catalonia.

This is a qualitative study, with an ethnographic basis, in which 16 in depth interviews are carried out to social workers, who perform a direct assistance in basic social services, representing the whole Catalan territory. Our results discuss the articulation of on-site care, reproductive of institutional and structural violence, as well as the discomforts and ethic conflicts that this may cause to the social workers. This way the research deals on the one hand the principal internal problems and challenges of the care services, the impact and the valorization from the social workers about certain strategies and public policies that would be chronificating the poverty and precariousness situations of the beneficiary families.

On the other hand it analyses, from an intersectional perspective, the impact of such public policies in those population groups with a bigger tendency to falling under social exclusion and to a structural situation of precariousness. Given that the proliferation of policies and strategies that lead to a chronification of poverty, they entail a possible violation of the social and human rights, the current challenges of the social services in Catalonia are also presented in this communication.