15th November 2018, words by Oliver French
Earlier this week we flagged that one of the elements of our Knowledge Action Inquiry is ‘examining the basis of our collective knowledge system’. By this, we mean that we want to explore the underlying values, assumptions and judgments we make when assembling and interpreting our knowledge.
In the past we looked at, understood and ‘treated’ disadvantage in very different ways from how we do today. This process of change doesn’t stop, and it’s likely we’ll think very differently again in the future as there will be things that we think and do now that won’t make sense in a generation’s time.
A few years ago we commissioned a historical review of the concept of severe and multiple disadvantage and of responses to it, which we’re (re)publishing to help (re) start a conversation about the context in which we define and understand social harm, and how we’ve both retained and moved on from various ways of thinking about disadvantage.
You can read the review here. As ever, we’re keen to hear any reflections on the questions that this raises.