Mauritius: Poverty and exclusion in an ethnically-plural society, new study
The complex linkages between poverty and ethnicity are explored in the context of Mauritius. The research finds that the causes and patterns of poverty differ according to ethnic group. Economic, political, and social spheres are analysed.
The author carried out doctoral field research for fourteen months in Mauritius to collect primary data concerning: ethnic identity, inter-ethnic/religious relations, poverty, exclusion, and marginalisation.
Mauritius is an ethnically-diverse country with five main ethnic groups: White, Chinese, Creoles, Hindus, and Muslims. This research represents a first attempt to study the relations within as well as between all the ethnic groups in the country. It sheds important light on the complex linkages between ethnicity and poverty in a developing country.
The research found that Creoles faced negative discrimination in employment and education, are inadequately represented in state bureaucracy and politics, and face additional obstacles in their access to state resources and institutions. Also, many Hindus (especially widowed Hindu female heads) and ethnically-mixed persons are unable to draw upon social networks due to stigmatistion.
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