Public Perceptions About Welfare ‘fraud’ are… well… Fraudulent

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One of the most persistent myths about people living with poverty in Canada is that welfare fraud is a common occurrence among those receiving social assistance. This popular misconception about welfare recipients endures despite the fact that solid research has demonstrated time and time again that credible estimates of the rate of welfare fraud place it, in Ontario for example, at less than 1%.

I recently presented a research paper, “Welfare Fraud 2.0? Using Big Data to Surveil, Stigmatize and Criminalize the Poor,” at an international academic conference organized by Carleton and Sheffield Universities.

It was incredibly rewarding to be at a conference that focused on so many of my own research interests surrounding surveillance and governance of those living with poverty.

Here’s a link to some of the conference presentations, including my own, which is the first 17 minutes:

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