America's Shame: Women and Children in Shelter and the Degradation of Family Roles

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Overview

Rejecting those who urge a bootstrap approach to people living in extreme poverty on the edge of society, sociologist Barbara Arrighi makes an eloquent, compassionate plea for empathy and collective responsibility toward those for whom either the boots or the straps are missing. This book further offers solutions in consciousness raising, community collaboration, and informed, responsible public policy. The book is a critique of a system that purports to serve yet sometimes impedes the welfare of those who are in need of the basic elements for survival, including affordable shelter. It analyzes the structural factors of poverty and the social psychological costs of being poor and lacking a home. Utilizing interview findings from families who have lived in a shelter in northern Kentucky and from staff members, the book examines the degrading effects of shelter life on women's self-respect and children's development. Rather than an examination of individual pathologies leading to lack of shelter, it centers on women and children living in shelters and offers a sociological study of poverty and the family.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
With a Weberian empathy for children living in poverty (nowhere is the word homeless used) the author provides a treatise on poverty and the lack of affordable housing, and a critique of a system that purports to serve yet sometimes impedes the welfare of those who lack the basic elements for survival. She uses interviews with clients of Hope House, a social service agency located on the northern border of Kentucky, and her own experience in examining the structural factors of poverty as well as the social psychological costs of living on the edge of absolute deprivation. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275957322
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/30/1997
  • Pages: 158
  • Lexile: 1440L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

BARBARA A. ARRIGHI is Associate Professor of Sociology at Northern Kentucky University.

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Table of Contents

Tables
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Pt. I Descent to Shelter: Systemic Factors Leading to Shelter
1 How a Diverse Population Grew While Housing Decreased 3
2 Family Values and Other Myths and Realities about Families 19
Pt. II The Social Psychological Experience of Poverty and Shelter Life
3 Shelter Life and Women's Self-Concept 45
4 Shelter Life and Its Effects on Children's Development 53
Pt. III Solutions: Some Old, Some New
5 A Solution for Shrinking Funds: Mandated Community Collaboration 69
6 Consciousness Raising: An Old Solution with a New Twist 77
7 Recommendations 87
Epilogue: Connecting Private Troubles with Public Issues: A Little Sociological Imagination Would Help 107
Notes 115
Bibliography 125
Index 131
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