Experiencing Poverty: Voices from the Bottom / Edition 2

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This collection of readings provides the voice, the presence, and the perspective of the poor who live on the margins and are generally invisible to the middle and upper classes.

The goals of this reader are twofold:

(1) to bring the realities of the lives of the impoverished as close to the reader as possible

(2) to get the reader to listen carefully to these voices of the poor in order to enhance their understanding of:

  • How the poor became poor.
  • How the poor are treated by individuals and organizations in the community.
  • What keeps the poor poor.
  • How the poor manage day-to-day.
  • What theory of causation best explains poverty.
  • The consequences of the welfare-to-work federal legislation.
  • The best solutions for ending poverty.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205547951
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 4/18/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 340,057
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

D. Stanley Eitzen is professor emeritus in sociology from Colorado State University, where previously he was the John N. Stern Distinguished Professor. He recieved his Ph.D. from the Unitsity of Kansas. Among his books are: Social Problems, which was awarded the McGuffey Longevity Award for excellence over multiple editions in 2000 by the Text and Academic Authors Association, and Diversity in Families (both co-authored with Maxine Baca Zinn), Solutions to Social Problems: Lessons from Other Societies (with Graig S. Leeham) , Paths to Homelessness: Extreme Poverty and the Urban Housing Crisis (with Doug A. Timmer and Kathryn Talley), Sociology of North American Sport (with George H. Sage,) and Fair and Foul: Rethinking the Myths and Paradoxes of Sport. He has served as the president of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport and as editor of The Social Science Journal.

Kelly Eitzen Smith received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Arizona in 1999. She is currently the director of the Center for Applied Sociology and a lecturer at the University of Arizona. At the Center for Applied Sociology she has conducted research in the areas of day labor, homelessness, poverty, urban housing and neighborhood development. Her sociological interests include gender, family, sexuality, stratification, and social problems. She is the co-author of Experiencing Poverty, 1/e, Social Problems 11/e, and In Conflict and Order 12/e (forthcoming).

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Table of Contents




Poverty in the United States and the Sociological Imagination

The Extent and Distribution of Poverty in the United States

The Sociological Imagination

Notes and Suggestions for Further Reading


Chapter 1: Theories of Poverty: Who or What Is to Blame for Poverty?

Jackie Spinks: Poverty or At Home in a Car

Steven VanderStaay: The Armstrongs: An Oral History of a Homeless American Family

Nikkie Thompson: Feeling Trapped

Robert D. Bullard: No 40 Acres and a Mule: An Interview with a Displaced Black Farmer

Brian K. Fair: Notes of a Racial Caste Baby


Chapter 2: One Step Away

Ron Kovic: A Veteran Speaks of the Forgotten Wounded of Iraq

Janis Johnston: On the Margins: The Lack of Resources and the Lack of Health Care

Emma Dixon: Personal Voices: An Unnatural Disaster

Sharon Hays: The Domino Effect


Chapter 3: Survival and Finances

Susan Sheehan: Ain’t No Middle Class

David K. Shipler: The Working Poor

Chapter 4: Discrimination/Racism/Stigma

Robin Rogers-Dillon: The Dynamics of Welfare Stigma

Allan Bérubé with Florence Bérubé: Sunset Trailer Park

Toby F. Sonneman: Migrants and the Community

Charlie LeDuf: At a Slaughterhous

Chapter 5: Parenting in Poverty

Tamicia Rush: The Empty Christmas

Steven VanderStaay: Karla

Greg Halpern: Vinela Tejada: Custodian, Vanderbilt Hall, Harvard Medical School

Chapter 6: Housing/Homeless Shelters/Neighborhoods

Bobby Burns: Shelter

Susan J. Popkin, Victoria E. Gwiasda, Lynn M. Olson, Dennis P. Rosenbaum, and Larry Buron: The Residents of Rockwell Gardens

Chapter 7: The Welfare System

Jason DeParle: Money: Milwaukee, Summer 1999

Alejandra Marchevsky and Jeanne Theoharis: Trapped in the Double-Bind of Welfare

Chapter 8: Schools and Schooling

Delphia Boykin: Seventh Grade Disaster

Luis Rodriguez: Always Running

Chapter 9: Work and Working

Toby F. Sonneman: Looking for Work, Waiting for Work

An Interview with Linda Lord: Chicken Run

Lisa Liu: The Story of a Garment Worke

Greg Halpern: Frank Morley: Custodian, Littauer Center for Public Administration


Chapter 10: Changes from the Bottom Up

Hazel Johnson: Surviving Chicago’s Toxic Doughnut

Dottie Stevens: Welfare Rights Organizing Saved My Life

David Bacon: Josefina Flores: A Veteran of the War in the Fields

David Swanson: How Predatory Lending Victims Fought Back and Won

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