Growing up Poor

Overview

This ethnographic study looks at teenagers trapped in poverty—how some succeed in the struggle to get out and others finally give up trying. It is an outgrowth of interviews with some 900 teens in New York City, Cleveland, Louisville, and Meridian, Mississippi. The neighborhoods where they live are socially and racially diverse. Among them are white areas slding into poverty as traditional blue-collar jobs in smokestack industries fade away, and black and Hispanic neighborhoods where chronic unemployment has long...

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Overview

This ethnographic study looks at teenagers trapped in poverty—how some succeed in the struggle to get out and others finally give up trying. It is an outgrowth of interviews with some 900 teens in New York City, Cleveland, Louisville, and Meridian, Mississippi. The neighborhoods where they live are socially and racially diverse. Among them are white areas slding into poverty as traditional blue-collar jobs in smokestack industries fade away, and black and Hispanic neighborhoods where chronic unemployment has long been the prevailing tradition and fact of life. Based on the teenagers' own accounts, the book describes their experiences with working and seeking work, achievements in school and athletics, family life, and the positive influences of their peers and adult mentors. It also details the negative choices that tend to make poverty a life sentence: prostitution and street hustles, pregnancy and early parenthood, gang membership and criminal outlets, drugs and withdrawal into despair. Still, hope is an unquenchable attribute of youth, and it bubbles up in this book as the authors show how much these teenagers seek to do for themselves in exercising their limited options.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780669102772
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Publication date: 8/28/1985
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 136
  • Product dimensions: 6.22 (w) x 9.16 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Meet the Author

Terry Williams is a senior research associate in sociology at the Graduate School and Unversity Center, City University of New York. William Kornblum is a professor of sociology at the Graduate School and Unversity Center, City University of New York.

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