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New Poverty

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Overview

Cheal argues that the sociology of poverty has entered a new postmodern phase. The new poverty is about loss of faith—in relationships that were once believed to last a lifetime, and in government programs that we used to think would last for generations.

The new poverty is about the economic fall of individuals and countries who used to be affluent and who once dreamed that their affluence would go on forever. It is about the experience of free-falling, without a parachute and without much of a safety net. The new poverty is about people who lose their jobs when their company downsizes. It is about people whose hours of employment are cut in half when the work runs out. And it is about couples who separate, thereby plunging one of them—and probably their children—into a low income level that they had never anticipated.

What is new about the new poverty is the sense of surprise—that poverty can hit so suddenly, that people can fall so far before they are caught and lifted up, that the poverty of children still troubles us after a century of progress. The new poverty is about our loss of faith not only in relationships that were once thought to last a lifetime, but also in government programs that we believed would last for generations. Cheal translates the experience of the new poverty into sociological theory and into social statistics. His purpose is to provoke serious, critical reflection about families today and the risks of being poor. An important study for scholars and researchers involved with family issues and social policy.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Analyzes the relationships between current family situations and the risks of being poor, locating specific causes of poverty within a broader context of problems in modernity and arguing that the sociology of poverty has entered a new, postmodern phase. Overviews the cultural and political significance of poverty research, introduces original data on poverty in the US and Canada, and discusses issues such as poverty in female-headed households and the role of the state in setting implicit poverty policies. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313294440
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/30/1996
  • Series: Contributions in Sociology Series , #115
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

DAVID CHEAL is a Professor of Sociology, University of Winnipeg.

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Table of Contents

Illustrations
Preface
Acknowledgments
1 Families in Postmodernity 1
2 Poverty and Progress 17
3 Sorting Out the Poor 35
4 Marriage and Its Aftermath 55
5 The Birth of Poverty 75
6 Family Work Systems 97
7 Shallow Income Pools 117
8 The Economic Life Course 135
9 Shifting Entitlements 157
10 The Postmodernization of Poverty 173
Bibliography 187
Index 203
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