The Lowest Rung: Voices of Australian Poverty

Overview

"The Lowest Rung is a fascinating and profoundly moving portrait of the people who are suffering the consequences of a more divided and less egalitarian Australian society. Based largely on the author's conversations with hundreds of people living and working in three areas commonly described as 'disadvantaged' - Inala in Queensland, Mount Druitt in New South Wales and Broadmeadows in Victoria - this is a book in which impoverished Australians, who are too often absent from debates about poverty, tell their own stories. Some are funny, others are ...
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Overview

"The Lowest Rung is a fascinating and profoundly moving portrait of the people who are suffering the consequences of a more divided and less egalitarian Australian society. Based largely on the author's conversations with hundreds of people living and working in three areas commonly described as 'disadvantaged' - Inala in Queensland, Mount Druitt in New South Wales and Broadmeadows in Victoria - this is a book in which impoverished Australians, who are too often absent from debates about poverty, tell their own stories. Some are funny, others are sad. There are stories they can hardly bear to tell about loss, despair and an uncertain future. But there are also stories about hope, and the capacity of poorer people to imagine and create a fairer world. Rather than focusing on abstractions such as 'the underclass', this book provides an intimate account of real people's fears, hopes and dilemmas in the face of growing inequality, entrenched unemployment, and fading opportunities for the young." This important book is essential reading for anyone concerned about the impact of social and economic change in contemporary Australia. It urges us to learn from rather than lecture those who experience first-hand the more unequal future we are now making, and it will change the way we think about poverty and its solutions.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'Peel provides a welcome contrast to the drier statistical debates over poverty lines and relative poverty. He succeeds in taking us through a range of emotions that the experience of disadvantage generates.' Dr Alastair Greig, Australian National University

'This is an important and refreshing approach to poverty in Australia. It offers a new and lively perspective on a much-researched topic, and one that breaks out of the narrow social policy focus of the bulk of this literature.' Professor Stephen Garton, University of Sydney

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521537599
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Peel is the author of Good Times, Hard Times and of A Little History of Australia. He teaches history at Monash University.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
A Note on Names and Words
Cast of Characters
Introduction 1
1 Describing Disadvantage 16
2 Heroes 33
3 Suffering 62
4 Anger 87
5 Loss 114
6 Hope 141
Conclusion 171
Notes 183
Bibliography 192
Index 201
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