Since the end of the Second World War, poverty in the United States has been a persistent focus of social anxiety, public debate, and federal policy. This volume argues convincingly that we will not be able to reduce or eliminate poverty until we take the political factors that contribute to its continuation into account.
Ideal for course use, A New Introduction to Poverty opens with a historical overview of the major intellectual and political debates surrounding poverty in the United States. Several factors have received inadequate attention: the impact of poverty on women; the synergy of racism and poverty; race and gender stratification of the workplace; and, crucially, the ways in which the powerful use their resources to maintain the economic status quo.
Contributors include Mimi Abramovitz, Peter Alcock, Bonnie Thornton Dill, Raymond Franklin, Herman George Jr., Michael B. Katz, Marlene Kim, Rebecca Morales, Sandra Patton, Valerie Polakow, Jackie Pope, Jill Quadagno, David C. Ranney, Barbara Ransby, Bette Woody, and Maxine Baca Zinn.
"This collection of 17 essays examines poverty and its causes from a variety of angles. The common thread is a concern for the structural causes of poverty; the book therefore offers a welcome alternative to the dominant ideological views that portray poverty as a result of individuals' decisions, attributes and/or moral failings...The authors show the connections between capitalism, slavery and the development of state policies and ideologies that maintained the oppressed and exploited status of African Americans after the Civil War and constituted the basis for the emergence of white identity and privilege to the detriment of working class identities based on a recognition of the common plight of workers, regardless of skin color...this is an outstanding collection, useful for courses in social stratification, the sociology of work, and race and ethnic relations."-Science and Society