America's Shame: Women and Children in Shelter and the Degradation of Family Roles

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 1997 - Social Science - 138 pages

Rejecting those who urge a bootstrap approach to people living in extreme poverty on the edge of society, sociologist Barbara Arrighi makes an eloquent, compassionate plea for empathy and collective responsibility toward those for whom either the boots or the straps are missing. This book further offers solutions in consciousness raising, community collaboration, and informed, responsible public policy. The book is a critique of a system that purports to serve yet sometimes impedes the welfare of those who are in need of the basic elements for survival, including affordable shelter. It analyzes the structural factors of poverty and the social psychological costs of being poor and lacking a home. Utilizing interview findings from families who have lived in a shelter in northern Kentucky and from staff members, the book examines the degrading effects of shelter life on women's self-respect and children's development. Rather than an examination of individual pathologies leading to lack of shelter, it centers on women and children living in shelters and offers a sociological study of poverty and the family.


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Descent to Shelter Systemic Factors Leading to Shelter
Part II The Social Psychological Experience of Poverty and Shelter Life
Some Old Some New
Connecting Private Troubles with Public Issues A Little Sociological Imagination Would Help

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Page 7 - By definition, of course, we believe the person with a stigma is not quite human. On this assumption we exercise varieties of discrimination, through which we effectively, if often unthinkingly, reduce his life chances.
Page 129 - DB (1995). A call for greater attention to the role of employers in developing, transforming, and implementing family policies.
Page 119 - Has Children's Poverty Become More Persistent?
Page 123 - Byerly (n. 15 above), 198. 63. For Black women's centrality in the family, see Steady (n. 1 above); Ladner (n. 2 above); Brown (n. 54 above); and McAdoo, ed. (n. 36 above). See Gilkes, '"Together and in Harness'
Page 119 - The New Ruthless Economy," The New York Review of Books 43, no.

About the author (1997)

BARBARA A. ARRIGHI is Associate Professor of Sociology at Northern Kentucky University. Her articles have been published in professional journals and in the Encyclopedia of Marriage and the Family.

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