The Idea of Poverty

Paul Spicker

The Idea of Poverty
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Paul Spicker

Distributed for Policy Press at the University of Bristol

175 pages | © 2007
Paper $28.95 ISBN: 9781861348883 Published January 2007 For sale in North and South America only
This book examines views about what poverty is and what should be done about it. 'Poverty' means many different things to different people - for example, material deprivation, lack of money, dependency on benefits, social exclusion or inequality. In "The idea of poverty", Paul Spicker makes a committed argument for a participative, inclusive understanding of the term. Spicker's previous work in this field has been described as 'entertaining and sometimes controversial', and his new book certainly lives up to this. Some of the book's ideas are complex and will be of particular interest to academics and others working in the field, but the book has been written mainly for students and the interested general reader. It challenges many of the myths and stereotypes about poverty and the poor, and helps readers to make sense of a wide range of conflicting and contradictory source material.

About the author

Part One: Understanding poverty
1. Defining poverty
2. Poverty in different societies
3. Understanding the figures
Part Two: Poverty as material need
4. Concepts of need
5. Area deprivation
Part Three: Poverty as economic position
6. Economic resources
7. Class
Part Four: Poverty and social relationships
8. Social exclusion
9. Dependency
10. Poverty and politics
Part Five: Poverty as a moral concept
11. The moral dimensions of poverty
12. The moral condemnation of the poor
Part Six: Explanations for poverty
13. Why people are poor
14. Why poor countries stay poor
Part Seven: Reponses to poverty
15. Responding to poverty
16. Policies for poverty


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