The Shame Game

Overturning the Toxic Poverty Narrative

Mary O'Hara

The Shame Game

Mary O'Hara

Distributed for Bristol University Press

232 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Paper $24.00 ISBN: 9781447349266 Will Publish February 2020 For sale in North and South America only
What does it mean to be poor? For decades the dominant narrative in the United States and United Kingdom has been that it is caused by personal flaws, or bad life decisions. People living in poverty have been depicted as lazy, dependent, and irresponsible so regularly and for so long that it has powerfully affected how people see, think about, and treat their fellow citizens who are financially vulnerable. Drawing on a two-year storytelling project and her own experience of childhood poverty, this book by journalist and author Mary O’Hara argues for a radical overhaul of this fundamentally pernicious portrayal. We can’t begin to address poverty until we actually see it clearly. To start the process of doing that, O’Hara turns not to pundits or social scientists, but to the real experts on poverty: the people who live it.
Contents
 PART ONE – The Inconvenient truth: Poverty is real
– Who are these poor people anyway? Being poor in the UK
– How can anyone be poor in the richest country in the world? Being poor in the USA

PART TWO – Screw You Poor People: Shame, stigma and the cementing of a toxic poverty narrative
– A Twisted Tale: Untangling the toxic narrative
– Lights, Camera, Vilification: The narrative in action
– Feeling It: What poverty, shame, and the narrative do to us

PART THREE – Flipping the Script: Challenging the toxic poverty narrative: 2 chapters
– Changing Times: The battle to reclaim the poverty story
– Re-frame this: Rethinking how we talk about poverty
 
Review Quotes
Jameela Jamil, actor and activist
“A necessary book in divisive times.”
Conrad Murray, BAC Beatbox Academy
“O'Hara sees the potential of talent and magic in every kid and every adult. This book explores the absolute travesty of blaming each other.”
Mahsuda Snaith, author of How to Find Home
“In a time of extreme social and economic division, O'Hara lifts the lid on who truly benefits from keeping us divided and how we can flip the script of poverty to make a fairer society for all. A powerful and important book.”
Linda Tirado, author of Hand to Mouth
“Rich people should be required to read this book and poor people should be allowed to. I have rarely seen a more broad and beautiful picture of people who have done more with less than this book. O’Hara has woven a rich tapestry of joy and terror and talent and lost opportunities and the picture she draws is the most comprehensive description of poverty I’ve seen yet.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit https://www.press.uchicago.edu
Google preview here

Chicago Manual of Style

RSS Feed

RSS feed of the latest books from Bristol University Press. RSS Feed