The Undeserving Poor

The Undeserving Poor

America's Enduring Confrontation With Poverty

Book - 2013
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First published in 1989, The Undeserving Poor was a critically acclaimed and enormously influential account of America's enduring debate about poverty. Taking stock of the last quarter century, Michael B. Katz's new edition of this classic is virtually a new book. As the first did, it will force all concerned Americans to reconsider the foundations of our policies toward the poor, especially in the wake of the Great Recession that began in 2008.Katz highlights how throughout American history, the poor have been regarded as undeserving: people who do not deserve sympathy because they brought their poverty on themselves, either through laziness and immorality, or because they are culturally or mentally deficient. This long-dominant view sees poverty as a personal failure, serving to justify America's mean-spirited treatment of the poor. Katz reminds us, however, that there are other explanations of poverty besides personal failure. Poverty has been written about as a problem of place, of resources, of political economy, of power, and of market failure. Katz looks at each idea in turn, showing how they suggest more effective approaches to our struggle against poverty. The Second Edition includes important new material. It now sheds light on the revival of the idea of culture in poverty research; the rehabilitation of Daniel Patrick Moynihan; the resurgent role of biology in discussions of the causes of poverty, such as in The Bell Curve; and the human rights movement's intensified focus on alleviating world poverty. It emphasizes the successes of the War on Poverty and Great Society, especially at the grassroots level. It is also the first book to chart the rise and fall of the "underclass" as a concept driving public policy.
Publisher: Oxford :, Oxford University Press,, 2013.
Edition: Second edition.
ISBN: 9780199933952
Branch Call Number: 362.580973 KA
Characteristics: xiii, 353 pages ; 24 cm


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mkeng02 Jun 06, 2015

I have found this book to be missing on the experimental study for making any evaluation (Sociology). Some statitistics and geographic data could have improved the understanding.

Oct 21, 2014

This book sort of intellectualizes and parses certain propagandistic memes which, of course, the super-rich will foist on anyone, since simple, basic arithmetic is pretty self-explanatory: this is the fourth official jobless recovery [actually, the fifth or sixth], and with each so-called recovery, one-fifth of the American workforce has been laid off! Note I stated one-fifth with each jobless recovery - - what absolute precision, on something which is supposed to be unplanned? And of those one-fifth laid off, only one-half are able to obtain employment, and of that one-half, one-half again obtain much lower paying jobs. So, add to those job losses, all the jobs which are then offshored with each downturn, and/or created offshore, and with each jobless recovery one notes that the jobs base is reduced by 1/10, effectively, so the total reduction is one-half over the four-to-five jobless recoveries. Understood? The jobs base, or number of actual jobs, has been dramatically reduced, yet they continue to use the Orwellian doublespeak of /// lower participation in the labor force \\\ instead of the truthful, reduction of jobs extant!

May 02, 2014

Really enjoyed it. Took lots of notes and warms my heart to know there are authors out there who think ALONG the same lines, I do.....

katiebrens0114 Dec 23, 2013

It would be great if this book were able to be checked out -- seems important enough!


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