Coping with poverty in everyday life

Authored by: Jane Gray , Jennifer Dagg , Clíona Rooney

Routledge International Handbook of Poverty

Print publication date:  October  2019
Online publication date:  September  2019

Print ISBN: 9780367178666
eBook ISBN: 9780429058103
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter situates contemporary scholarship on life for people in poverty within theoretical developments in the sociology of culture, the revival of interest in qualitative research methods and current questions about resilience in the context of the recent economic crisis and ‘great recession’. We provide an overview of current findings on the ‘lived experience’ of poverty, including the relentless work of getting by, the experience of shame and stigma and the construction of alternative sources of self-worth, including defensive ‘othering’. The chapter also discusses recent attempts to trace the mechanisms linking experiences of poverty and practices of coping to processes of vulnerability and resilience. It includes a brief discussion on qualitative research about poverty and social policy.

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