Poverty remains one of the most urgent issues of our time. In this fully updated edition of her important and widely acclaimed intervention on the topic, Ruth Lister introduces readers to the meaning and experience of poverty in the contemporary world.
The book opens with a lucid discussion of current debates around the definition and measurement of poverty in industrialized societies, before embarking on a multifaceted exploration of its varied interpretations. Drawing on thinking in the field of international development and real-life accounts, the book emphasizes key aspects of poverty such as powerlessness, lack of voice, insecurity, loss of dignity and respect.
Ruth Lister embraces the relational, cultural, symbolic as well as material dimensions of poverty, and makes important links between poverty and other concepts such as capabilities, agency, human rights and citizenship. She concludes by making the case for reframing the politics of poverty as a claim for redistribution and recognition. The result is a rich and insightful analysis, which deepens and broadens our understanding of poverty today. It will be essential reading for all students in the social sciences, as well as researchers, activists and policymakers.
Chapter 1. Defining Poverty
Chapter 2. Measuring poverty
Chapter 3. Inequality, social divisions and the differential experience of poverty
Chapter 4. Discourses of poverty: from Othering to respect
Chapter 5. Poverty and agency: from getting by to getting organized
Chapter 6: Poverty, human rights and citizenship
Conclusion: From concept to politics