Does ‘real’ poverty still exist in Britain? How do people differentiate between the supposed ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ poor? Is there a culture of worklessness passed down from generation to generation? Bringing together historical and contemporary material, Poverty Propaganda: Exploring the myths sheds new light on how poverty is understood in contemporary Britain.
The book debunks many popular myths and misconceptions about poverty and its prevalence, causes and consequences. In particular, it highlights the role of ‘poverty propaganda’ in sustaining class divides in perpetuating poverty and disadvantage in contemporary Britain.
“This book makes a significant contribution to making poverty visible, both as an experience for the many people the author has interviewed, and as a theoretical and political problem… With its particular emphasis on experience and empirical evidence, it offers students in particular a useful account of the interests, concerns and debates which have generated poverty propaganda in the UK.” Community Development Journal
"This book is a timely opportunity to review our current understandings of poverty and what it means for us as a profession and as radicals..." Critical and Radical Social Work
"An essential guide to poverty in 21st Century Britain. Poverty Propaganda examines how the truth about poverty, its causes and consequences, continue to be hidden behind headlines, stories and images of the feckless undeserving poor." Imogen Tyler, University of Lancaster
"Exposes the falsehood of stigmatising through treating people as 'undeserving' at a time when a privileged minority is receiving a lot of 'something for nothing'." Guy Standing, SOAS University of London
"Sets out to debunk many of the myths around poverty and benefits in the UK....reveals the extent of ‘poverty propaganda’ and the ideological function this plays in defending successive cuts to social security support. A timely and important book from one of the leading thinkers on poverty in the UK." Ruth Patrick, University of Liverpool
Dr Tracy Shildrick is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Newcastle. She is co-author of Poverty and insecurity (Policy Press, 2012) which won the Peter Townsend 2013 prize. Her research interests span youth transitions, worklessness, poverty and social exclusion.
Labour markets and ‘poor work’;
Class and social immobility;
Discrimination, stigma and shame;
Poverty propaganda and the (re)production of poverty and privilege;