Poverty and family

Authored by: Mary Daly

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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In a context where poverty is undertheorised and where the relationship between collective units and individual poverty is little understood, the chapter’s main aim is to explore and elucidate how poverty can be theorised as associated with the family. For the purposes of analysis, family is conceived both as an organisational structure and a set of relationships. The former is the more familiar view of family, emphasising economic and social functions. The impact of the relational elements is less familiar, drawing in roles, norms and commitments. The chapter draws on a range of empirical and theoretical literatures to deepen insights about the complex relationship between poverty and family and offer a framework of analysis for further work. Together, structural and relational elements are perceived as affecting poverty via their impact on resource generation, resource access and resource (re)distribution in a set of complexities that plays out not just within a familial context but far beyond it.

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