Does a person’s well-being go well beyond how much money they have in their bank account? In Social Poverty: Low-Income Parents and the Struggle for Family and Community Ties
(NYU Press, 2019), Dr. Sarah Halpern-Meekin
provides an in-depth picture of the social ties among low-income, unmarried parents, highlighting their often-ignored forms of hardship. Drawing from in-depth interviews with 31 couples who participated in a government-sponsored relationship education program called Family Expectations, Dr. Halpern-Meekin brings necessary attention to the relational and emotional dimensions of socioeconomic disadvantage.
Halpern-Meekin takes an unconventional approach by focusing on social poverty as more than just a derivative of economic poverty, having its own condition, which also perpetuates poverty. In Social Poverty
, Halpern-Meekin sheds light on the fundamental place of core socioemotional needs in the lives of humans. The author highlights a new direction for policy and poverty research that can enrich scholars’ understanding of disadvantaged families around the nation.
Michael O. Johnston, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at William Penn University. He is currently conducting research on student outlook on classroom technology.