This article aims at contributing to the current literature on poverty data limitations and measurement by discussing the process for producing the first multidimensional poverty measure based on the consensual approach for the City of Buenos Aires. The results show a remarkable level of consensus about the necessities of life in the twenty-first century, underline the importance of generating more suitable indicators of deprivation and show that unmet basic needs-type variables are no longer adequate for measuring poverty in countries like Argentina. According to the valid and reliable poverty index, 20.3% of the city’s population live in households in multidimensionally poor households, this being the social dimension that shows the highest deprivation rate.
We examine how children’s centres in a major city in England responded to food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic by helping to run ‘FOOD Clubs’ to support families. Drawing on data from semi-structured interviews with children’s centre staff, we analyse how clubs were organised, why people joined them, and the range of benefits parents derived from them. We extend the literature on food insecurity which focuses heavily on the rise of foodbanks. Our data also informs broader policy debates around supporting parents in poverty, effective early years provision and the challenges facing families experiencing food insecurity.
‘Destitution’ has re-entered the lexicon of UK social policy in the 2010s, highlighted by the rapid growth of food banks and rough sleeping in a context of controversial welfare reforms and austerity policies, yet theoretical literature on this remains limited. Specialist surveys have been developed to measure and profile these phenomena, but these remain separate from the mainstream statistical approach to poverty, which relies heavily on large-scale household surveys. Evidence from recent work in this area, including qualitative evidence, is very suggestive of risk and driving factors, but it is difficult to weigh the relative importance of different factors or to predict the effects of policy measures. A composite survey approach is developed, linking a specialised survey targeting households at risk of destitution with a major national household panel dataset, to enable predictive models to be fitted to data including significant representation of hard-to-reach and non-household populations. Models predicting destitution and food bank usage are developed and compared, highlighting the roles of key factors. Vignettes are used to show how the risks vary dramatically between households in different situations. The potential role of such models in micro-simulation or prediction of impacts of different scenarios is discussed.
The attributional process, defined as the process of inferring the causes of the events that surround individuals in their daily lives, can potentially shape the understanding of poverty and wealth. For instance, it might influence how people behave, what they expect from poor and wealthy groups in their society, and how they judge them. However, the existing measures that capture these attributional phenomena have several limitations. Some attributional factors lack empirical support, or some implemented items lack relevance in contemporary society. Therefore, the present study is aimed to deepen the understanding of the attributional process by reviewing the factor structure of the poverty () and wealth attribution scales (), as well as adapting and verifying the validity of these scales among the Mexican population. To do so, we revised the factor structure of the poverty and wealth attribution scales to create a unified scale. We back-translated the original items, conducted exploratory and confirmatory analyses, restructured the scale’s factors, and related them with other covariates. Our results indicate that these scales uniquely differentiate between internal and external attributions, demonstrating that the new factor structure is better for measuring attributional processes regarding the perceived causes of poverty and wealth than those used in previous research.
Recently, the rise of bottom-up approaches has become significant in realising social justice for vulnerable sections of society. One such attempt is the provision of charge-free legal aid services in many poor countries, including Ethiopia. This article aims to reveal the relevance of micro-justice as an effective remedy for poor people. The data generated from primary sources were analysed in line with rights-based and capability approaches. The findings of this study attested that such bottom-up approaches in access to justice, did not only help the beneficiaries in exercising their rights but also empowered them to lead their lives and determine their destiny.
How is life in social isolation seen from the viewpoint of people who experience persistent poverty? Given the systemic denial of self-representational agency from those living in poverty and the neoliberalisation of the welfare state, this article turns to those who remained invisible to either the media or the state during the pandemic. In line with current tendencies to prioritise the voice and lived knowledge of people in poverty, we provided our interlocutors with a specifically designed diary tool to allow them to share their mundane experiences and thoughts at their own discretion. Using these diaries of women and men in poverty, and complementary interviews, this article unpacks the ways our participants deal with and understand their everyday relationships with the absent state, mostly welfare and education. Based on the themes that emerged from our interlocutors’ journals, our findings reveal the Janus-faced abandoning/monitoring state that they routinely confront. We then demonstrate how they are constantly chasing the state, struggling to receive the support they lawfully deserve. At the same time, being subjected to practices of state monitoring and surveillance often results not only in mistrust but also in withdrawing almost altogether from the welfare services and social workers, and turning to alternative support networks. We conclude by offering two insights that accentuate, on the one hand, what we and our diarists already know, namely that they count for nothing. Still, on the other hand, the act of self-documentation itself reveals the representational agency of those brave diarists who refuse to forsake their worthiness as citizens.
Based on an employer-focused political economy framework, this qualitative study investigates how employers are represented in and affected by the policymaking of in-work benefits (IWBs), given employers’ political status and labour market conditions. Respondents addressed the importance of employers’ tacit support of the wage subsidies funded by the government. Arguably, it was considered that IWBs did not have a direct impact on wages, but they subsidised employers as a constraint against the minimum wage, boosted the workforce’s availability, and reduced recruitment costs for employers. This research substantiates the understanding of IWBs by integrating the perspectives of policy stakeholders and expands IWBs’ case studies in an authoritarian context.
Internationally, many care-recipients and unpaid carers are not receiving the services they need to live full and independent lives, representing substantial social injustice. We explored unmet need and inequalities in receipt of long-term care services in England. Methods comprised in-depth interviews and secondary analysis of UK Household Longitudinal Study dyad data from 2017/2019. We found widespread unmet need for services overall and inequalities by sex, ethnicity, income, and area deprivation. Aspects of long-term care policy, service delivery, people’s material resources, and constrained and unconstrained choice all played a role.
Support for the unemployed in the UK has become increasingly conditional. This included enforced unpaid work, Mandatory Work Activity (MWA). This was sold as an innovative feature of ‘twenty-first century welfare’ by the 2010–15 government; however, it actually represented the restoration of older techniques of government. This article, compares MWA with enforced work regimes from the last days of the Poor Law in the 1930s. It highlights similarities between both regimes but also significant differences: in the 1930s different claimant groups were subject to different coercions, whereas in the MWA regime, claimants were treated as a homogenous category in need of discipline.