We are delighted to announce that the Journal of Poverty and Social Justice has achieved an Impact Factor of 0.884 in the 2021 Journal Citation Reports.

To celebrate the achievements of our authors, we have created a free collection of highly cited articles. This collection features papers contributing to our 2021 Impact Factor, and more recent papers we feel will promote the journal's future impact.

All of the articles below are free to access until 31 August 2022:

Journal of Poverty and Social Justice Highly Cited

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This article examines the influence of political ideology on meta-stereotypes and stereotypes of homeless people, on the causal attributions of homelessness, and on willingness to increase public funds allocated to homeless people among the members of three groups in Madrid (Spain): a) homeless group; b) domiciled service-users group; and c) domiciled non service-users group. Results show differences in the influence of political ideology based on having had direct experience of homelessness. Left-wing interviewees showed a greater willingness to increase funds allocated to homeless people, attributed homelessness to societal causes to a greater extent, and showed greater agreement with indulgent stereotypes.

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This study examines policy efforts to reduce administrative burden and to increase accessibility to unemployment insurance (UI) during the COVID-19 crisis in Israel and the consequences of these for claimants. A mixed-method approach was applied, utilising administrative documents, interviews and survey data. The findings suggest a mixed trend: burden-reducing measures were introduced but were constrained by the system’s preexisting infrastructure. While some claimants experienced the process as simple, many others experienced it as onerous, primarily due to a lack of communication with authorities. Two key insights for successful implementation of burden-reduction policies are highlighted: a well-established infrastructure and bidirectional communication.

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Authors: Traute Meyer and Paul Bridgen

Post-Brexit, UK migration rules treat ‘EU- and non-EU citizens equally’. Thus, a much larger number of working migrants have less access to social rights than before. This article compares how the different welfare entitlements for working migrants and non-migrants affect the incomes of 21 hypothetical households; some workers are single, some have a child. Using micro-simulation, we assess the risk of poverty and the extent of inequality for migrants and non-migrants. We show that the system excludes new migrants from the social contract which defines the rights of UK citizens as working parents, leading to significant poverty risks and inequality.

Open access
Author: Marsha Wood

Helping parents meet the cost of childcare is an important policy objective in the UK and there are various financial subsidies available. For low-income working parents, this support is increasingly provided through Universal Credit, the main means-tested benefit for working-age people in the UK. This article draws on qualitative interviews with parents on Universal Credit and explores issues of awareness, affordability, administration and the consequences of embedding childcare costs into a monthly-based means-tested system. The conclusions reflect on the implications for the Universal Credit goals of supporting employment, of simplification of the system, and of increasing personal responsibility.

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Author: Anja Eleveld

This article explores the extent to which mandatory work programmes (MWPs) which oblige social assistance recipients to perform work activities in order to improve or develop basic work skills, can be considered in conformity with the human right to work. Drawing on qualitative research in three municipalities in the Netherlands, the findings indicate that overall, the work in the MWPs infringed the right to work. However, part of the MWP participants were able to realise the right to work to the extent that participation in an MWP enhanced their dignity, self-respect and their opportunities for self-development.

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This article examines the specific or sub-sectoral effects of COVID-19 lockdown measures on small business units, thus departing from previous studies which only focused on general effects. Based on qualitative and cross-sectional survey methods, the article depicts a cross-sectoral disparity in the patronage level and income stream of customers of small businesses found on the streets of south-eastern Nigeria. The article identifies the gap in the policy interventions meant to cushion the negative impacts of COVID-19 lockdown and social distancing policies on small businesses. Hence, state policy interventions have not had the cushioning impact on small businesses in south-eastern Nigeria. A pro-poor approach towards the review of the policy interventions is highly imperative.

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As the Indian economy is slowly opening up after the COVID-19 lockdown, it seems like a number of states are overriding even the most basic human rights of their workers in the name of labour reforms. These moves have been criticised in a number of national and international spheres, as along with the Constitution of India, they are inconsistent with various international instruments. Under these circumstances, this article provides a comprehensive view of the changes that have been made and why they are inhumane and derogatory towards the worker communities, and suggests possible ways forward to remedy the atrocious situation.

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Author: Fran Bennett

Universal Credit is a fundamental reform of the UK’s social security system. It is also seen as embodying a traditional view of the family. Drawing on principles for gender analysis of ‘welfare reform’, this article critically examines how couples claiming Universal Credit are conceptualised by the UK government, in relation to equality impact assessments of the proposals; guidance for, and data and studies about, claimants; policy debates; and research by or for government. It demonstrates a failure to interrogate the concept of the unitary household or the two-way influence of gender roles, relationships and inequalities within couples and ‘welfare reform’.

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Author: Alison Briggs

The term ‘period poverty’ describes a growing problem among women and girls from low-income households in the UK struggling to afford period products. Drawing on findings from a qualitative study, this article contributes to burgeoning debates with new insights into gendered poverty. Findings illustrate how an inability to afford sanitary wear is experienced as embarrassing, causing considerable distress and anxiety arising from the need to keep menstruation hidden to avoid social disclosure and attendant stigmatisation. The study highlights the need for longitudinal research to investigate wider implications for health inequalities and educational outcomes for girls who are already socio-economically disadvantaged.

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This article reports on a participatory, mixed-methods study, of the causes and lived experiences of food insecurity in the context of an unequal city in England. Among families with young children, we find that income and housing tenure are strongly associated with food insecurity and food bank use, and these impacts extend to higher socioeconomic status groups. Higher costs of food, housing and transport associated with life in an unequal context, meant that food formed part of a series of competing pressures on household budgets. We urge future food insecurity research to focus further on these broader socioeconomic drivers of poverty.

Open access