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Women and Poverty: Psychology, Public Policy, and Social Justice

ISBN: 978-1-118-37877-9
208 pages
September 2013, Wiley-Blackwell
Women and Poverty: Psychology, Public Policy, and Social Justice (1118378776) cover image


Women and Poverty analyzes the social and structural factors that contribute to, and legitimize, class inequity and women's poverty. In doing so, the book provides a unique documentation of women's experiences of poverty and classism at the individual and interpersonal levels. 
  • Provides readers with a critical analysis of the social and structural factors that contribute to women's poverty
  • Uses a multidisciplinary approach to bring together new research and theory from social psychology, policy studies, and critical and feminist scholarship
  • Documents women's experiences of poverty and classism at the interpersonal and institutional levels
  • Discusses policy analysis for reducing poverty and social inequality
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Table of Contents

About the Author ix

1 Women and Poverty: An Ongoing Crisis 1

2 Structural Sources of Women’s Poverty and Homelessness 16

3 Beliefs about Poverty, Wealth, and Social Class: Implications for Intergroup Relations and Social Policy 40

4 Welfare Reform at 15 and Beyond: How Are Low-Income Women and Families Faring? 70

5 Low-Income Women, Critical Resistance, and Welfare Rights Activism 104
Co-authored with Wendy M. Limbert and Roberta A. Downing

6 Women and Economic Justice: Pitfalls, Possibilities, and Promise 140

References 159

Index 192

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Author Information

Heather E. Bullock, PhD, is professor and chair of the Psychology Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), USA, and served as director of UCSC’s Center for Justice, Tolerance, and Community. She studies the social psychological causes and consequences of economic injustice, with special attention to poverty among women. Much of her research focuses on identifying the attitudes and beliefs that predict support for anti-poverty policies, and the impact of framing on policy preferences. Before joining the UCSC faculty, she served as an APA Congressional Fellow with the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions – Democratic Office.
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Bullock shines the light of her clear and bold analyses on such issues as discrimination, unpaid labor for motherhood and caregiving, labor market wage disparities, unaffordable housing, and violence. She examines the relationship between negative attitudes and beliefs about poor women and demeaning social policies. A “must” for social and community psychologists, clinical and educational psychologists, and all other professionals and students who take seriously the mission of advancing human health and welfare.
Dr Bernice Lott, Department of Psychology, The University of Rhode Island

With her book Women and Poverty, Heather Bullock continues her groundbreaking illumination of poverty and classism from a psychological perspective. Bringing her focus to the gendered construction of poverty, Bullock’s compelling examination manages to be both expansive and particular – it encompasses the broad sociocultural trends and biases that perpetuate women’s poverty, but also renders comprehensible the fluctuations and implications of recent welfare policies. Scholarly, passionate, and forceful, this book is a must-have resource for psychologists, educators, social service professionals, and policy-makers whose work interfaces with issues of social class and social justice.
Professor Laura Smith, Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology, Teachers College, Columbia University

In a time of obscene economic inequality, Heather Bullock’s Women and Poverty: Psychology, Public Policy and Social Justice is essential reading. Scholarly and passionate, this book reveals the ways in which poverty is gendered, illuminates the costs of poverty to women and to our entire society, and gives us the tools to challenge class bias and advance just social policies.
Professor Deborah Belle, Department of Psychology, Boston University

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