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Dalton Conley

In: The SAGE Handbook of Sociology

Chapter 20: Poverty and Life Chances: The Conceptualization and Study of the Poor

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Poverty and Life Chances: The Conceptualization and Study of the Poor
Poverty and life chances: The conceptualization and study of the poor
Introduction: Poverty Amid Plenty

This chapter is concerned with the theoretical conceptualization of poverty in rich, developed countries and the estimation of its effects on offspring. The difficulties of conceptualizing poverty amid plenty are perhaps best illustrated by a speech given by a member of the Forbes 400 richest Americans, Thomas Monaghan, who himself rose to great wealth from meager origins. ‘To me one of the most exciting things in the world is being poor,’ he began his lecture. To explain what he meant, Monaghan cited a study that concluded that a family of four could survive on $68 per year back around 1970 (which ...

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