Living with Poverty and Dependence in England

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


This book explores ethnographically moments when the issue of poverty and ‘being poor’ feature in everyday lives and interactions in Harpurhey. The book begins by situating the production of poverty outside the everyday lives of people in Harpurhey to better focus on its lived effects.

The chapters that follow provide a nuanced understanding of what it means for people in Harpurhey to live with poverty. Each chapter provides intimate ethnographic insights into the ways in which relationships are forged, maintained, ended and re-emerge in the context of the lived experience of poverty, and in the knowledge that welfare reforms, public spending cuts and social and political stigma will remain enduring issues for them into the future. The relationships between persons and between persons and the state that are explored in this book are necessarily unstable and contingent. The expression of personal needs, circumstances, moral frameworks and imaginations of the future in an ever-changing post-welfare landscape are at the centre of analysis.

Whether individuals are navigating the interstices of the state for (largely) financial support or the intricate interpersonal relationships and obligations they have with each other for moral, social and financial support, the viability of the person to take control over their own assets and futures, and to be recognised in so doing, is paramount to the sociality and moral reckoning of everyday life. By exploring the everyday lives of people who are managing to make ends meet whilst living with poverty, this book asks how poverty and multiple interdependencies are experienced, negotiated and used in the maintenance, dissolution and recuperation of dynamic kinship, and neighbourly and friendship relations of support.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherAnthem Press
Number of pages250
ISBN (Electronic)9781839991806, 9781839991790
ISBN (Print)9781839991783
Publication statusIn preparation - 30 Jan 2025


  • poverty
  • welfare
  • welfare reform
  • lived experience
  • neighbouring
  • families
  • friendship


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