Sarah Halpern-Meekin: Social Poverty: Low-Income Parents and the Struggle for Family and Community Ties

New York University Press, New York, 2019, 295 pp, ISBN: 9781479891214
  • Julia KosnikEmail author
Book Review

Poverty in the United States is frequently conceptualized as an economic struggle. Sarah Halpern-Meekin pushes back against that idea in her book, Social Poverty: Low-Income Parents and the Struggle for Family and Community Ties, in which she argues that the definition of poverty should be expanded to encompass a lack of social resources. She asserts that social poverty is not a by-product of income poverty. She targets sociologists in an attempt to persuade researchers and policy makers that these concepts are related, but they are not the same. In an effort to further explore social poverty, Halpern-Meekin conducts a study of a relationship education program in Oklahoma City called “Family Expectations” that is funded with welfare reform dollars. Many participants in the study are economically disadvantaged young parents in their twenties. They are experiencing a transition of “emerging adulthood” that conflicts with the social roles required of committed parents and partners....


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Conflict of Interest

The author declares that she has no conflict of interest.


  1. Halpern-Meekin, S. Social poverty: low-income parents and the struggle for family and community ties. (New York University Press, N.Y., New York, 2019).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indiana University Maurer School of LawBloomingtonUSA

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