The German Child Poverty Discourse and its Rhetoric of Crisis

  • Maksim HuebenthalEmail author
Part of the Children’s Well-Being: Indicators and Research book series (CHIR, volume 20)


Maksim Hübenthal focuses on the child poverty discourse in Germany and how it is framed by crisis rhetoric. Hübenthal concludes that child poverty can be described as a discourse that consists of four different social constructions: virtue, educational, monetary and rights poverty. Whereas the virtue poverty construction refers to crisis as economic crisis, the educational poverty construction focuses on a structural crisis. In the monetary poverty construction, crisis is seen as a capitalism crisis, and the rights poverty construction, through its critics, is linked to the refugee crisis. The diversity of the child poverty discourse in the political field is seen as an indicator for its ‘double political character’. On the one hand, different social constructions compete with each other in the struggle to define what child poverty is and how it can be solved. On the other hand, the child poverty discourse functions also as an arena, where other discourses try to gain influence in order to expand their power. Hence, there is a need to strengthen childhood and child poverty-related questions within welfare state research and to expand the analysis of political processes within child poverty research.


Children Crises Poverty Discourse Capitalism Germany 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Education and Psychology, Social Work Division (Social Pedagogy)Freie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany

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