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Towards a theorization of the relationship between poverty and family


This article aims to contribute to theorizing and research about the processes and relationships connecting families and poverty. The aim is to undertake a thought exercise to identify possible relationships and interactions between family and poverty. In existing poverty research practice, a simplified view of both individuals and families is presupposed by, first, the reduction of family to household; and, second, treating the household as nothing more than a unit size and composition. Drawing from existing research on both poverty and families in everyday life, the article offers two core insights. First, it suggests that poverty scholarship needs to take specific account of the processes of resource and income transformation that are associated with family living. Second, these processes are not necessarily functional or confined to the material, but encompass normative and moral agency associated with family membership. Both act to mediate poverty‐related and other outcomes. The article also suggests some conceptual and methodological refinements to take these issues forward in future research.

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