West Coast Poverty Center (WCPC) Seminar
“Surviving the Great Recession:???Growing Need and the Stigmatized Safety Net???
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology
Washington State University
Monday, November 17
Parrington Hall, Room 308
Q & A until 2:00 p.m.
Abstract: Based on qualitative research, this talk explores the impacts of
the Great Recession on low-income and poor families, focusing on their
challenges and survival strategies in the wake of the downturn. For many
individuals who have lost their jobs, work has long been an important source
of pride and social standing, and letting go of this identity is often
difficult and wrought with ambivalence and a sense of failure, contributing
to multiple outcomes that include social isolation, self-esteem and mental
health problems, and most problematically, unwillingness to fully utilize
the available social safety net. The talk discusses the ways in which the
stigma associated with dependency in the American context contributes to the
material and emotional suffering of vulnerable individuals and families as
they weather the recession and its recovery.