We need child poverty: making sense of public attitudes to poverty in the age of austerity

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Child poverty is about children not having enough. This is not contentious and seems not to be complicated. In advanced economies, we often first learn that ours is a world with child poverty in schools. Children are familiarised with the realities of life for those presented as less fortunate in other places (contemporary global geographies of poverty) and at other times (local histories of poverty). As adults, we are presented with imagery of children in poverty to induce charitable donations as part of international responses to natural or political disasters. Creating a sense of a comfortable ‘us’, with responsibilities to a needy ‘them’ generate resources that can be used to ameliorate problems and lay the foundations for solutions to poverty. Paradoxically, the terra firma of global poverty may inadvertently complicate the reaching of a shared understanding of poverty within advanced economies, particularly when layered with neo-Liberal thinking in times of austerity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNeo-Liberalism and Austerity The Moral Economies of Young People’s Health and Well-being
EditorsPeter Kelly, Jo Pike
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9781137582652
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016


  • poverty
  • public perception
  • child poverty
  • austerity
  • welfare reform


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