The Federation Press

Thinking about Poverty


How does poverty in Australia relate to global poverty and inequality? Why does poverty persist in the midst of affluence? Thinking About Poverty addresses this question and others through bridging the three key learning areas of theory, policy and practice.

Invaluable for students of social work, social policy, and community and welfare, this book covers:

  • the effects of neo-liberal policies on families and the unemployed
  • the reason why women are the main victims of poverty
  • the individualistic models on which Australian government policies are largely based
  • the failure to address the structural causes of poverty
  • alternative definitions of poverty which are not based solely on economic measurements
  • the disadvantaged situation of Aboriginal people which have resulted from past and current policies
  • the connections between poverty and mental illness
  • the social policy debates regarding people with a disability

Not just a critique, it also puts forward a range of anti-poverty strategies and considers alternative economic thinking. With contributions from academics and practitioners, Thinking About Poverty provides a contemporary and accessible contribution to discourse about poverty in Australia.

Contributors: Robert Bland, Karen Crinall, Gavin Dufty, Benno Engels, Sue Green, Ruth Phillips, Eric Porter, Margot Rawsthorne, David Rose, Klaus Serr, Frank Stilwell, David Sykes, Jennie Trezise, and Ruth Webber.


This edited collection of papers explores global poverty and inequality, then focuses on aspects of Australian poverty. Chapters 2 and 3 focus on the global context, looking in particular at neo-liberal policies and women in poverty. Subsequent chapters focus on individual and structural explanations of poverty; the way in which poverty is conceptualised and measured; Australian poverty in a historical context; poverty and Aboriginal people; the impact of government policies on vulnerable groups in Australia; mental health and poverty; poverty and crime; the welfare of people with a disability; and the provision of emergency relief in Australia. This book would make thought-provoking reading for students and others concerned with poverty in Australia. - Family Matters (Australian Institute of Family Studies), 2007 No 77

Table of Contents

Klaus Serr

Processes of globalisation: The generation of wealth and poverty
Frank Stilwell

Women and poverty: The application of feminism in overcoming women’s poverty in the global context
Ruth Phillips

Understanding poverty
Eric Porter & Jennie Trezise

Concepts of poverty
Klaus Serr

Governing inequality: Poverty and the Australian welfare state
Karen Crinall

Poverty: The impact of government policy on vulnerable families and older people
Ruth Webber

Unemployment at 29-year low: Why unemployment still matters
Margot Rawsthorne

Poverty and crime
David Rose

The impoverishment of a people: The Aboriginal experience in Australia
Sue Green

Poverty and mental illness
Robert Bland

Poverty and people with a disability
David Sykes

Government and anti-poverty strategies in Australia
Benno Engels and Gavin Dufty

The funding and provision of emergency relief in Australia
Benno Engels

Moving forward: Alternative anti-poverty strategies
Klaus Serr

Klaus Serr


Of interest...