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Low-Income Families in the Context of a Vanishing Safety Net

Publication Abstract

Seefeldt, Kristin. 2016. "Low-Income Families in the Context of a Vanishing Safety Net." Social Service Review, 90(1): 156-163.

Welfare reform and expansions to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), both of which occurred in the late 1990s, changed the amount and the nature of assistance available to low-income families. This essay reviews four books about the experiences of low-income families in the twenty-first century: $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America by Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer; Ain't No Trust: How Bosses, Boyfriends, and Bureaucrats Fail Low-Income Mothers and Why It Matters by Judith Levine; Invisible in Austin: Life and Labor in an American City edited by Javier Auyero; and It's Not Like I'm Poor: How Working Families Make Ends Meet in a Post-Welfare World by Sarah Halpern-Meekin, Kathryn Edin, Laura Tach, and Jennifer Sykes. It concludes that the assistance available to low-income families often leaves them in a dire position and more research is needed into the experiences of children in these families.


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