Poverty and Insecurity: Life in low-pay, no-pay Britain

Tracy Shildrick, Robert MacDonald, Colin Webster, Kayleigh Garthwaite

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


Winner of the British Academy Peter Townsend Prize for 2013

How do men and women get by in times and places where opportunities for standard employment have drastically reduced? Are we witnessing the growth of a new class, the 'Precariat', where people exist without predictability or security in their lives? What effects do flexible and insecure forms of work have on material and psychological well-being?

This book is the first of its kind to examine the relationship between social exclusion, poverty and the labour market. It challenges long-standing and dominant myths about ‘the workless’ and ‘the poor’, by exploring close-up the lived realities of life in low-pay, no-pay Britain. Work may be ‘the best route out of poverty’ sometimes but for many people getting a job can be just a turn in the cycle of recurrent poverty – and of long-term churning between low-skilled ‘poor work’ and unemployment. Based on unique qualitative, life-history research with a 'hard-to-reach group' of younger and older people, men and women, the book shows how poverty and insecurity have now become the defining features of working life for many.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBristol
PublisherPolicy Press
Number of pages264
ISBN (Electronic)9781847429124
ISBN (Print)9781847429100, 9781847429117
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2012

Publication series

NameStudies in Poverty, Inequality and Social Exclusion
PublisherPolicy Press


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