Focusing on the past decade, this review considers advances in the qualitative study of working poverty, welfare reform, patterns of family formation, neighborhood effects, class-based patterns of childhood socialization, and the growing European literature on social exclusion. We highlight the increasing importance of qualitative research embedded in large-scale quantitative studies of poverty. Within each of these areas, we suggest new directions for research that take into account the changing contours of poverty, including the increasing diversity of poor neighborhoods (reflecting the in-migration of the foreign born) and the growth of poverty in the older suburbs surrounding the city centers. The reintroduction of the language of class has been a hallmark of the past decade, drawing it closer to some of the original concerns of sociologists in the 1940s, contrasted with a nearly universal emphasis on race and ethnicity characteristic of more recent decades.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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