The culture of poverty, again

Ray McDermott, Shirin Vossoughi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


This introduction to the special issue offers a selective account of two efforts, across a half century, to describe and alleviate the plight of poor people and their children in school: a specific train of thought called the “culture of poverty” from its origin in 1959, through its express track to prominence across the 1960s, to its research-led crash from 1968 to 1980. The reason for documenting this history is the reemergence of culture of poverty rhetoric in the last decade. Our response recommends the early critiques to the new culture of poverty, which has mostly side-stepped a potent body of social scientific and literary contestation. The papers that follow give detail to the issues raised.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-69
Number of pages10
JournalDiaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Education


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