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  • Herbert J. Gans (a1)

Gunnar Myrdal’s 1963 notion of the bottom of society is now over fifty years old and we still know virtually nothing about of the people living at that bottom or the people living there on incomes far below the federal poverty line. Since Blacks are, as always, proportionally the prime victims, the dreadful possibility of a Black population permanently at the bottom of society cannot be ruled out. This article discusses some of the questions researchers must answer to obtain an informed understanding of their problems and needs, as well as of the policies and politics, if any, that could help them.

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*Corresponding author : Herbert J. Gans, Department of Sociology, Columbia University, Knox Hall, 606 W. 122nd St. MC9849. New York, NY. E-mail:
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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Herbert J Gans . (2010). Concentrated Poverty: A Critical Analysis. Challenge, 53(4): 8296.

Herbert J Gans . (2011). The Challenge of Multigenerational Poverty. Challenge, 54(1): 7180.

Alice Goffman (2014). On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Hyman Rodman (1963). The Lower-Class Value Stretch, Social Forces, 42(2): 205215.

H. Luke Shaefer and Kathryn Edin (2013). Rising Extreme Poverty in the United States and the Response of Federal Means-Tested Transfer Programs. Social Service Review, 87(2): 250268.

Ann Swidler (1986). Culture in Action: Symbols and Strategies. American Sociological Review, 51(2): 273285.

Loic Wacquant (2009). Punishing the Poor: The Neoliberal Government of Social Insecurity. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

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Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race
  • ISSN: 1742-058X
  • EISSN: 1742-0598
  • URL: /core/journals/du-bois-review-social-science-research-on-race
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