Changing Dimensions of Poverty

  • David Piachaud


This chapter is concerned with contemporary approaches to poverty and the challenges poverty poses for social policy. It looks at the nature of poverty in contemporary Britain and the different attitudes towards poverty adopted by different political perspectives. The chapter also explores why we should be concerned about (rising) poverty in Britain, concentrating on the effects of inadequate resources and the potential consequences of increasing child poverty. Finally, some consideration is given to possible social policy responses. Can poverty be alleviated purely by redistributing resources through social security payments or are other factors equally important? Does poverty relate to lack of time rather than simply money, and if so, what can governments do to remedy the problem? Again, it is important to understand how a lack of material resources can affect individual behaviour, especially consumption patterns and a perception of ‘needs’ that might be detrimental to good health. It may be that social policy makers need to think not only about income-related issues but also about different forms of intervention designed to change ‘poor lifestyles’ and tackle the causes of poverty.


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Copyright information

© David Piachaud 1998

Selection, editorial matter, introductions and conclusion © Nick Ellison and Chris Pierson 1998 Individual chapters (in order) © Chris Pierson; Nick Ellison; Ruth Lister; Martin Hewitt; Paul Hirst; Noel Whiteside; Ailsa McKay; Sarah Nettleton; Stephen J. Ball; Mary Langan; Peter Malpass; Gillian Pascall; John Solomos; John Barry; David Piachaud; Michael Cahill; Laura Cram; 1998

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  • David Piachaud

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