Poverty and Psychology

An Introduction
  • Stuart C. Carr
Part of the International and Cultural Psychology Series book series (ICUP)


Poverty is arguably the principal scourge on the planet today. The statistics on it are presented in detail in the next chapter (Prilleltensky, this volume). They are however mind-boggling; almost defying our comprehension. To render them more intelligible therefore, and to paint “the big picture,” we need a metaphor, an image. Let us imagine, for instance, that the global village is a community of just 100 persons. In this village, half of the population, or 50 persons, are hungry; 60 live in shanty towns; 70 are illiterate; and just 6 of them control half of the village’s total wealth (after Jones, 1999). These are the economics of a grossly distended hourglass (Carr, 1999). They remind us that poverty today is an inherently social as well as economic phenomenon (Marsella, 2003). This book is a response to those reminders. It has been designed to help raise awareness about the behavioral dynamics of poverty, and to suggest ways of redistributing some of the excesses of our age.


Attribution Theory Interactional Justice World Development Report World Bank Group Critical Psychology 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

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  • Stuart C. Carr

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