The Lowest Rung: Voices of Australian Poverty

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Cambridge University Press, Jul 24, 2003 - History - 206 pages
This 2003 book is a fascinating and moving portrait of the people who are suffering in a more divided and less egalitarian Australian society. Based on the author's conversations with hundreds of people living in three areas commonly described as 'disadvantaged' - Inala in Queensland, Mount Druitt in New South Wales and Broadmeadows in Victoria - this is a book in which impoverished Australians, who are often absent from debates about poverty, tell their own stories. Some are funny, others are sad. There are stories about loss, despair and an uncertain future they can hardly bear to tell. But there are also stories about hope, and the capacity of poorer people to imagine and create a fairer world. Rather than focusing on abstractions such as the underclass, this book provides an intimate account of real people's fears, hopes and dilemmas in the face of growing inequality, entrenched unemployment, and fading opportunities for the young.
 

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The Lowest Rung

User Review  - Thorpe-Bowker and Contributors - Books+Publishing

Monash University historian Mark Peel has written a wonderful book about Australia: an Australia many of us don't know much about--and don't want to. It tells the stories of Australians living in Mt ... Read full review

Contents

Describing Disadvantage
16
Heroes
33
Suffering
62
Anger
87
Loss
114
Hope
141
Conclusion
171
Notes
183
Bibliography
192
Index
201
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About the author (2003)

Mark Peel is the author of Good Times, Hard Times and of A Little History of Australia. He teaches history at Monash University.

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