chapter  4
28 Pages

Experiences of poverty and ill health

ByDarrin Hodgetts, Ottilie Stolte

This chapter presents the accounts of people experiencing urban poverty as well as those of scholars who seek to understand their predicaments from face-to-face engagements. It draws on New Zealand research in this area, as well as scholarship from the United States, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom, to exemplify synergies in terms of everyday experiences of urban poverty and penal welfare. The chapter explores how members of the precariat employ such tacit and practical knowledge when seeking assistance, and when recounting how they get by on inadequate budgets. It considers the interactions of members of the precariat with welfare agencies, proposing that these interactions are constituted by issues of structural violence. The chapter considers the mantra of paid employment or 'formal work' as the simple solution to poverty. The extent to which 'work pays' depends on the quality of the work, the level of remuneration, and other supports such as the availability of child care assistance and public transport.