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Portrait of America describes our nation's changing population and examines through a demographic lens some of our most pressing contemporary challenges, ranging from poverty and economic inequality to racial tensions and health disparities. Celebrated authorJohn Iceland covers various topics, including America's historical demographic growth; the American family today; gender inequality; economic well-being; immigration and diversity; racial and ethnic inequality; internal migration and residential segregation; and health and mortality. The discussion of these topics is informed by several sources, including an examination of household survey data, and by syntheses of existing published material, both quantitative and qualitative. Iceland discusses the current issues and controversies around these themes, highlighting their role in everyday debates taking place in Congress, the media, and in American living rooms. Each chapter includes historical background, as well as a discussion of how patterns and trends in the United States compare to those in peer countries.
The United States is among the most affluent nations in the world and has its largest economy; nevertheless, it has more poverty than most countries with similar standards of living. Growing income inequality and the Great Recession have made the problem worse. In this thoroughly revised edition of Poverty in America, Iceland takes a new look at this issue by examining why poverty remains pervasive, what it means to be poor in America today, which groups are most likely to be poor, the root causes of poverty, and the effects of policy on poverty. This new edition also includes completely updated data and extended discussions of poverty in the context of the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movements as well as new chapters on the Great Recession and global poverty. In doing so this book provides the most recent information available on patterns and trends in poverty and engages in an open and accessible manner in current critical debates.
A broad overview of poverty in the U.S., probing the various ways that it has been measured over time and the evolution of social thinking about poverty. Updated tables and a new preface.
Poverty may have always been with us, but it hasn't always been the same. In an in-depth look at trends, patterns, and causes of poverty in the United States, John Iceland combines the latest statistical information, historical data, and social scientific theory to provide a comprehensive picture of poverty in America--a picture that shows how poverty is measured and understood and how this has changed over time, as well as how public policies have grappled with poverty as a political issue and an economic reality. Why does poverty remain so pervasive? Is it unavoidable? Are people from particular racial or ethnic backgrounds or family types inevitably more likely to be poor? What can we expect over the next few years? What are the limits of policy? These are just a few of the questions this book addresses. In a remarkably concise, readable, and accessible format, Iceland explores what the statistics and the historical record, along with most of the major works on poverty, tell us. At the same time, he advances arguments about the relative nature and structural causes of poverty--arguments that eloquently contest conventional wisdom about the links between individual failure, family breakdown, and poverty in America. At a time when the personal, political, social, and broader economic consequences of poverty are ever clearer and more pressing, the depth and breadth of understanding offered by this handbook should make it an essential resource and reference for all scholars, politicians, policymakers, and people of conscience in America.
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