Listening to 'life knowledge': A new research direction in poverty studies

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57 Scopus citations


This article points to a current research direction in poverty studies, which explores the knowledge of people living in poverty. The article examines three studies from the USA, Europe and Israel which give voice to the 'life knowledge' of people living in poverty regarding different aspects of their lives. Through these examples, the article examines the potential contribution of 'life knowledge', possessed by people who are welfare-reliant, to the body of knowledge concerning welfare policy. Knowledge of this sort challenges standard preconceptions about the ways in which people cope with hardship and about the ways in which assistance might be given. The article discusses the ways in which 'life knowledge' can be recognised as such and investigated, and how it might contribute to the formation of public policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-106
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Social Welfare
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2005


  • Life knowledge
  • Policy
  • Poverty
  • Qualitative methodology
  • Welfare
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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