This groundbreaking volume researches the lives of gecekondu settlers in the capital city of Turkey in order to understand how households cope with poverty and why some households are more successful than others in reducing their deprivation. It takes a critical stance towards existing conceptions such as household survival, livelihood and coping strategy and develops an alternative model based on four types of household response to poverty: income generation, income allocation, consumption and investment. In explaining household responses and their outcomes for poverty, the book demonstrates the role of different resources beyond income including social, economic and cultural capital. It emphasises broader structural factors such as labour market processes and state policies which influence the availability and/or benefit delivery capacity of household resources, and thereby moves beyond the dominant view which overemphasises the resilience of the poor. Gender divisions within the household are also examined. The book adopts an innovative method for measuring poverty. The new method combines 'objective' and subjective dimensions of deprivation to develop a unique way of addressing two central questions: what are those standards of living whose absence indicates deprivation, and how can the value of each standard of living be determined?
Dr Sebnem Eroglu is Research Officer in Sociology at the University of Essex, UK and Honorary Research Fellow in Urban Studies at the University of Kent, UK
'... we gain highly useful information about the precarious lives of the poor in a labour market characterised by deep informality, the existence of a large ’reserve army’ of workers, the absence of social security, weak and declining trade unionisation, lack of enforcement of even the most basic formal arrangements such as health and safety at work, and the weak bargaining position of workers, especially during times of deep economic crisis... .the extensive bibliography given at the end of the book will no doubt be of great help to researchers of poverty... this study is definitely one of the best attempts to understand poverty in Turkey, treating it from the broader deprivation perspective and taking into consideration both the objective and subjective dimensions... With the extensive and critical survey of the main issues surrounding the poverty debate that it provides right at the outset, the composite index of poverty it develops, and the in-depth interviews it conducts within three different household categories, as well as its methodological approach combining statistical analysis with qualitative assessments, this book makes an invaluable contribution to the poverty literature in Turkey and elsewhere.' Urban Studies