1st Edition

Urban Poverty and Health Inequalities A Relational Approach

By Darrin Hodgetts, Ottilie Stolte Copyright 2017

    When discussing health, we talk about ailments and afflictions, the potential of modern medicine and the behaviours that affect our health. Yet although these relationships exist, they undermine a more socio-economic understanding of health. This timely book takes a critical perspective to argue that urban poverty and health inequalities are intimately interconnected, and that the increasing disparity between rich and poor will necessarily exacerbate health issues within urban communities.

    Urban Poverty and Health Inequalities documents how life has become increasingly insecure and stressful for growing numbers of people due to increased insecurities in employment, income and housing, rising living costs, and the retrenchment of welfare and social services. The book explores the role of history and media depictions of poverty and health inequalities in influencing the current situation. A central objective is to advance ways to understand and respond to urban poverty as a key social determinant of health. The authors pay particular attention to the ways in which punitive responses to urban poverty are further exacerbating the hardships faced by people living in urban poverty.

    Looking at issues of class, age, gender, ethnic and disability-based inequalities, the book offers both critical theory and grounded solutions to enable those living in poverty to live healthier lives. The collateral damage resulting from current socio-economic arrangements reflects political choices regarding the distribution of resources in societies that needs to be challenged and changed. The authors attend to initiatives for change, offering practical responses to address urban poverty, including efforts to address wealth distribution, the potential of living wage and Universal Basic Income initiatives, social housing and anti-oppressive welfare systems.


    Chapter One: Introduction to urban poverty and health inequalities

    Chapter Two: Greed verses need: historical tensions in responses to urban poverty

    Chapter Three: Mediating urban poverty: From the war on poverty to poverty porn

    Chapter Four: Experiences of urban poverty, penal welfare and ill health

    Chapter Five: Homelessness: the sharp edge of urban poverty

    Chapter Six: Addressing urban poverty and health inequalities


    Subject Index

    Author Index


    Darrin Hodgetts is Professor of Societal Psychology at Massey University, New Zealand. Prior to his current post, Darrin worked in Community Medicine at Memorial University, Canada, Psychology and Media at the London School of Economics, UK, and Community Psychology at the University of Waikato, New Zealand. Darrin’s research focuses on urban poverty, homelessness, and health inequalities.

    Dr Ottilie Stolte teaches Social and Community Health Psychology at the University of Waikato, New Zealand. Key research interests are poverty, homelessness, health inequalities, and injustice. In her research, Ottilie seeks to understand social psychological issues within the broader social, economic, political, and cultural contexts of people's everyday lives.