For many, particularly those informed by New Right political agendas, employment is often seen as the best route out of poverty. Hence here, we begin by considering the nature and existence of poverty in contemporary society. In doing so, we being with food banks, then the definition of child poverty, the case of Jack Monroe, and the vilification of the poor with ‘hate the poor’. Next we offer example resources on the distribution of wealth and poverty by looking at the Office for National Statistics Wealth Report, The Sunday Times Rich List, the feminisation of poverty, disability and poverty, and postcode patterns. Following this we offer ideas for the classroom on the organisation and control of the labour process, including workers’ unions, and processes of deskilling. Finally, we look at the impact of work and unemployment on individuals and their life chances by considering the television show Benefits Street, zero hours contracts, social experiments to fight poverty, and finally, unemployment and health.
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