Turning points and adaptations: A case study of four women in poverty
AuthorSmith, Kelly Eitzen
AdvisorSnow, David A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis research is an in-depth exploration of turning points and adaptations in the lives of four women living below the poverty line in Tucson, Arizona. From the most extremely impoverished woman living on the streets to the housed, poor working woman, a life history approach is used to explore the mechanisms by which these four women fell into, stayed in, and may eventually climb out of poverty. While the life history reveals great complexity among the women, it also reveals common turning points among their troubled lives. All four women have had a least one parent who was an alcoholic and/or drug addict, all four women quit pursuing their education after high school and have a history of low-wage, low-mobility jobs. All four women have had prolonged relationships with men who were alcoholic and/or drug addicts and were physically abusive. Finally, all four women have had major health problems which have hindered their ability to work. It is concluded that the life history method and the emphasis on turning points and adaptations is an improvement over quantitative studies which gloss over the true mechanisms behind poverty and fail to capture real lives.
Degree ProgramGraduate College