International Policy Center Home Page

The Missing Class: Portraits of the Near Poor in America

Date & time

Feb 6, 2008, 4:00-5:30 pm EST


Weill Hall

Katherine Newman, Director of the Institute for International and Regional Studies; Director of Joint Doctoral Programs in Sociology, Politics, Psychology and Social Policy; and Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University.

Professor Newman is the author, with Victor Tan Chen, of The Missing Class: Portraits of the Near Poor in America (Beacon Press)

From the publisher:

'The Missing Class gives voice to the 57 million Americans-including 21 percent of the nation's children-who are sandwiched between poor and middle class. While government programs help the needy and politicians woo the more fortunate, the 'Missing Class' is largely invisible and ignored. Through the experiences of nine families, Katherine Newman and Victor Tan Chen trace the unique problems faced by individuals in this large and growing demographic-the 'near poor'-who have transformed their lives through hard work and determination.

Newman and Chen explain where these families came from, how they've struggled to make a decent living, and why they're stuck without a safety net. The question for the Missing Class is not whether they're doing better than the truly poor-they are. The question is whether these individuals-on the razor's edge of subsistence-are safely ensconced in the Missing Class or in danger of losing it all. An eloquent argument for the need to think about inequality in a broader way, The Missing Class has much to tell us about whether the American dream still exists for those willing to sacrifice for it.'

Co-sponsored by the National Poverty Center.

Reception and book sale to follow. Free and open to the public.