Kristin Seefeldt (MPP '96, PhD '10) recently spoke with Lakeshore Public Media’s "Regionally Speaking" for a podcast about research from her forthcoming book, “Abandoned Families: Social Isolation in the twenty-first century.”
Seefeldt’s research examines 45 women of color in Detroit, who are trying to stay in, or join, the middle class. She described them to “Regionally Speaking” as “America’s abandoned voters,” a term she acknowledges has been more commonly used during and after the election to describe predominantly white, working class men.
Seefeldt explains to “Regionally Speaking” how her original research question – why Michigan fell into the Great Recession before the rest of the country – exposed how the systems and institutions that have promoted upward mobility in the past are failing. She found that these women were less likely to own their homes, had high student debt, and were increasingly socially isolated, including at work.
Seefeldt’s new book will be released later this month by the Russell Sage Foundation.
Kristin Seefeldt is an assistant professor of social work at the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work and holds a courtesy appointment at the Ford School. She is the author of Working After Welfare(link is external) (W.E. Upjohn Institute Press) which discusses employment advancement and work-family balance challenges as experienced by former welfare recipients.