Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Tables

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pp. ix-x

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About the Author

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pp. xi-xii

Kristin S. Seefeldt is assistant professor at the School of Social Work and the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan.

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xiii-xvi

Many people helped me on this project in so many different ways. At the very beginning, Helen Levy (University of Michigan) and I developed the pilot interview guide and oversaw data collection of the pilot interviews. I am extremely grateful to Dr...

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1. From Social Isolation to Social Abandonment

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pp. 1-14

In 1987, William Julius Wilson’s book on urban poverty, The Truly Disadvantaged, was released, bringing the terms “concentrated poverty” and “social isolation” into the lexicon of social scientists studying some of the most disadvantaged groups in the United...

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2. Abandoned Detroit

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pp. 15-48

Driving up to the house where Annette lived was always a bit surreal. Once off the highway, I would drive down a stretch of road in a neighborhood that had clearly seen better days. She lived in an older area of the city, not all that far away from where the...

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3. Abandoned by Institutions of Inclusion and Stability: The Failed Promise of Employment

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pp. 49-76

Rhonda worked overnight as a home health care aide. Since the clients were sleeping, she interacted with them only when she fed them breakfast. Rhonda never seemed very excited about her job, but it was one she could easily get without having a high school...

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4. Abandoned by Institutions of Mobility: The Failed Promise of Postsecondary Education and Homeownership

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pp. 77-111

Despite having her first and second children at a young age, Yvette completed her bachelor’s degree in business management. But that degree was a long time in coming. “It took me about twelve years,” she said, “one class at a time. . . . But I just stuck with...

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5. Abandoned by the Safety Net: Contestations, Denials, and Incompetence in Benefit Processing

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pp. 112-145

Aleta worked on the assembly line at an auto supply company where she had been employed for more than five years. One day at work, as she recalled, “I was packaging parts in a large container, and when I turned my back to put the parts in a smaller...

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6. Debt: The New Sharecropping System

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pp. 146-185

Sharon’s six-month battle with her former employer to receive unemployment benefits when he laid her off not only left her without any income for those months but also left her deep in debt. She had some savings, but not much. Even without a job or public...

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7. Making Abandoned Families Striving Families Again

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pp. 186-200

In 2006, when we began interviewing the women profiled in this book, Michigan’s unemployment rate was about 7 percent, which was higher than the national average of around 4.7 percent. Most of the women believed that the economy and their own economic circumstances...

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Methodological Appendix

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pp. 201-224

This study did not start out with a focus on social abandonment but rather evolved over time in terms of both its focus and the sampling decisions, the women who were recruited, the interviewers who were involved, and the questions that we asked. Before...

Notes

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pp. 225-238

References

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pp. 239-252

Index

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pp. 253-263