Celine-Marie Pascale's book Living on the Edge: When Hard Times Become a Way of Life offers a fresh take on the study of economic hardship in the United States. Weaving together the stories of several dozen interviewees in some of the places in the United States with the highest levels of poverty—Appalachia, Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, and East Oakland, California—Pascale argues for understanding these people as members of a “struggling class.” As a capacious and new framing of poverty, the struggling class captures a far greater and wider swath of people than those falling below the federal poverty line. In delineating the argument, Pascale does a good job balancing the uniqueness of the geographies in the book, from differences in cost of living to access to social services, with the shared experiences of the people whom the author encounters. Written with narrative elements that let the reader see these places...
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Book Review| April 01 2023
Living on the Edge: When Hard Times Become a Way of Life
Living on the Edge: When Hard Times Become a Way of Life. Celine-Marie Pascale.
Journal of Appalachian Studies (2023) 29 (1): 127–129.
Gabe Schwartzman; Living on the Edge: When Hard Times Become a Way of Life. Journal of Appalachian Studies 1 April 2023; 29 (1): 127–129. doi: https://doi.org/10.5406/23288612.29.1.08
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