Kirsten Besemer from Heriot-Watt University has kindly given us permission to re-blog this post relating to research that she is involved with as part of the Poverty & Social Exclusion UK Team. It is well worth a read…..

Social Policy, Housing, Environment and Real Estate blog

7013_564235406927344_1580670401_n(1)Nine in ten people wrongly believe that drug and alcohol addiction are a main cause of child poverty in the UK, according to a recent DWP survey. Dr Kirsten Besemer, researcher at IHURER and member of the Poverty and Social Exclusion UK team, explains how child poverty measures can incorporate public opinion while avoiding unfounded prejudice.

I’m sometimes tempted to avoid telling strangers what I do for a living. Whenever I admit I research poverty in the UK, I’m likely to end up getting a well-meant lecture on my own subject. In this way, I discovered that some people genuinely think poverty is a kind of misguided lifestyle choice, or a typical consequence of irresponsible behaviour. I’ve also been told that child poverty is caused when feckless parents, who just laze around and drink, have children they can’t afford and then bring them up to spend their lives on…

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