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Don't Call Us Out of Name: The Untold Lives of Women and Girls in Poor America Unknown Binding


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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding
  • ISBN-10: 0807042064
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807042069
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,306,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lisa Dodson worked as a union activist, an obstetrical nurse, and the director of the Division of Women's Health for the state of Massachusetts before becoming a professor of sociology at Boston College. Author of The Moral Underground and Don't Call Us Out of Name, she lives in Auburndale, Massachusetts.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Leah McClellan (leahm@voicenet.com) on June 2, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Those of us comfortable in our suburban sprawl, our urban chic, our corporate climbs, and our hard work and diligence think that getting off welfare is as simple as getting a job--any job. Those of us born and bred on one side or the other of middle-class America look suspiciously at "welfare mothers" and believe that they have more babies for bigger checks. That they are lazy, dysfunctional drug addicts. That they lounge in the lap of luxury, compliments of our hard earned tax dollars. The middle-class, hard work ethic says that anyone can do as we do--work and prosper--and anyone who doesn't is a low-life.
Lisa Dodson, in Don't Call Us Out of Name: The Untold Lives of Women and Girls in Poor America, shows us an entirely different picture.
Over eight years of interviews, surveys, observations, and focus groups with women of many racial and ethnic backgrounds in the Boston area culminates in this frequently heart-wrenching account of what it's really like on the other side. On page after page and in their own words, Dodson allows hundreds of "savvy, complex, and challenging" women to come forth and tell their stories for themselves.
Contrary to the notion that poverty reflects character defects, Dodson stresses that these women uphold a tradition of family values and perform meaningful family care work that is neither paid nor recognized. They have grown up "deprived of basic material support in the midst of great national wealth," and that deprivation dictates not only a chaotic lifestyle, but it also generates a host of inherent challenges and difficulties.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 6, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this book Dodson conveys the experiences and challenges of women with families
living, coping and breaking away from living poor in America. Dodson presents this
evolution in a matter of fact manner that shares in the joys and sorrows that are faced
by these women and the way they feel treated by society. The title of this book, "Don't
Call Me Out of Name", on the streets means don't call me something I'm not.

Dodson uses over eight years of interviews, surveys, observations and focus groups with
women from different racial and ethnic backgrounds, that live in Boston, on what it is like
to live in poverty. This is an eye opening account of these women's struggles to have a life,
to strive for a better life and the challenges of getting there. Dodson also gets input from
these women on what their needs are, what helps and what hampers getting out of poverty
and successfully off welfare. This book is written for a general reading audience but
should belong on the shelves of policy-makers and all people involved in welfare reform.

Many sections of Dodson's book point to education as the way out of this lifestyle, but
how difficult it is to obtain an education with all the strife's of living in poverty, i.e., no
transportation, no reliable childcare, no support. As a former welfare recipient I
understand the complexities of "working" the system to obtain a better life and how time
consuming the welfare system is. I found this book very informative and enlightening and
learned about people living in poverty trying to better their lives. I rate this book a 4 (very
good) because the beginning of the book was slow to maneuver through. The question that
I would have for the author would be does she have any ideas on how to improve the
welfare system because she has spent so much time listening to the needs of the welfare
recipients.
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By Tom Currao on February 6, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent, eye-opening book. For me, the take-away messages were that everyone needs someone for emotional and spiritual support, and a college education can help you get out of a financial hole in life.
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