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Waltzing With the Ghost of Tom Joad: Poverty, Myth, and Low-Wage labor in Oklahoma Paperback – September 2, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press (September 2, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806134283
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806134284
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,802,347 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert Lee Maril is Chair and Professor of Sociology at the University of Texas-Pan American. He is the author of Living on the Edge of America: At home on the Texas-Mexico Border and The Bay Shrimpers of Texas: Rural Fishermen in a Global Economy.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Charles M. Nobles VINE VOICE on February 16, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Question: What do most service sector jobs, hog farms, chicken plants, and so-called right-to-work laws have in common? Answer: All do, or will, contribute to the perpetuation of poverty in Oklahoma, already the eighth-poorest state in the nation. This book should be a best seller in Oklahoma. It won't be, but it should. Amazingly, as we enter the 21st century, this is the first comprehensive study and analysis of poverty in a state that has consistently experienced a poverty rate above the national average. Using ethnography with statistical analysis, Maril has explored the age-old myths about the poor, discusses the facts behind the myths, and points to the real causes of poverty, expecially low-wage labor, which has been the hallmark of most state so-called "economic development" programs. Maril debunks such myths as the poor being lazy, refusing to work, and on welfare. Among the 600,000 or so Oklahoman's that are poor, some 20% of the population, 52% work and the majority do not, repeat, do not receive welfare assistance. Maril followed twelve poor Oklahoma families over a four-year period and found obstacles such as poor health and a lack of medical insurance, the lack of quality childcare, concerns for personal safety, and low-paying jobs as major contributors to poverty. The author had four major objestives when writing the book. First, to describe the poor and poverty in Oklahoma in detail using historical trends and patterns. Second, to examine the myths, typically accepted as facts, about the poor in Oklahoma. Third, to define the real causes of poverty. Fourth, to propose a public policy agenda that would correct the costly and ineffective system now in effect in Oklahoma. He met, and exceeded, them all.Read more ›
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Waltzing With the Ghost of Tom Joad: Poverty, Myth, and Low-Wage labor in Oklahoma
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