York professor’s latest book provides analysis of poverty and Canadian policy

The latest book on poverty and Canadian policy by Dennis Raphael, professor in York’s School of Health Policy & Management, Faculty of Health, will be released in March. Titled Poverty and Policy in Canada: Implications for Health and Quality of Life, the book is being published by Canadian Scholars’ Press.

Dennis RaphaelPoverty and Policy in Canada provides a unique, interdisciplinary perspective on poverty and its importance to the health and quality of life of Canadians, says the publisher’s release. This original volume considers a range of issues that will be of great interest to a variety of audiences in fields such as social work, the health sciences, sociology, political science, policy studies, nursing, education, psychology and the general public.

Right: Dennis Raphael

Central issues include the definitions of poverty and means of measuring it in wealthy, industrialized nations such as Canada; the causes of poverty – both situational and societal; the health and social implications of poverty for individuals, communities, and society as a whole; and the means of addressing its incidence and improving its effects. Particular emphasis has been placed on the lived experiences of poverty throughout the book.

This new book has three, straight-forward goals: 

  • To provide a range of approaches for understanding poverty and its effects;
  • To help readers understand the structural antecedents of poverty – that is, how society and its distribution of resources are the primary determinants of poverty;
  • To provide realistic solutions to poverty.   

“At the simplest level, poverty’s sheer invisibility keeps it off the national radar. That’s why Prof. Raphael’s work is so necessary,” said NDP Leader Jack Layton, in a comment from the book’s jacket.

Raphael’s colleagues in the field were full of praise for his latest study, saying it will “help to debunk many myths and stereotypes associated with poverty” and “provide an excellent overview of the current literature in this field along with the voices of people living in poverty.”