Research Center to Host Lecture on Poverty Policy and Politics of the Poor


Frances Fox Piven

The Center for Urban Research and Education (CURE) at Rutgers–Camden will offer a free lecture addressing the importance of an invigorated democracy to move toward a socially just America, at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4.

Frances Fox Piven, a distinguished professor of political science and sociology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, will present a lecture titled “Poverty Policy and the Politics of the Poor.”

Drawing on American history, Piven will present an overview of the two-sided relationship between welfare policy and the politics of the poor. She will explain how there have been periods in the not-so-distant past when poor people became important political actors in the shaping of social policy. Most of the time, including the present, she maintains, policy is designed to inhibit influence by the poor. Piven will delineate the conditions under which policy becomes an instrument to politically suppress the poor, as well as the conditions that encourage more democratic policy-making.

The talk, which is free of charge and open to the public, will be held in the faculty lounge on the third floor of Armitage Hall, located on Fifth Street, between Cooper Street and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge on the Rutgers–Camden campus.

A prolific author, Piven co-authored the books Regulating the Poor: The Functions of Public Welfare, Poor People’s Movements: Why They Succeed, How They Fail, Why Americans Still Don’t Vote: And Why Politicians Want it That Way, Challenging Authority: How Ordinary People Change America, Keeping Down the Black Vote: Race and the Demobilization of American Voters, and Who’s Afraid of Frances Fox Piven?: The Essential Writings of the Professor Glenn Beck Loves to Hate.

Founded in 2001, the Center for Urban Research and Education at Rutgers–Camden aims to encourage, facilitate, and promote research on urban issues by Rutgers-Camden faculty and their collaborators around the nation. The research center’s monthly seminars, held in conjunction with Rutgers–Camden’s Office of Civic Engagement, provide members and affiliates with opportunities to learn about cutting-edge research and initiatives from scholars, community activists, and others engaged in urban research and/or urban change.

For directions to Rutgers–Camden, visit

For further information, please contact CURE Associate Director Natasha Tursi at or (856) 225-6797.

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