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The Everyday Costs of Poverty in Childhood: A Review of Qualitative Research Exploring the Lives and Experiences of Low-Income Children in the UK


Dr Tess Ridge, Department of Social and Policy Sciences, University of Bath, Bath BA4 4TE, UK. E-mail:


This review of 10 years of qualitative research with disadvantaged children in the UK shows that despite some gaps in the knowledge base, there is now a substantive body of evidence exploring children’s lives and experiences from their own perspectives. The review reveals that poverty penetrates deep into the heart of childhood, permeating every facet of children’s lives from economic and material disadvantage, through the structuring and limiting of social relationships and social participation to the most personal often hidden aspects of disadvantage associated with shame, sadness and the fear of social difference and marginalisation.