This month sociologist Matthew Desmond won the Pulitzer Prize for his book, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. Desmond’s book documents, in rich and depressing detail, what it’s like to try to pay rent as a low income earner and how easy it is to end up on the street. Eviction is not caused by personal “irresponsibility,” Desmond insists, it’s essentially “inevitable.”
Eviction is psychologically scarring, but it also throws families further into poverty, destabilizing their work and family lives, often stripping them of their few possessions, and costing money — all while enriching landlords.
Here’s 7 minutes from Desmond about his experience living among low income families and the lessons he learned:Lisa Wade, PhD is an Associate Professor at Tulane University. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture; a textbook about gender; and a forthcoming introductory text: Terrible Magnificent Sociology. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.