I always tell my students, “to talk about poverty is to talk about children”. The latest figures suggest that 1 in 5 children in the United States is living in poverty (it’s 1 in 6 of all people). However, when the poor are vilified as lazy moochers the face that is often imagined is not that of a child.
Poor Kids is a fantastic documentary that has come to us just in time. The film is narrated by the children of three families that are struggling to avoid becoming homeless. Hearing their voices and seeing poverty through the eyes of children is both disarming and gripping.
As a discipline, sociology is great at identifying the structural causes of poverty, but this only covers half of the sociological imagination. Poor Kids gives us the experience of the individual and delivers it in a way that neutralizes the “blame the poor” defenses that many of our students have. This film is a fantastic and free resource that all sociology instructors should consider using.