Poor Britain

In Poor Britain (1985) Joanna Mack and Stewart Lansley set out the ‘consensual’ approach to poverty pioneered in the 1983 Breadline Britain survey. They introduce the concept of ‘socially perceived necessities’ and distinguish between those who lack necessities from choice and those who can’t afford them. They define poverty as ‘an enforced lack of socially perceived necessities’. Poor Britain is now out of print but you can download this influential book by clicking on the links below. We have provided both the full book, 324 pages, as one PDF, and each chapter and appendices as separate PDFs for download.

Copyright remains with J.H. Mack and S. Lansley. Please cite ‘J. Mack and S. Lansley (1985) Poor Britain, London, George Allen & Unwin’ if quoting from this book.

Poor Britain: whole book

Preliminaries: Contents, Preface and acknowledgements, Foreword by Professor A.H. Halsey, pp.i–xxviii

Chapter 1: Going down, pp.1–12

Chapter 2: How poor is too poor?, pp.13–48

Chapter 3: To live or to exist?, pp.49–86

Chapter 4: The other Britain, pp.87–133

Chapter 5: Just existing, pp.134–70

Chapter 6: Measuring poverty, pp.171–200

Chapter 7: The will to act?, pp.201–31

Chapter 8: The collapse of Welfarism, pp.232–47

Chapter 9: The defence of Welfarism, pp.248–72

Chapter 10: The future, pp.273–86

Appendices A, B and C, pp.287–314

References, pp.315–18

Index, pp.319–24


Grateful acknowledgement and thanks are extended to Joanna Mack and Stewart Lansley for permission to reproduce Poor Britain.