A Study on Pauperization Process of Low-Income Woman Head of Household

저소득 여성가구주의 빈곤화 과정에 대한 연구

  • Published : 2007.11.30


This study focuses on the problem of feminization of poverty that is formed within family relations. In order to approach this question, this study analyses the process of becoming poor through the life stories of ten woman are now heads of a household. There are differences among the study participants in the process of becoming a member of a low-income class. I have classified them into two groups depending on the routes they are led into the low-income class; one is the continuation of poverty group, and the other is the new members of the low-income class group. The continuation of poverty group is the case where they have been poor since their childhood and are still poor in their adulthood. The new members of the low-income class group is the case where you have become a low-income class sometime around divorce. The difference of the groups are related to the differences of the ways the power relationships work within a family. Women head of a household are prone to poverty because of the discrimination in formation, distribution and control of resources in their original family and their family formed by marriage. The norm of male breadwinner worked as a discrimination device. But this kind of discrimination device showed differences in their workings according to class. The continuation of poverty group experienced exclusion in the gendered responsibility of supporting the family and maintaining the family, whereas the other group experienced exclusion through the gendered nature of the distribution and control of resources. By showing that the presupposition of discussions on the poverty of woman head of a household is false, these findings challenge the existing view that as long as 'The Family' is maintained women will not be poor.


low-income woman head of household;feminization of poverty;pauperization of women;family disintegration;norm of male breadwinner