Low- and moderate-income families’ avenues to mobility: Overcoming threats to asset accumulation and remaining in undesirable neighborhoods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Research on social mobility of low and moderate income families often uses objective measures and economic indicators of social mobility and quantitative research methods. In this paper we use a qualitative approach to understand how social mobility in terms of homeownership and desired neighborhood is pursued by 194 working families who received more than $1,000 in Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Specifically, we use cumulative advantage and disadvantage theory to explore the pathways and threats families encounter in their attempts to achieve homeownership and residence in desired neighborhoods. We find that families use different strategies to achieve social mobility and that the most successful families follow multiple strategies that involve pathways used by more affluent families like savings and help from family and friends as well as using social and governmental program and rent-to-own agreements. We discuss the implication for families, social organizations, and policymakers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-39
Number of pages14
JournalResearch in Social Stratification and Mobility
Volume53
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2018

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family income
assets
threat
Social Mobility
mobility research
earned income
income tax
quantitative research
quantitative method
rent
savings
research method
credit
economics

Keywords

  • Homeownership
  • Low and moderate income families
  • Neighborhoods
  • Social mobility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

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title = "Low- and moderate-income families’ avenues to mobility: Overcoming threats to asset accumulation and remaining in undesirable neighborhoods",
abstract = "Research on social mobility of low and moderate income families often uses objective measures and economic indicators of social mobility and quantitative research methods. In this paper we use a qualitative approach to understand how social mobility in terms of homeownership and desired neighborhood is pursued by 194 working families who received more than $1,000 in Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Specifically, we use cumulative advantage and disadvantage theory to explore the pathways and threats families encounter in their attempts to achieve homeownership and residence in desired neighborhoods. We find that families use different strategies to achieve social mobility and that the most successful families follow multiple strategies that involve pathways used by more affluent families like savings and help from family and friends as well as using social and governmental program and rent-to-own agreements. We discuss the implication for families, social organizations, and policymakers.",
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AU - Mendenhall, Ruby

AU - Kramer, Karen Z.

AU - Bellisle, Dylan

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AB - Research on social mobility of low and moderate income families often uses objective measures and economic indicators of social mobility and quantitative research methods. In this paper we use a qualitative approach to understand how social mobility in terms of homeownership and desired neighborhood is pursued by 194 working families who received more than $1,000 in Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Specifically, we use cumulative advantage and disadvantage theory to explore the pathways and threats families encounter in their attempts to achieve homeownership and residence in desired neighborhoods. We find that families use different strategies to achieve social mobility and that the most successful families follow multiple strategies that involve pathways used by more affluent families like savings and help from family and friends as well as using social and governmental program and rent-to-own agreements. We discuss the implication for families, social organizations, and policymakers.

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