For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

The Power of Sustainable Ties: How a Philadelphia Organization Builds Lasting Ties Among the Poor

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

12:30 PM-2:00 PM

Joan Maya Mazelis, associate professor of sociology, Rutgers University-Camden, will discuss research from her 2017 NYU Press book: "Surviving Poverty: Creating Sustainable Ties among the Poor."

Prof. Mazelis will explain the barriers poor people face in building ties and the ways in which members of the Kensington Welfare Rights Union (KWRU), a distinctive organization that brings poor people together in the struggle to survive, build social ties with one another. Those ties become beneficial and sustainable, allowing members to share skills and resources that materially aid them in their struggle to survive.

Whereas poor people without such affiliation focus on individual responsibility, distrust others, and stigmatize poverty in her study, KWRU overcomes these and other barriers to help members build lasting ties. As we seek the best methods of alleviating poverty, we need to include the role of social ties in poor people’s lives and the power support services can have to foster meaningful, lasting, and beneficial relationships for those living in poverty.

About Joan Maya Mazelis
Joan Maya Mazelis is an associate professor of sociology in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice, and an affiliated scholar at Rutgers-Camden’s Center for Urban Research and Education (CURE). Mazelis specializes in the study of poverty and social ties, using qualitative interview methods to explore the meaning and understanding people have of their own situations. She is the author of "Surviving Poverty: Creating Sustainable Ties Among the Poor" (2017, NYU Press). She’s currently engaged in a mixed-method longitudinal research study on student loan debt, the transition to adulthood, and the intergenerational transmission of inequality.

This event is free and open to the public.

Contact Information

Dorian Adams

Remind me about this event. Notify me if this event changes. Add this event to my personal calendar.


Center for Automation Technology (CAT) - Classroom 061, 3139 Ludlow Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104


  • Everyone