Mil Duncan - The Politics of Poverty and Development in America's Rural Communities

Monday, September 16, 2013
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Memorial Union Building - Theatre I
Event Type
Academic Event
Beth Mattingly

1.       Twenty years ago, Mil Duncan and a number of UNH graduate students interviewed hundreds of people from all walks of life in three remote rural communities—in Appalachia, the Delta region of Mississippi, and northern New England—trying to understand why poverty persisted. In her book Worlds Apart, she argued that the absence of a middle class and deep divisions between haves and have-nots in chronically poor areas dependent upon coal and plantations undermined community institutions essential for providing poor children opportunities to escape poverty. A more diverse, less poor community in northern New England was not divided and invested in community institutions that served everyone. This year she returned to those communities to learn what changes have occurred to update Worlds Apart for a new 2014 edition. She and graduate student Jessica Ulrich and colleague Gemma Beckley from Rust College interviewed about forty people in each place this past winter and spring, and with the help of Jessica Carson at the Carsey Institute examined changes documented in Census and other secondary data. She will talk about the very big changes they found, and consider what they tell us about alleviating poverty and building opportunity in rural communities.

Get Directions
Event Date
Event Time