Young Adult Lit/Crit

March 19, 2008

Critique of Ruby Payne’s Work on Poverty

Filed under: from your prof — sunyprof @ 8:11 pm

Dear Class,

If you are or can be on campus tomorrow midday (I know that’s very few of you) Foundations is sponsoring a discussion of Ruby Payne’s book/”training” sessions on children who grow up in poverty. The brown bag lunch will start at NOON in Brockway. Take a look at this description of her training program as preparation for this discussion tomorrow.

This site lists the “hidden rules” Payne talks about in her book and workshops. Scroll down and take a look at the “rules.” What do you think? Even if you cannot make the discussion in Brockway (Jacobus Lounge), knowing about Payne’s influence in schools around the country is important.




  1. Karen,

    I was definitely blown away by how concisely these rules were drawn out. In particular: the notion of time to the different economic classes started the old wheels turning.

    To think about the Wealthy placing emphasis on the past, the Middle Class being more concerned with the future, and Generational Poverty living in the now— that really startled me. It might seem to logically derive from proximity to comfort; the Wealthy have long since mastered their environment and no longer have to worry about the basics, so they have time to look back… the Middle Class realize that they may change their situation, but only by working for tomorrow… and Generational Poverty is still fighting to make sure every day they have enough to survive.

    But I think it is more than that.

    Time: a measure of space long term. The past holds certainty. The future holds possibility. Now is up for interpretation.

    How do we all occupy the same time physically and psychologically resonate in different times?

    Still thinking….

    Comment by joycehansen — March 19, 2008 @ 9:39 pm

  2. Yes, this is very interesting stuff….seductive…..the discussion tomorrow is going to problematize Payne’s assumptions and the “hidden rules” she states. Can you make it Joyce? KES

    Comment by sunyprof — March 19, 2008 @ 11:01 pm

  3. uh, I didn’t make it- to my chagrin.

    I’m sorry to have missed out on this one.


    Comment by joycehansen — March 20, 2008 @ 1:13 pm

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