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The Library Unbound: Milne Library News

Spring 2024 Alden Scholar Series Lecture by Dr. Elizabeth Seale

by Megan Palmer on 2024-04-29T09:07:00-04:00 | 0 Comments

                                                        Dr. Seale smiling while holding her recently published book, "Understanding Poverty: A Relational Approach"

                 Photo Credit: Bugyi, J. (2024). 2024 Alden Scholar [Photograph].

The Spring 2024 Alden Scholar Series Lecture was held at 4pm on Tuesday April 16th, in the Alden Room, SUNY Oneonta’s Special Collections and University Archives. At this event, SUNY Oneonta students, faculty, staff, and community members gathered to hear Dr. Elizabeth (Lizzy) Seale, from SUNY Oneonta’s Sociology Department, talk about her recent book, Understanding Poverty: A Relational Approach (2023). During her lecture, Dr. Seale discussed the main themes of her book, including poverty and social relations, and described what inspired her to undertake this scholarship. To conclude her lecture, Dr. Seale suggested two blog posts which summarize key findings into short readings, titleYou Are Closely Connected to Poverty (Seale, 2024), and The Poor Are Not Who We Think They Are (Seale, 2024). Dr. Seale’s lecture was recorded and is now openly available for viewing on SOAR (SUNY Open Access Repository)

Thank you to the many people who were instrumental in organizing this hybrid event! Thank you to the Alden Scholar Series Committee for their work in organizing this term’s Alden Scholar Series Lecture, including Sophia Dunne (Library), Megan Palmer (Library), Dr. Mary Lynn Bensen (Library), Dr. Danny Noorlander (History), Dr. George Hovis (English), Dr. Matt Unangst (History), and Dr. Matthew Hendley (History), chair of this committee. Thanks to SUNY Oneonta’s IT Department for helping with the technology of this event, specifically, Raphael Web, and Mark Farrell. Thanks to Laura Lincoln for coordinating remote streaming of this event to SUNY Oneonta alumni. Thanks to Head Custodian Matthew LaPilusa for invaluable work in setting up the Alden Room for this event. Thanks to Darrin Lyons for organizing the selling of Dr. Seale’s book, Understanding Poverty: A Relational Approach. Many thanks to Darren Chase, the Dean of the Library, for hosting this event in the Alden Room, and providing refreshments after this lecture in Milne 318. Most of all, thank you to Dr. Seale for giving the Spring 2024 Alden Scholar Series Lecture, and to our SUNY Oneonta community for attending this event!

Beginning in 2012, the Alden Scholar Series is a collaboration between SUNY Oneonta’s Milne Library, and History Department, which hosts a lecture celebrating SUNY Oneonta faculty scholarship every term. If you are a SUNY Oneonta faculty member who has published a book or book length project in the past 5 years, we would love for you to give our Fall 2024 Alden Scholar Series Lecture! Please apply by emailing the Chair of the Alden Scholar Series Committee, Dr. Matthew Hendley, at


Cover ArtUnderstanding Poverty by Elizabeth Seale
ISBN: 9781509553327
Publication Date: 2023-10-23
People in poverty suffer daily under misconceptions about economic hardship and its causes. Providing the most comprehensive consideration to date of poverty in the United States, Elizabeth Seale tackles how we think about issues of culture, behavior, and poverty, cutting straight to the heart of debates about social class. The book addresses tough questions, including how being poor affects individual behavior, and how we can make sense of that in a larger social and political context. The central premise is that to understand the behavior and lives of people in poverty, one must consider their relational context, especially relations of vulnerability and the human need for dignity. Poverty is a social problem we should address as a society by changing social relations that, as a matter of course, cause unnecessary and immense suffering. To do so, we must directly confront our lack of regard for people in poverty by recognizing that they are in fact worthy of an effort to induce major social change. This critical introduction to poverty will be an important read for undergraduate students and above in sociology wanting to learn more about the growing social problems of poverty, inequality, and stratification.

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