Contexts of poverty seem to magnify vulnerabilities in mothers, especially women who have few resources for coping and little support in parenting. Adding to the challenges of poverty are government mandates to move women off of welfare into the workforce. Focusing on the experiences of four mothers who moved from welfare into the low-wage workforce and then back to unemployment, this study offers a description of how these mothers and their adolescent children navigate and make sense of low-wage work, family life, and cumulative disadvantage.

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