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According to its author, Who Cares? offers ‘an up-close, humane and grounded ethnographic account of life on welfare’. Eve Vincent foregrounds the perspectives of people who are subjected to ‘an endlessly reforming welfare system’. Vincent spent substantial time in the field, building relationships with her subjects, and while the history of welfare in Australia is neatly sketched and the social and political theories underpinning the study are worthy of interest, the voices of her subjects – those who live in poverty while being subjected to strict (and sometimes nonsensical) conditions – are the book’s most vital and captivating features.

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