Poor fathers like John are largely forgotten, written off as a subset of the unworthy poor. These fathers struggle with poverty - often with near hopelessness - within multiple systems in which they are either entangled or overlooked, such as child-support and welfare programs, family courts, the criminal justice system, housing programs, and the healthcare, education, and foster-care systems. For these impoverished fathers, the "end of men" is often not simply a question for purposes of discussion but a fact that is all too real. In the instances in which poor fathers are not forgotten, they are targeted as causes of poverty rather than as possible victims themselves - or more accurately they fall somewhere along the false dichotomy between pure blame and pure sympathy. The poor fathers are lumped together in monolithic descriptions that become constants in equations attempting to understand and solve societal ills. If a continuously evolving factor is treated as a known constant rather than an undetermined variable, the math will inevitably be wrong. Thus, the essentialist policy equations created from the uniform view and treatment of low-income fathers will inevitably result in incorrect policy solutions to system concerns. Moreover, each system's equation - already incorrectly constructed - is further impacted and skewed by the unplanned interactions with incorrect equations of other systems. (Excerpt from author introduction)
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