Poverty: A state of mind, or the size of ones wallet In different countries and cultures, there is a social problem that affects a vast majority of the population. This problem, known as poverty, is a economic condition that happens when people are unable to provide basic needs for their families. All over the world, even in the richest of nations, poverty is an issue that remains in society. From a conflict theory perspective, poverty is put upon people and will continue to stay that way until people do something to change the fact. From a symbolic interactions perspective, poverty would be recognized as labels given to ACH other.
Sociologists would study the relationships between people who are poor. They may also look at ideas that the poor have towards the wealthy. Symbolic interactions generally look at the face-to-face interactions between individuals. From a functionalist perspective, they believe that everything is important to the world functioning. Many things can cause poverty. One of the main things that leads to poverty is a lack of education. Many people lack the education to compete for the higher paying Jobs and find themselves at a disadvantage. In the United States, African Americans have higher number of poor members than whites.
This can be directly associated with the fact that many African Americans don’t have the same educational opportunities as whites. In many other countries, people are doomed to a life of poverty because of the lack of educational opportunities. A conflict theorist would believe that education can actually lead to poverty in society. This belief is based on the belief that areas that are already wealthy will naturally produce a better learning environment for their students. This better opportunity to learn better prepares those students to one ay obtain higher paying Jobs.
Conflict theorists also believe this can lead to a chain effect when it comes to crime in poorer areas. There are distinct differences between crimes and punishment when you look at wealthy and poorer individuals. Wealthy people have the advantage of having access to better lawyers and a understanding of the Justice system, while poorer individuals are often thought of as guilty as soon as the trial starts. Another aspect of conflict theory is the idea of capitalism, which is a competitive social structure that creates winners and losers.
Often times many people can’t compete in this system because of various factors that affect us from birth. In the capitalist system a minority of people often called “elites” are the bosses, the ones who run the companies and make the money. This in turn leaves the workers left to fight and compete over the limited amount of resources. With the vast amount of people left to compete, it is only natural that some people would get left out of the wealth. This is how poverty is created. In a way poverty is started like this because the system is set up that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
But which leads to Jobs being moved overseas because they can be done for cheaper wages. This is natural in the case of capitalism but it has a dramatic effect of the millions of Americans who need those Jobs. In current times a full time Job may not be enough to support a family with Just one partner working. Ultimately, conflict theorist believe that society is Just a collection of groups that push and promote their ideals in order to get ahead, thus leading to poverty and crime. Social interaction theorist looks at the relationships between people and the beliefs they have.
The hemolytic interactions perspective believes that norms, values, and beliefs are learned through social interaction. There is an idea that those who are poor must be lazy and if they want to be rich, all they have to do is work harder. Poverty is a social problem simply because of the fact that it affects everyone, even those who themselves are not poor. Poverty leads to other things that affect our everyday lives. Crime and poverty go hand in hand. Poverty is more prevalent in urban areas where poor whites and minorities stay, and crime statistically is more prevalent in these areas.
The stress of poverty drives these individuals to resort to crime and this leads to a cycle as their children are raised in this environment of poverty with no way out. Conservative and traditionally upper class Americans blame our current welfare system for this, stating that people have no desire to move up in life when they can just live off of government assistance. This is a common occurrence among the elite upper class. The perception on poor people has always been that if they Just work harder, then they can achieve what I have.
This idea is supported by the upper class noncreative Americans who most likely haven’t had to struggle in their life and haven’t been on the other side of the argument. Interaction between individuals from different social backgrounds can lead to certain culture gaps. Poorer individuals may believe the wealthy people have had everything given to them seeing as some people are born into wealth, while wealthy individuals that work for their money believe that hard work and determination can lead to wealth. Stereotypes and beliefs can lead to conflict and differences between people from different backgrounds.
Individuals from Rorer backgrounds can also become stuck in a perpetual loop of poverty. Morals and ideas are passed down from generation to generation and poorer individuals tend to have suspect morals. Leaving children with grandparents, sex at an earlier age, and unmarried parenthood are considered normal and acceptable among individuals living in a culture of poverty. Certain groups, according to this belief, remain poor over time as the culture of poverty is given from one generation to the next. The functionalist perspective of poverty believes that poverty is society is a system.
This macro belief means that society is like a machine, every part needs to be working or it will fail. This belief means that poverty is needed for society to function, to provide balance. Without poverty, there can be no rich people and the wealthy are needed for society to run smoothly. A functionalist would say that those who are poor are in that situation because they don’t have the knowledge, work ethic, or opportunity to achieve in society. This means that everyone has the capability to become wealthy with the right circumstances and resources.
Functionalists believe hat poverty wouldn’t have a place in society if it didn’t have a place and a purpose. Poverty can actually lead to more Jobs for people such as social work, counselors, Poverty, no matter how you view it, is a social problem that has no true solution. Social theorist may have different beliefs and views but one constant is that poverty remains a social problem in our society. Whether its Marx and his “communism and poverty’ belief, or Weber and his theory of social stratification, it can be said that social theorist, no matter how different their beliefs, agree that poverty is indeed a social problem.