Poverty: Three Perspectives

Topics: Sociology, Poverty, Wealth Pages: 1 (297 words) Published: August 12, 2008
Poverty is a controversial social issue. A structural functionalist would view poverty as a positive aspect of society for a few reasons. One reason is that without impoverished people, there would be no wealthy people in place in society. Everyone either works hard, little, or not at all in order to know where they stand in society. With the poor, it gives everyone else a status in society. Another reason is that the poor serve the economy in a way. The poor people do all the difficult and physical work, and still do not get paid enough. Because of this, they are sometimes forced to leave their homes, since they do not have enough money. This action serves to make room for those who do have the money to pay for the home, thus, making progress in the economy and society. So basically, the function of the poor is to do work that higher classes do not want to do – which creates a structured and harmonious system in the social classes.

A conflict theorist would view that money only creates problems and unfairness. One argument would be that the U.S. Government increases the amount of welfare given to businesses while they decrease what they give to the poor. It keeps the rich in their place by making them richer and keeps the poor in their place. Another argument is in politics. Politicians who have more money usually win because they can afford campaigns and other promotional methods to ensure a victory. With money comes bribery.

A symbolic interactionist would view that poverty only creates stereotypes towards the impoverished and the wealthy. I would consider myself in the middle class. I am able to afford necessities, yet I do have a budget and cannot go an spend
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