Caitlin Mello Lori Isack
English 101 - STA Draft #3
7 March 2015
Poverty, don’t believe everything you hear!
More than 16 million children in the United States – 22% of all children – live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level. We cross paths everyday with people struggling to pay bills and put food on the table and our completely oblivious to their struggles, because we do not see poverty unless it blatantly obvious. As Diana George says in "Changing the face of poverty," there are many aspects of poverty that are misrepresented through heart breaking photos, by constructing poverty as an individual problem that can be dealt with on an individual basis, and by myths about poverty; poverty needs not to be looked at in the worst of the worst situations, all of those 16 million children need to be represented.
Heart breaking photos of children in torn clothes with sad faces touches our heart and it makes us feel and makes us want to help. Many nonprofit organizations such as Habits for humanity use this tactic as a way to convey the seriousness of homelessness and the struggle, and of course, to raise funds in their efforts for addressing it. These organizations believe they must show despair through photos and in order to do that they must represent poverty as something that can be easily seen and recognized: fallen down shacks, barefoot kids with stringy hair, and women and men staring in the camera with empty eyes. When poverty is looked at in only this light it is feeding into the troubles, as George says “these portrayed images limits our understanding of what poverty is and how we might address it.”
Nonprofit organizations try to construct poverty as an individual problem that can be dealt with by volunteers on an individual basis. As much as these organizations do help many, we cannot just look at it in this light...
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