Factors of Poverty

Topics: Sociology, Education, Poverty Pages: 4 (1288 words) Published: December 2, 2006
Factors of Poverty
No one universally accepted definition of poverty exists because it is a complex and multifaceted phenomena. Poverty is borne out of economic factors that include a lack of access to secure employment, insufficient income, and a lack of assets, especially that of real-estate. There are social structural elements and psychological factors that both contribute to, and have a tendency of perpetuating poverty. While both of these contribute to poverty they are very different from one another. Social psychological factors are attitudes and values held by all citizens regardless of economics and are the sum total experiences, which have molded the individual's mind-set. These experiences may bias an individual in a negative manner in regard to poverty. Social structural elements only improve poverty, meaning aid in eliminating it, by the collective work of society. There are several ideas implicit in the notion of social structure, mainly that of the distribution of power. This concept embodies the idea that human beings form social relationships that are not arbitrary or coincidental, but actually exhibit some regularity, persistence, and purpose. According the distribution of power, social life is not unstructured but is differentiated into groups, positions, and power structures that benefit a select group of players; and may be interdependent or functionally interrelated to another social group of influence. However, there is a hurdle to be overcome in assessing poverty, the fallacy of retrospective determinism, which states that the non-poor believe poverty is inevitable. (Lauer & Lauer, 2006) In other words, a defeatist platform: there is no way to improve, just accept things the way they are and don't make waves. Social structural factors of poverty are comprised of government, family, economy, and education. Programs designed to assist the poor such as health care and education had a tendency to be vulnerable to veto, sabotage,...

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Lauer, R. H., & Lauer, J. C. (2006). Social problems and the quality of life (10th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.
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