Hnc Social Care Sociology Poverty and Ineqaulity

Topics: Poverty, Economic inequality, Sociology Pages: 3 (1114 words) Published: March 6, 2013
HNC Social Care|
Poverty and Inequality Assessment 3|

In this essay we are going to look at the causes of poverty and inequality in the UK and the effect that it has on society. We will also be looking at sociological theories and how they can relate to poverty. “Poverty in the UK is classed as being relative to the standards of living in a society at a specific time.” (Scottish poverty information unit) “A person is considered poor if his or her income level falls below some minimum level necessary to meet basic needs. This minimum level is usually called the poverty line. “(World bank organisation) According to sociologists poverty and inequality can be linked to 2 main causes, Cultural and structural. Cultural theorists suggest that poverty is caused by the individual and is considered by many as blaming the victim. A simple explanation of this would be that welfare system in the UK for example, allows poor people to stay in poverty. Creating an underclass of people, dependant of welfare, which is passed on from generation to generation? It suggests that the poor engage in self defeating actions and resign themselves to a life of poverty, making no attempt to better themselves, thus creating their own poverty. If we look at poverty and inequality causes from a structural theorists view, we begin to move away from the idea of blaming the victim and look more at the social structures in society as being the root cause of poverty. Theorists state that the poor are victims of the system, suggesting that the underclass are willing and able to work but lack of opportunities, such as poor education and lack of training/jobs exclude them from the labour market. It also suggests that wages and benefits are purposely kept low to ensure the elite members of society can hold economic power over the majority. (Bingham.E.2009) Peter Townsend(1979) states, its guaranteed that people are at a disadvantage in the labour market when they...

References: BINGHAM, E. (2009). HNC in social care: for Scotland. Oxford, Heinemann.
SPIU (2008) Scottish Poverty Information Unit | Glasgow Caledonian University | Scotland, UK. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 30 Jan 2013]. (2012) World Bank Group. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 30 Jan 2013].
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