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Unformatted text preview: The Uses of Poverty: The Poor Pay for All Herbert Gans, Classic Readings in Sociology. Does poverty have functions to explain its persistence? Poverty makes possible the existence or expansion of respectable professions and occupations (e.g., penology, criminology, social work, public health). Poverty provides jobs for social scientists, social workers, journalists, and other 'poverty warriors.' The functions of poverty: 1. Poverty ensures that society's 'dirty work' will get done. Poverty provides a low-wage labor pool that is willing--or rather, unable to be un willing--to preform dirty work at low cost. 2. Because the poor are required to work at low wage, they subsidize a variety of economic activities that benefit the affluent. The poor pay a larger share of their income in property and sales taxes....
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This note was uploaded on 03/25/2008 for the course SOC 302 taught by Professor Langenkamp during the Fall '08 term at University of Texas at Austin.
- Fall '08