Unformatted text preview: Causes and Effects of Poverty Any discussion of social class and mobility would be incomplete without a discussion of poverty , which is defined as the lack of the minimum food and shelter necessary for maintaining life. More specifically, this condition is known as absolute poverty . Today it is estimated that more than 35 million Americans—approximately 14 percent of the population—live in poverty. Of course, like all other social science statistics, these are not without controversy. Other estimates of poverty in the United States range from 10 percent to 21 percent, depending on one's political leanings. This is why many sociologists prefer a relative, rather than an absolute , definition of poverty. According to the definition of relative poverty , the poor are those who lack what is needed by most Americans to live decently because they earn less than half of the nation's median income. By this standard, around decently because they earn less than half of the nation's median income....
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This note was uploaded on 11/21/2011 for the course SOCI 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '09 term at Texas State.
- Fall '09