01/13/2015 ° Causes of Poverty : Culture >> Individual and Group Factors United States: Meritocracy Structure >> Societal and Institutional Factors o United States: Systemic Inequality ° Oscar Lewis – The Culture of Poverty Culture: Perpetuate Poverty （ poor accept the situation and are not working to change it, fatalism; there’s a lack of participation in the major institutions of society, they are not involved with the middle-class values （ Characteristics Difference: COP (historical and social context) and being poor (economic traits) o Any movements that help destroy their sense of hopelessness and despair and promote solidarity and a sense of identification with larger society destroys COP ° It is a way of life passed down from generation to generation along the family lines ° The way of life that develops among some of the poor under these conditions is the culture of poverty. It’s very common in societies, a cash economy, wage labor and production of profit high rate of unemployment low wages lack of social, political and economic org for low income population the existence in the dominant class a set of values that stresses the accumulation of wealth and property (explaining low economic status as the result of personal inadequacy or inferiority) ° ° It is an adaption and a reaction of the poor (to cope with the feelings of hopelessness and despair that come from realization about one’s failure in the value-set of the big society) ° ° Target: people come from the lower strata of a rapidly changing society and are already partially alienated from it
° ° Charles Murray ° Social Programs Rational Choice: behavior Profitable, short term (take advantage of social programs) Destructive, long term ° ° William Ryan – Blaming the Victim (in the central mainstream of American Ideologies) E.g. education (limited resources: job opportunities, libraries accessibility) o Failure: culture Individual and the group (claim them as the person who acts wired and problematic, they are deviation from norms and standards) Poverty >> family Systematic inequality (therefore, the real change should also be systematic) Issue: defining a social problem Treating a universal problem with an exceptionistical method (changing the victim, blame them for their lack of motivation to be successful instead of changing the society) (victim blamers reconcile their own interest with the promoting of humanitarian impulses ) Social Darwinism (the nature get rid of the losers, blame the losers) It’s the poor’s fault that they can not adapt to the society and social+economic system On COP: produce people fated to be poor (another exceptionism) ° Ryan is challenging the causes, but he’s still accepting these negative views of poor family as dysfunctional ° ° Carol Stack Challenge negative depictions of the poor unstable, dysfunctional families
Strong networks of kin and friends o Sharing resources o Adaptive strategies ° Herbert Gans – The Uses of Poverty Dirty work
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