Defining poverty poverty has no formal definition

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DEFINING POVERTYPoverty has no formal definition.Many stereotypes about the poor are myths.oMyth 1: People are poor because they don’t want to work.
Many poor people cannot work because of a disability or because they mus take care of their young children.Many poor people work full time, and many more work part time.Having a job is no guarantee of escaping poverty because the minimum wage is so low.oMyth 2: Most poor people are immigrants.Once immigrants establish themselves, they have lower poverty rates than do people born in Canada.oMyth 3: Most poor people are trapped in poverty.Most people try to move out of difficult financial circumstances and most succeed, at least for a time.FEMINIZATION OF POVERTYThe feminist of the 1970s introduced the notion of the feminization of poverty.What they meant by this is that:oWomen were more likely to be low-income earners than men were.oThe low-income gap between women and men was growing.On the contrary, the low-income gap between women and men decreased considerably.EXPLAINING POVERTYIndividual-level explanations focus on the attributes of people who are poor, asking how thse people differ from people who are not poor.oLooking at personal attributes.Individual attributes do explain a small amount of poverty.Poverty is, for the most part, not a consequence of individual attributes even though they are important in some cases.
Descriptions of poverty stressing a culture of depression, lack of hope, and fatalism may be accurate, but these effects of poverty should not be confused with the causes of poverty.Sociologists stress social organization of society, or subsystems in society, as explanations of poverty.oFor example, the organization of our economy affects poverty.Other analysts stress social policy as a factor affecting poverty levels.oMinimum wage legislation is a social policy that creates a group of working poor.oThe system of tax collection and tax allocation illustrates another way that social policies affect poverty.Other sociologists stress ways of thinking, or idealogical perspectives, as explanations of poverty.oDiscrimination causes poverty because it leads to less success in finding jobs and, when jobs are found, to more unsteady and low-paying work.Inequality is known to exist in all societies.IS STRATIFICATION INEVITABLE? THREE THEORIESMARX’S CONFLICT THEORYMarx believes that social stratification and the accompany conflict between classes are not inevitable.He believed that capitalist growth would eventually produce a society without classes and therefore without class conflict.In his sense of the term, class is determined by a person’s relationship to the means of production or the source of that person’s income.He said that as the bourgeoisie grew richer and smaller, the proletariat grew larger and more impoverished.

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