Professor: Bruce Carruthers
Submitted: November 29, 2010
Poverty is a universal phenomenon that affects many people. It is a horrible experience that plagues many societies. Yet poverty continues to exist at astronomical levels, while affluence flaunts its luxurious culture in its presence, as if those of poverty can only live to dream of such lifestyles. It is a situation that provokes deviant behavior at a much higher degree than if poverty had not existed in their in lives at all. Poverty is a state of existence that is the result of structured institutions in society. The way in which societies are designed politically, economically, and socially will determine the extent in which poverty will endure amongst its citizens. Social policies and programs geared toward the reduction of poverty is what will help in attempts to eliminate its existence; however, it is apparent that poverty is a function of society, not to those who live with it, but to those who are obviously benefiting from the effects of poverty. So, needless to say, that it is also obvious that there are groups of people in conflict for power and resources, as well as it is evident that the distribution of power and resources in the United States of America is blatantly unequal. There are conditions that allow for poverty to exist, thus it is not a function of societies, but rather a detriment to or dysfunction of societies. The existence of poverty is not functional for anyone; however, equal opportunity and access to resources is functional as well as empowering. In the context of empowerment, poverty only empowers those who benefit from its existence and perceives poverty to be a functional aspect of society with positive benefits; especially regarding the distribution of poor who will be used only for the sole purposes of seasonal and unexpected booms in industry. My aim, primarily, is to present an angle on the issue of poverty that seeks to shed light on the premise that poverty can be reduced and almost eliminated; however, those who find the existence of poverty a functional part of society will always seek to maintain this state because of the need for profits through globalization and advanced capitalism, as well as the continuation of luxurious lifestyles and preservation of unequal distribution of power amidst the stratified structure of society. This alone presents a conflict of interests; a conflict between those who find the objective condition functional, as opposed to those who find the subjective concern dysfunctional as well as oppressive and discriminatory in the context of equal opportunities for comfortable and sustainable lifestyles. Thus, I will clearly define the objective condition of poverty as it is a major subjective concern to many individuals, even to some of those who do not even have to experience its horrible condition. I will also analyze and entertain the different views about the social problem of poverty, as well as presenting an approach that could be helpful in the intervention of the dilemma. I will utilize scholarly articles and sources to support my position, as well as to lend credibility to the major issue of poverty.
Poverty is an issue that digs deep into the heart of many Americans. Everyday there are people who struggle to provide the simplest of needs ranging from food, water, clothing, shelter, and employment to maintain the acquisition of these needs. Every single day for the people of poverty can be a mind bending and frustrating experience, especially when luxury flaunts its culture in the faces of those who are burdened by unequal distribution in employment and educational opportunities, resources, power, and lifestyle in general. Some people in rural settings experience some of the most dreadful situations, especially with the rise in industry and capitalist interests. According to Duncan and Tickamyer (1990):