March 30, 2015
Generational Poverty is defined as a family having been in poverty for at least two generations meaning children of parents in poverty grow up to live in poverty themselves. It is important to understand the difference between Generational Poverty and Situational Poverty. A person or family can experience Situational Poverty when their income and support is has a set back due to a specific change in areas such as job loss, death, divorce or health issues. Although there can be a domino effect caused by this one particular change, families experiencing Situational Poverty have a tendency to remain positive and hopeful, knowing that this is a temporary setback. This typically is not so with generational poverty. (Susan E. Mayer 2008).
Consequences of Generational Poverty
It’s a sad thought that crime is one the most negative consequences of poverty. This occurs because a “culture of poverty” cultivates among families who struggle just to meet their basic needs. People develop beliefs that their chances are limited for future success. And one of the most discouraging things people turn to is crime as an alternate to getting employment. Another consequence of poverty is the lack of education. Actually there is a huge relation between the two. Illiteracy is a major problem among families who are part of the cycle of generational poverty, when children who live in poverty start school; they are less developed compared to those who grew up in a family with a high income.
Factors such as poor health care, an unsafe environment, limited access to good nutrition, and the scarce availability of books definitely have a big impact on the development of a child. In particular, their cognitive development and ability to learn is heavily affected. Low self-esteem is an issue that people in poverty will face. People start to hate themselves for the situation they are in. It’s not hard to blame them when they start hating themselves because they couldn’t get out of the bad place they’re in. This is why it’s important for everyone to get an equal opportunity so no matter what his or her status is in life; at least there is hope for success. One of the worst consequences of poverty is not being able to provide food for the family. Without earning sufficient money to feed a number of children, it’s no wonder why children are starving. And even worse, sadly that is why people turn to stealing and other malicious activities just to put food on the table for their family. The job market is particularly difficult for those living in poverty. As mentioned above, there is a lack of good jobs for those who live in poverty. This fact makes it hard for them to climb out of being at a disadvantaged situation., the absence of good employment opportunities will most likely ensure a cycle of poverty. (Journal of Children & Poverty’’ 9.1 2003)
Culture of Poverty
Another theory for the continual cycle of poverty is that poor people have their own culture with a different set of values and beliefs, which keep them trapped within that cycle generation to generation. One of the hidden rules of poverty is that any extra money is shared. The clear understanding is that one will never get ahead so when extra money is available, it is either shared or spent. There are always emergencies and needs; one might as well enjoy the moment. In poverty, people are possessions and people can only rely on each other. The driving force against which decisions are made in generational poverty is entertainment and relationships. Characteristics that come from being part of generational poverty include the television is always on, conversation is participatory, more than one speaker at a time, your personality is what you bring to a situation not money, so to be highly valued, entertain, and tell stories. Jobs are about making enough money, not a career.
The key role for men is to work hard, be