Society: Poverty and Relative Poverty Issue Essay

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The debate about whether relative poverty issue matters in wealthy society has received worldwide attention. Relative poverty is a prevalent and unavoidable problem in modernization society, even in developed country this issue is inevitable as well. Relative poverty refers to the deprivation of some people in relative to those who have more (Macionis & Plummer, 2012). The main purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the necessity of giving sufficient concern about relative poverty in wealthy society from a comprehensive prospective. To begin with, this essay will illustrate the significance of relative poverty to society through discussing issues associated with inequality and social exclusion. Secondly, the importance of absolute poverty that draws considerable attention from the public will be explicitly analyzed. Lastly, the reasons why it is necessary for people to concern about relative poverty will be concluded.
In simple terms, relative poverty is a comparison to standard of living for each individual. In terms of relative poverty, two common problems exist in a wealthy society are social inequality and exclusion.
As a representative feature of relative poverty, social inequality could exert negative impacts on society. First and foremost, unequal income as one aspect of social inequality might cause health problems. To be specific, people could engender anxiety about status because people work in comparison status, causing unequal income and unique background. People live under huge stress from job in relative poverty, increasing the risk of mental health problems. Furthermore, people living in relative poverty are inclined to pay less attention to physical health than rich people, since they cannot afford expensive medical expenses. Experts claimed that 5,600 people miss out on having their cancer diagnosed at an earlier stage each year in England because of social inequalities (BBC, 2012). This result suggests that to some extent income inequality is intimately related to life expectancy lying in that people living in relative poverty have relatively short life expectancy because of their limited accesses to medical care, which is affected by low income and social status. Life expectancy will become longer along with increasing social equality and narrowing gap between the rich and poor, which means people are able to enjoy relatively equal medical cares and less pressure. Besides, another reason for people with higher income enjoying longer life expectancy lies in that the rich have sufficient money and access to medical resource than that of poor people. For example, when a famous actor has cancer, he or she has enough money to seek to experienced doctors and advanced medical conditions. As for the working class in relative poverty conditions, they are less likely to afford expensive medical cost for disease such as cancer, AIDS, or heart disease. As a result, relative poor people suffering from incurable disease often die from income inequality.
Secondly, social inequality gives birth to a huge gap between rich, middle and poor class in relative poverty. One important aspect affected by huge gap between different classes is education level. As an important topic in 21st century, education is not equal among different classes. In the upper class, people who enjoy power, prosperity, and prestige could choose access to a higher university such as Harrow and Oxbridge because their wealth and can afford necessary fee, increasing university tuition fees in UK (Diane, 2014). In contrast, people only choose some established universities such as Durham in middle class (Diane, 2014). However, with university application tuition fees rising to up to £9,000 per year in UK, as a result, some students give up apply university (BBC, 2012). In particular, students need to pay higher fee to study in some unique field, such as medicine.
Thirdly, social exclusion due to different reasons may pose various threats to people living