Essay on Sociological Views of Poverty

Words: 2760
Pages: 12

Sociological Views of Poverty
Michelle Williams-Thomas
Sociology 101
Professor Yelena Gidenko
February 12, 2012

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the most common reasons people died were accidents or communicable diseases like pneumonia. Today, millions die each day from poverty. How can poverty be defined? And what is the difference between absolute and relative poverty? In the paper I will address these issues along with sociological views of poverty. Poverty is a social issue that affects the world. Poverty causes many to be malnourished and die at a young age, it is a cause of deviant behavior such as crime, and also causes the poor to be marginalized from society and have little voice in public
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If these traditional values can be replaced with ones that support the use of modern technology, material goods, and advanced services in a market–driven economy, the model presumes that poverty will be eradicated as more affluent ways of life are established. (Vissing, 2011)

Conflict theory says that things in society are caused by conflict and specifically by the elites oppressing those under them. Because of social status, neighborhood, upbringing, background, education, and many other factors, an individual is not afforded an equal opportunity to thrive.
During the Great Depression of the 1930s in the United States, a large segment of the population was poor. Poverty was often thought to be a result of personal problems or imperfections, but during the 1960s, when the relationship between poverty, racism, sexism, and ageism became apparent, social movements occurred to do something about economic inequality. President Johnson waged a war on poverty that resulted in the creation of programs that constituted a social safety net that were designed to keep people out of poverty. However, more recent political administrations have not advocated as much for the poor. The number of homeless people have increased, and social movements have also emerged to assist them.
(Vissing, 2011) Conflict theorists would