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Is Poverty An Economic Or Cultural Problem? (SOLVED!)

When the term “culture of poverty” was first used by the anthropologist Oscar Lewis in 1959, it was seized upon as “evidence” that poverty is not caused primarily by an absence of material resources 😉 This was never Lewis’s intention 🤓 In a 1966 essay for Scientific American, he’s having written: “A culture of poverty is not just a matter of deprivation or disorganisation – a term signifying the absence of something 😎 It is a culture in the traditional anthropological sense in that it provides human beings with a design for living, a ready-made set of solutions for human problems, and so serves a significant adaptive function.” [1]
Putnam’s book is called “Our Kids” for a reason: he is hoping to evoke a sense of broader responsibility, to see the children of the poor as “ours,” rather than “theirs”. The problem is that there’s no imagination. It is sometimes difficult for the affluent to understand the texture of poverty, since they don’t interact with poor people. The economic sorting of a neighborhood leads to the social sorting of schools, churches, community groups. As Putnam puts it, “Our kids are increasingly growing up with kids like them who have parents like us.” This represents, he warns, “an incipient class apartheid.” (we say thank you to Pennie Barraza for their recent insights). [2]
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Children who are poor do not have the opportunity to be read aloud and to learn complex vocabulary and language. They have lower-paying jobs, are less likely to be laid off and experience more stress in the home. They live in areas with more crime, drugs, and less professional adult role models. Careers. Children with such disabilities are often raised by one parent and get less adult attention. These children are less likely to go on cross-country trips or visit museums and zoos. They also have fewer music and dance lessons. Organized sports leagues can help them to grow their cultural knowledge and ambition. (Imported by Termaine Toppings on April 17, 2021). [3]
Npc.umich.edu Continues to discuss how culture is being reintroduced on the poverty agenda. The last generation of scholarship on the povertyculture relationship was primarily identified, for better or worse, with the “culture of poverty” model of Oscar Lewis (1) and the report on the Negro Family by Daniel Patrick Moynihan (2). Lewis believed that poverty perpetuated a certain set of beliefs, values and cultural practices. Even if economic conditions changed, this culture of poverty will continue to thrive. Scholars in the 1970s were accused of “blaming the victims” for their problems because they seemed to imply that people might cease to be poor if they simply changed their culture. Many young scholars at the time were discouraged from exploring the links between poverty and culture because of their political climate. Starlyn Gabriel was kind enough to tell us this. [4]

Refer to the Article

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/aug/14/culture-poverty-poor-power-welfare-sanctions-cuts
  2. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/social-mobility-memos/2015/05/14/question-is-poverty-an-economic-or-cultural-problem-answer-yes/
  3. https://www.epi.org/publication/ascd_whose_problem_is_poverty/
  4. http://www.npc.umich.edu/publications/policy_briefs/brief21/
Mehreen Alberts

Written by Mehreen Alberts

I'm a creative writer who has found the love of writing once more. I've been writing since I was five years old and it's what I want to do for the rest of my life. From topics that are close to my heart to everything else imaginable!

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