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University of Toronto St. George
Ingrid L.Stefanovic

Nov. 11 , 2009 The Urban Underclass 1. What is the underclass? 2. Homelessness 3. Poverty 1. What is the underclass(look at slide) Charles MurrayLawrence Mead=both wrote very important books on class and they wrote books which attempted to try and understand the underclass as a phenomenon in contemporary americaboth are right wing I.e. like stephen harper equivalent in Canada They argued that there was a growing population in american citites who were becoming a permanent minority And that this growing minority were at the lower end of the social scale , and were extremely poor and the created a culture of poverty They thought that the poor were responsible for their own poverty=culture poverty L.A. riots=these people are able to be living in these conditions because they depend on welfarethey take advantage of the state They argued that since the 1960s that people were taking advantage of the welfare state and were taking advantage These two men were very influential and their ideas were taken into account by people like Ronald reagan W.J. Wilson(look at slide) He wrote a book that attempted to deal with some of the ideas thrown out by murrary He was an extremely important scholar He attempted to rethink what it means to be in the underclass They also argued that also because of all sorts of changes taking part in america that there was a growing share of those experience poverty in america and that it was because of the structure of american economysociety that caused poverty(fundamental difference between people on the leftright) Wilson said that this group is becoming socialy isolated in particular parts of the city and that theses groups outside of the main occupational system that they are becoming marganalized What is the underclass?(slide with term) Some argue that the word underclass is a negative word It really is far to descriptive but not analytical The rich teach their kids to be rich the poor to be poor(cause and effected) But there are also good reasons why we should use this term One reason is because it focuses on the economic and social structure(I.e. whats happening in the economy to cause) It also links race family class and place=the underclass is a way in which we can understand how those factors play out in space Policy=how do wer go about making policy to make the world a better place What is underclass?(slide with cartoon) Family structure=an increasing number of the poor are families headed by single mothers which has increased the number of poverty Racsim against minorites both in the housing and employment
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