HDF 110 Lecture 4: HDF110 Week 4 Notes (1)

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5 Dec 2019
HDF110 Week 4 Notes
Poverty: state of being extremely poor; however “poor” can be defined in many
different ways.
determined by the “Poverty Threshold”: statistical yardstick used by gov.
to measure # of people who don’t have adequate income to meet their
family’s basic needs (food, shelter, clothing, health care)
used to determine eligibility for various government programs
(bridge card, low-income housing, free school lunches, etc.)
Different programs/states determine funding eligibility using
different measures
formula for Poverty Threshold was developed in 1960s:
based on 1955 survey about food costs
has been adjusted for inflation BUT formula itself has not
government does all kinds of analysis on data collected by the U.S.
Problem with Poverty Threshold:
Since formula was developed in 1960s, housing, health care, and
transportation expenses have drastically increased more than food costs
EXAMPLE: 1960’s food costs were of a family’s budget; today
its closer to 1/7 of family budget
U.S. Poverty Stats:
U.S. has the highest rate of poverty of any industrialized nation
lowest rates of poverty exist for Whites (9.8%)
people of color, they have a much higher rate of poverty:
Blacks= 28%
Hispanics= 25%
Low Income by Race:
American Indian children= 57%
Latino children= 61%
Black children= 60%
Asian children= 30%
White children= 26%
NOTE: whites comprise the largest group of low-income children,
but not highest percentage
Risks Associated with Living in Poverty:
Higher infant mortality rates
Lower infant birth weights (leads to health problems)
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Homelessness or lack of safe housing; leads to health & safety risks
Lack of health care/food
Higher school drop out rates
Lower test scores & academic success
Greater risk of being a victim of violent crime
Greater risk of being involved in criminal activity
Race and Racisms, Chapters 7
Income inequality by race, ethnicity, & gender:
Difference in earnings bt richest & poorest has widened
Income inequality is bc of big growth in wage of highest earners &
U.S. has most unequal advanced economy w/ Gini Coefficient of
Gini Coefficient: measure from 1-100; 0= perfect equality,
100= perfect inequality
U.S. has largest poor population
Last in child poverty rates, largest ratio bt richest & poorest 10%
Highest percent of people living below 50% median income
Earnings gap: differences in earnings by groups
Wage gap: differences in hourly earnings among groups; difference
in amount earned per hours worked
Underemployment, unemployment, and Joblessness
Earnings inequality compounded by unemployment rates; data
doesn’t include unemployed people
Wage differentials shows view of overall inequality
Underemployment: jobless workers actively seeking work
Sociological explanations for income and labor market inequality
Human capital: educational attainment, skills, & job experience
Individual-level explanations:
Individual human capital differences
Age, marital status, immigrant status, region of residence,
education, hours worked, occupation
When differences in earnings cannot be explained fully by
characteristics, disadvantage can be explained by
Racial discrimination: when racial status plays role in
employers decision to deny person job
Implicit bias: we all have biases at subconscious levels
Structural-level explanations:
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