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Chapter 4

Sociology 2R03 Chapter 4.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOCIOL 2R03
Professor
Augie Fleras
Semester
Summer

Description
Chapter 4: the politics of poverty Introduction: poverty matters  Canada experienced the second highest increase in child poverty of 14 countries with data from the mid 1990’s to the mid 2000’s  Just over 15% of all children (1.5 million) live in poverty  Many regard the polarization of wealth and poverty as one of Canada’s foremeost inequality problems  Studies link poverty to poorer health, lower literacy, more crime, poorer school attainment, greater toll on individuals, and increased family stress  Children are vulnerable to long-term effects: costly adult problems, self- destructive behaviours, and expensive social services  Poverty reflects a social construction instead of anything natural about reality  Poverty as inequality is social by way of origins and causes defined as such by sectors of Canada, subject to correction by way of resources and political will, and exerts a punishing impact on individuals and society at large  It is affluence rather then poverty that is problematic  Too heavy a reliance on the economic dimensions of poverty overlooks a key factor; poverty is not about the money it is about powerlessness  Poverty affects everyone in society (poor are sick more which costs a lot)  Too many misconceptions about poverty Poverty in Canada: who and how?  Canada child poverty rate ranks 24 (15.1%) out of 35 industrialized countries  Canada is 13 out of 17 peer countries with one in 7 children live in poverty  Global poverty o UN General assembly proclaimed the second united nations decade for the eradication of poverty (2008-2017) o New poverty line is licing on $1.25 per day (2005 data: 1.4 billion people live below this line) o 3 billion live on $2.50 a day o About 1 billion children live in poverty (1 in every 2) o Poverty kills more children and young adults than any war Continued  1/3 Canadians were poor in 1951 changed to 1/20 in the 1970’s, historically high rates of poverty have gone down  Poor here may still be better off then the affluent in the global south  Poor should do more to help themselves  Vancouver, family of 4, earning less than $34 572  Kitchener or Waterloo, family of 4, $29 653  Rural areas, family of 4, $23 892  US official measure of poverty is $23 000 o 1/3 black kids live in poverty, ¼ latino kids live in poverty, comparable to 1/7 white kids  3 million Canadians (9.4% of the population) live below the poverty line  2007: less than high school education in families (10%), unattached (34%), those with high school degree in families (9%), unattached (24%), those with non university degree in families (9%), unattached (25%), those with BAs in families (4%), unattached (15%)  Poverty rates range from a high 12% in BC to a low of 5.4% in PEI, Ontario 10%  Housing is the largest expense for low and modest income families, ¼ househould spends more than 30% of their income on housing  Welfare rates for single person in Ontario are less than average rate for single apartment, leaving no money for food; for those who rely on foodbanks, 72% of their income is housing-driven  A single person in Ontario receives $657 per month or $7878 per year in welfare (once food and clothing are factored in there is a deficit of $344 each month)  Disability support payments are at $1064 per month or $12 768 per year, while a single parent with one child receives $1529 per month or $18351 a year  Seniors in instituational care, the low income rate based on before-tax income declined from 20.4% in 199ndro 16.8% in 2000, poverty among elders in general is at 5.9% (puts Canada 2 best out of 17 countries), however, poverty for unattached other women is nearly 10 times the rate for older multiple adult families (19% compared to 2%)  1980: no food banks, by 2010: 868 000 food bank users (339 000 children) in only March 2012, youth and children are only 20% of the population they are 38% of food bank users; 51% of users are born outside of Canada, and 28% are university grads  Poverty costs BC from $8.1 to $9.2 billion a year  In 2009, there were 162 143 millionaires in Canada who owned 20% of Canada’s wealth  25% of Canadas aboriginal children live in poverty  Growing number of people working but still living in poverty, working poor: earnings of at last $3000 per year, between the ages of 18 and 64, not a student, lives independently Framing poverty: absolute vs relative  Absolute poverty o Reflects those who physical existence is endangered because of a chronic absence of th fundamental necessities of life pertaining to food, shelter, and clothing o Look at what it takes to survive in Canada o Basket of goods for physical survival: The “Basic needs measure” excludes non-essential such as books, toys, hairuts, dental services, and school supplies; the food budget is restricted to basic substences (no tea or coffee), health items are excluded o According to MBM, a reference family of 4 requires a basket of goods worth $27 343 a year ($5778 for food, $2992 for clothing and footwear, $$11 399 for shelter, $2316 for transportation, and $5558 for incidentals) o A rural Ontario familt would need $25 117 a year, including access to 5 year chavy cavalier with insurance and 1500 litres of gas o A montreal family would need @22 441 because of lower housing costs  Relative poverty o What constitutes being poor is relative to time and place o How people compare to commonly accepted standards of living o The focus is on how people fare in their ability to participate and be involved o A low income measure (LIM) draws the line at half the median income of Canadian households adjusted for family size and location; useful for comparison with other countries o Low-income cut-off line (LICO) compared the spending on necessities between l
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