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Chapter 10

Sociology 2140 Chapter Notes - Chapter 10: Longitudinal Study, Student Loans In Canada, Reward System


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC 2140
Professor
Cathy Thorpe
Chapter
10

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Chapter 10: Poverty: National and international Issues
Poverty: lacking resources for an “adequate” standard of living
Absolute poverty: the chronic absence of the basic necessities of life, including food,
clean water, and housing
Relative poverty: refers to a deficiency in material and economic resources compared
with some other population
Poverty threshold: $1.25 per day 1.22 billion of the world people still lived at or below
the poverty threshold
o The world bank is interested not only in the very poorest but also in improving
the lives of those who are merely “less well-off”
o The household is considered poor they cannot meet 80% of the minimum caloric
requirements even when using 80%of its income to buy food
o In industrial countries household is considered poor their house hold income is
less then 50% of all median household income in the country
o research on poverty concludes that poverty is multidimensional and include
such dimensions as food insecurity, poor housing, unemployment, psychological
distress, powerlessness, hopelessness, lack of access to healthcare, education,
transportation, and vulnerability
The United Nations development program developed a composition measure of
poverty the human poverty index (HPI) rather than measuring poverty but in can’t
three measures of depravation are combined to yield the HPI
o depravation of a long healthy life
o depravation of knowledge
o depravation of decent living standards
they believe that households facing multiple deprivations are likely to be
in worse situations than income poverty measures suggest
measures of poverty tell us how many of what % of people are living in
poverty in a given year.
Another way to assess poverty is to note the degree to which those who
are poor stay in poverty from year to year. This assessment can be done
by calculating the average annual poverty exit rate-the share of the poor
in one year who have left poverty by the following year
Canadian Measures of Poverty
Low income cut offs (LICOs) as a measure of poverty in 1968
o Estimating that poor families or individuals spent approx. 34.7% or more of their
pre-tax income on such basic needs as food, shelter and clothing
o Community based poverty measures to assess the deprivations experienced by
the poor
o Market basket measure (MBM): which is based on the concept of necessaries as
defined by Adam Smith

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Low income measure (LIM): a figure of the needs of one adult and proceeded one the
assumption that family needs increase in proportion to the size of the family with each
additional adult increasing the family needs by 40% of the first adult and each
additional child increasing the family’s needs by 30%
To put notion of “serious deprivation” Sarlo’s definition means that only those who live
in conditions like the Attawapiskate First Nation which lack access to clean potable
water, secure housing and nutritious food counts as impoverished
Those who live below the median income level
o The average child poverty rate of all children in Canada is 17% while the average
child poverty rate for all Indigenous children is more than twice that figure
The Extent of Global poverty and economic inequality
The global poverty report found that globally the proportions of people living unless
than one dollar per day fell from 29% in 1987 to 26% in 1988
1.4 billion of the world population is living in extreme poverty
according to the economic impact study carried out by the United nation reductions in
global poverty have been aided by debt write offs for the poorest nations, by improving
access to clean drinking water into basic medical care and by improving access to
primary education
o rising cost associated with food distribution combined with the lasting impact of
the 2008 economic meltdown will have a disproportionate impact on the world’s
poorest people
Pro globalization and economists argued at this disparity are feature of transition of
incomplete entry into a global economy
o Kiely: the poorest countries are important because they’re insufficiently
globalized deliberately obscuring the hierarchical and domination orientated
structure of neoliberal economics leaving the floor for the poverty on a global
scale
Structural Functionalist Perspective
David Moore argued that because the various occupational roles in society require
different levels of ability, expertise and knowledge, and unequal economic reward
system helps to ensure that people who perform a particular role is the most qualified
As people acquire certain level of expertise and academic accreditation, they are
progressively reward
this motivates people to achieve by offering higher rewards for the higher achievement
o if physicians were not offered high salaries then why would they want to spend
years in medical training and long hours at the hospital
o Certain amount of poverty had positive functions for dominant groups
o As people are often viewed as a burden to society, having a pool of low-paid
impoverished workers ensure that they’ll be people willing to do dirty and
dangerous work that others often refuse to do

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o Poverty provides employment for those who work in the “poverty industry”
such as welfare workers
o Contemporary sociologist point out that many important occupations such as
childcare workers are poorly paid for as many nonessential occupations like
professional sports and entertainment are highly paid
Conflict perspective
Marx view Proletariat (Workers) by the bourgeoisie (owners of the means of production)
o Bourgeoisie accumulate wealth as they profit from the labour of the proletariat
who earns wages far below the earning s of the bourgeoisie
The profit is “surplus value” and its benefit always go to the owners of the means of
production rather than to the producer of the work
The educational institution fathers the ideal so capitalism by perpetuating the belief in
equal opportunity and the value of their work ethic
The proletariat dependent on the capitalistic system, learns to identify with capitalist
values instead of identifying their own needs
Members continue to be exploited and to accept the belief that poverty results from
personal failure rather than from a flawed economic structure
Wealth fare: governmental policies and regulations that economically favour the
wealthy
Corporate welfare: laws and policies that favour corporations such as low-interest
government loans to failing businesses and special subsidies and tax breaks to
corporations
“Free market” economic reforms policies have been hailed as a solution to poverty
o this can increase global poverty
Symbolic Interactionist Perspective
focus on the way poverty is defined and labelled as poor
individuals who are viewed as poor are stigmatized as lazy, irresponsible and lacking in
ability, motivation and more value
wealthy individuals tend to be viewed as capable, motivated, hard working, and
deserving of their wealth
the experience of poverty involves psychological dimensions such as powerlessness,
voicelessness, dependency, shame and humiliation
difference of wealth varies per country i.e. Dinka in Sub Saharan African called Sudan it
is based on cattle
Lewis accounted for the persistence of poverty, poor develop norms, values, beliefs, and
self-concepts that contribute to their own plight
Culture of poverty: the self of norms, values and beliefs and self-concepts that
contribute to the persistence of poverty among the underclass (female centred
households and emphasis on gratification in the present rather than the future
o Underclass: people living in persistent poverty
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