Essay On Poverty In The United States
Type of paper: Essay
Topic: Poverty, Social Issues, Sociology, Poor, Government, Wellness, Politics, Society
Finding the culprit of poverty is like finding a needle in a haystack. A person saying that he wants to eradicate poverty is naïve as it is a complex social problem bound by various factors such as personality, education, family history, culture, and government policies/efforts. The whole society is responsible for it.
Conflict theory and structural-functionalism explains poverty concisely. Conflict theory asserts that the social stratification is dysfunctional and not beneficial to the society, but remains because of the needs of the rich and powerful. Structural-functionalism believes that every social stratum including the poor contribute in some way to the overall stability of the social structure. To simplify, conflict theory blames elites while structural functionalism asserts that poverty is natural and serves to balance everything. The poor can be held responsible for their poverty as they don’t aspire to climb the ladder of success (conflict theory), or just enjoy being poor as it is the natural order of things (structural-functionalism). The elite and the government are not without sin, however. Popular culture, the American dream and corporate hierarchy are all inventions of the rich and the government. The government is also biased with the rich as they are the drivers of the economy. In summary, the poor are victims of both themselves and others. A complex problem such as poverty is a result of an unequal society. No matter what approach we look at, the rich, the poor, the middle class, and the government are all responsible. In the long run however, if we are the poor ones, blaming others for our economic status is too much for being unfair to the whole society. Nobody gets rich or middle class just by sitting around doing nothing.
“Explaining Poverty: The Sociological Debate.” Boundless Sociology. 27 Jun. 2014. Web. 2 Mar. 2015 from https://www.boundless.com/sociology/textbooks/boundless-sociology-textbook/stratification-inequality-and-social-class-in-the-u-s-9/poverty-78/explaining-poverty-the-sociological-debate-464-3314/