Attitudes on Poverty Essay

1636 Words 7 Pages
Poverty is an issue affecting the whole globe, and the United States is no exception. Reading, Pennsylvania, the site of our study, has the largest share of its residents living in poverty in the United States according the Census Bureau data (Tavernise 2011). With poverty clearly an issue to its inhabitants, we are going to investigate locals’ attitudes towards poverty. Items that affect peoples’ opinions on poverty include local context, political views, religion and education, race, gender, and family structure.
LOCAL CONTEXT
In his study Daniel Hopkins (2009) looked at the effect local context had on Americans’ portrayals of poverty. He focused on two major views of poverty: poverty in structural terms and poverty in
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The individualistic category and structuralist category coincide with Hopkin’s (2009) study. The fatalistic category places the cause of poverty on the non-social-structural forces such as bad luck, sickness, and physical handicaps. After conducting a survey in the Los Angeles County, Hunt (2009) discovered that structuralist explanations of poverty were favored over individualistic explanations by respondents. Hunt (2009) also took into consideration race and ethnicity with poverty beliefs. Results of the survey showed that Latinos and African Americans are more structuralist than whites on poverty (Hunt 2009).
The results of Hunt’s (2009) study can be used to further implement the conclusion of Hopkins (2009) study, that an area’s views on poverty is strongly influenced by the local area. Because Hunt (2009) only surveyed people in Los Angeles, his results were based on a particular area, and Los Angeles is heavily populated by Latinos and African Americans.
POLITICAL VIEWS
James Robinson (2009) performed three different studies involving perceptions of poverty. His studies were focused around two inquiries: is there a continuum for viewpoints of poverty with strong individualism at one end and strong structuralism at the other with a balanced mix in the middle and if so, what influences location on the continuum. In his first study, he looked at the 1990 General Social Survey and performed regression analyses on many aspects of the
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