How Has The Definition Of Poverty Changed Over Time?

896 WordsFeb 11, 20164 Pages
How has the definition of poverty changed over time? The definition of poverty has changed overtime because it is defined in several ways. The basic needs perspective defines poverty “as the lack of resources to fulfill basic human needs including food, health, and education. The capabilities perspective defines poverty as the absence of opportunities to achieve capabilities to be sheltered, well nourished, adequately clothed, healthy, and active in the community” (Chapin, 2014, p.308). This perspective focuses on which groups have the capacity to secure opportunities for their family to succeed and what prospects can make that possible. Asset poverty centers on lack of wealth such as homes, stocks and savings accounts and strategies to increase asset accumulation for low-income families. The income perspective is people are considered poor if their income falls below a certain threshold or poverty line. The government uses the income guidelines to determine if people are eligible for services such as food stamps and TANF to name a few examples. Absolute poverty “is a system whereby, the government determines an objective income-level threshold or poverty line which is used as a measure of who is poor. Poverty can also be defined in terms of a relative poverty threshold. Relative poverty is influenced heavily by societal standards that determine a threshold of income that allows people to afford what is generally considered to be an adequate standard of living at a given

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