The article Being Poor, Black and American: The Impact of Political, Economic, and Cultural Forces written by William Julius Wilson is about the struggles and inequalities African Americans living in poverty encounter. Wilson discussed political, economic and cultural forces that have an impact on American impoverished communities. The author suggested the natural disaster of Hurricane Katrina brought the media and world attention to poverty in the United States. Prior to Katrina, the author believes Americans did not focus or sympathize with poor communities. This unsympathetic attitude stems from the belief that people are poor because they did not work hard enough, or are not doing anything to get out of that situation. After Katrina, Americans started to notice and care about the impoverished communities because the hurricane was a natural disaster and out of their control. Overall, the author explains how politics, economics and cultures forced many families into poverty, and diminishes the idea that people live in poverty because of their own shortcomings.
In Diana Georges “Changing the Face of Poverty”, she uses various examples of ads, brands, and organizations to show that the way poverty is portrayed has corrupted the understanding Americans have on poverty and what it really is. I agree with Diana George’s statement that the impression of poverty through visual imagery is distorted. Her essay examines many aspects of the misrepresentation of poverty. Society believes that they are doing more than what is actually being accomplished. The effect of her explanation allows for the audience to alter their opinion on the true image of poverty. Her use of real organizations within the community strengthens her approach.
As a main point of her argument, she argues that poverty is generally stereotyped into the poverty that would only be seen in Africa, or another third world country. To support this, she establishes a sense of ethos for her readers by citing other individuals that have also noticed the poverty representation gap. Seeing that poverty is a complex issue to begin with, George addresses this complexity by simply suggesting that it should be represented as such in the media. Nonprofit charities may now have to reconsider their
The purpose of this essay is to inform the reader of a real problem, media misrepresentation, and to try to have the reader change the way the think, feel, and perceive the poor. She gives examples of encounters she has had that are a result of the damaging depiction and conveys to the reader why those thoughts are wrong by using her own personal experiences. She mentions that before entering college she never thought about social class. However, the comments from both other students and her professors about poverty were alarming to her. Other people viewed the poor as, “shiftless, mindless, lazy, dishonest, and unworthy” indigents. Hook opposes that stereotypical image of the poor, referring back to being taught in a “culture of poverty,” the values to be intelligent, honest, and hard-working. She uses these personal experiences to her advantage by showing she has had an inside look at poverty.
In the article, “What’s So Bad about Being Poor” by Charles Murray, Murray states that “One of the great barriers to a discussion of poverty and social policy in the 1980s is that so few people who talk about poverty have ever been poor”. He discusses how, contrary to present day, in America up until the 1950s those in positions of influence and power included a sizable amount of people who had been raised “dirt-poor”. Murray states that, because of this, many Americans with their lack of exposure to such people, they develop a skewed perspective of what poverty is. On account of this, Murray challenges the reader with several thought experiments which he uses to help the reader come to certain conclusions that convey his message.
In 1964 President Kennedy started the process of making a substantial effort to eradicate poverty when he received a memo showing that the number of families that were poor at that time (which was below the $3000 threshold) would remain poor even with full-time work if changes were not made (Haveman, R ( 1 ), Blank, R ( 2 ), Moffitt, R ( 3 ), Smeeding, T ( 4 ), & Wallace, G ( 5 ), 2015). He also directed that antipoverty measures be included in the 1964 legislation when awareness of the plight of more than 40% of blacks living in poverty was made (Haveman, R ( 1 ) et al., 2015). After his untimely assassination President Johnson moved the plan forward signing the Economic Opportunity Bill into law in 1964 (Haveman, R ( 1 ) et al., 2015). A total of $800 million (equivalent to $6 billion in today’s dollars) was appropriated to the Executive agency Johnson created to address and oversee the programs that were to be used to combat poverty (Haveman, R ( 1 ) et al., 2015). Many of the programs had existed prior to 1964 but these efforts were targeted to “provide direct services to the poor, promote the development of human capital and stimulate social and community change.” (Haveman, R ( 1 ) et al., 2015) Medicaid was also created to provide for the poor and the farm community helped to expand the Food Stamp program (which also helped address concerns about food surplus), and Housing subsidy was expanded as well and most, if not all, of these programs continue in some form
What is your perception of the poor and less fortunate in society? Would you say that you have a low perception of them or do you regard them in the highest? Would you do your social duty to reach out to the poor and impoverished to assist them, or help assist, in establishing programs that would aid in leading them to a brighter future? These are the questions that I ask of myself as I read, “Seeing and Making Culture: Representing the Poor,” by bell hooks. My paper examines the perception that pop culture, society, and media have of the poor, as well as, the expectations and responsibilities of society to ensure a response to
Poverty is present in today’s U.S. social system. For example, as Lesser states in the Clearinghouse Review, “Forty-six million Americans live in poverty” (1). Lesser then goes on to say how forty-six million Americans living in poverty correlates to almost one in every three single-parent families is poor (1). This is a daunting fact as it applies to today’s economic context with “rising unemployment rates and mortgage crises driving more individuals and families to seek the support of a cash-strapped social welfare structure” (Grijalva 1). With this in mind, many legislators are discussing the topic of poverty in the political realm. In order to tally the score of representatives the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law conducted its sixth annual Poverty Scorecard. “The 2012 Poverty Scorecard grades the voting record of every U.S. senator and representative on the most important poverty-related votes in 2012” (Lesser 1). The 2012 votes covered a range of topics such as budget and tax, food and nutrition, health care, housing, and many more (1). The results of the 2012 Poverty
During times of extreme poverty and inequality more attention is provided to those in hardship. A prime example of this is New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit. Before the hurricane hit the only time I had hear of New Orleans was if someone was speaking about doing down to Mardi Gras. The people affected by the hurricane lost a lot. Many lost their homes, tangible possessions stored in their homes, animals, and some lost their lives. Hurricane Katrina was a huge devastation to the country, but many survivors say they did not get adequate supplies, shelter, food, or support (Lee, S, 2006).
The concepts of “worthy” and “unworthy” poor came about during the English Poor Laws that were introduced in the 1500’s. The English poor laws classified poor or dependent people into three major categories and established many requirement before aid was provided. Dependent persons were categorized as: vagrant (nomadic; with no permanent home or employment), the involuntary unemployed and the helpless. In effect, the poor laws separated the poor into two classes which were the worthy and the unworthy. The worthy were classified as orphans, widows, handicapped, or the frail elderly. The unworthy were the drunkards, suspicious, or lazy. (Hansan, J.E. (2011). Poor relief in early America)
Even though having the “poor class” is a necessary evil needed for society to function, most Americans, at some point in time, will experience what it is like to live in poverty or live below the poverty line. One main reason for having a high percentage of people living in poverty is because the U.S. policy makers have ignored the poor and have given tax breaks to those with a much higher income. Funding for welfare was slashed and extended unemployment benefits were ended. With little success with the economic reform the United States has been going through for the past five years, about 14.5 percent of Americans are still living under the poverty line.
Discussion of poverty in our media is rare because it does not catch the public’s attention. Media plays a big role in persuading the public’s opinion. If media portrayed children living in poverty as _________, then people who are not poor could actually believe them. However, if the media portrayed children in poverty just like everyone else, except trapped in a system, then_________. Usually if we hear about poverty in the media, it is described using harsh facts and statistics, rather than actual people.
This review is formulated with scholarly sources and references based off of poverty in America. This disclosure is approached with a value free sociological approach, and it will give insight on the social causes of poverty and the effects it has on America. Poverty is a very controversial topic. Many will assume that people living in poverty are lazy, made bad life decisions, or that they are solely the reason for their predicament however, people living in poverty would argue that their are deeper issues for it. Poverty will be deeply explained and researched from both perspectives
Yet there were many different ideas on what was seen as real ‘need’ and who was seen as deserving of welfare. In the Victorian era people were either deemed as ‘deserving’ or ‘undeserving’ poor; basically meaning that their poverty was either created by their own failings such as alcohol abuse or by eventualities which were out of their control such as job losses or illness (thus making them deserving) (Fraser, 1984). With the expansion of State welfare, and the bureaucracy which came with it, the poor were no longer categorised into deserving or undeserving instead their ‘needs’ were assessed. The
Nevertheless, the poor most often remain poor. This creates a jaded population of impoverished citizens. This is not to say that people are happy being poor, but that when one is taught by popular culture that they deserve better they become a victim. Someone or something has caused them to be poor; therefore, it is ultimately not their fault. One effect of this victimization is that it can breed complacency. Through whatever means, some reason, I will get what's coming to me. I am owed. Instead of using what meager opportunities are out there some will simply wait for their piece of the pie. Another effect of this idea of being a victim is the homeless are different than the mere poor because they must have done it to themselves. As they are owed just as much as everyone else, they must have done something to cause them to be homeless. This helps to calm the fear that perhaps being in America does not guarantee success or even a decent shot at it.