Analysis Of Oscar Lewis As The Culture Of Poverty Essay

Analysis Of Oscar Lewis As The Culture Of Poverty Essay

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The idea that people of poor communities conform to a living standard and behavior is a concept described by Oscar Lewis as the culture of poverty. It is the belief that poor people consists of their own beliefs and values and behaviors. And more than 45 years later after the term, the culture of poverty paradigm remains the same: there is a consistent and observable culture that is shared by people in poverty. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as the culture of poverty. differences in behaviors and values among those that are poor are just as significant as those between wealthy and poor. The culture of poverty is a construct of smaller stereotypes which seem to have implanted themselves into the collective conscience of mainstream thought as undeniable fact. However, as we will see, nothing could be further from the truth. Based on 6 most common myths of what defines poor from wealthy, I will provide evidence to the contrary.

The Misconceptions of Being Poor

Myth 1: People are poor because they are lazy and refuse to work.
The truth is that poor people do not have a weak work ethic or lower motivations than that of wealthier people. 60% of children from low income families have at least one parent working full time and year round. Another 83% have at least one parent employed. What seems to be at stake here is the shortage of living wage jobs which translates to working adults having to work two, three and even four jobs. Poor working adults actually spend more time working than the wealthier workers in the same market.

Myth 2: Most poor people are minorities.
Despite the routine portrayal of poor people as African American or Latino, most of the poor in the U.S. are white. According to the census numbers of 2013,...

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... their social stature, generally derived from example or a common misinterpretation of the facts. American history has shown our nation as one of the wealthiest nations in the world and the misconception that even if one is poor, one is still fairly well off than the poor in other nations. And while we do have charitable and governmental assistance for those in the poverty level, we simply do not have a guarantee for the quality of life at the level other countries provide. Charity and government assistance programs are effective, however the effects can be hard to determine as census taking on the impoverished in America is increasingly difficult. The numbers will never be accurate, but census can only account for a percentage of charity. It’s up to the individual to change one’s perspective to make any real change on how we perceive our fellow man, woman and child.

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