Diverty Theory: Oscar Lewis Culture Of Poverty

1325 Words6 Pages
1.) The poverty line is disputed to be set too low by some, in order for poverty to be present there has to be many unfortunate circumstances existing, in other words, the standard of living for those in poverty has to be barely livable. Our SSI text states that the official definition of poverty in regards to nutrition is that a person is expected to live on less than a dollar per meal, this is not a healthy way to live long term (Kerbo, 2012). Another criticism of the poverty line is that it is measured on income prior to taxes being taken out. This means there are many families that are absolutely living in poverty but are not accounted for or even considered for any government benefits because of the way the income is calculated. One other…show more content…
Our SSI text states that on a family level the children have a shorter childhood and are thrust into adult-like situations at a faster rate, on an individual level poverty makes people feel helpless, dependent and inferior (Kerbo, 2012). I feel the culture of poverty theory does have some truth to it, such as the lack of ego and self-worth of poor people, it’s an obvious conclusion because being poor is not glamorous or enjoyable. I do think that stereotyping people in poverty to certain categories or deciding the traits the poor have is not fair. There is a line on page 263 of our SSI text that I completely agreed with in relation to this theory, “When we focus on specific values and actual behavior, we find wide variance among many groups in the society” (Kerbo, 2012). There are many people in poverty that decide to make a change and better their circumstances, there are many who don’t, there are many who are also perpetuating the circle of poverty in their families, regardless being poor does not mean they don’t have any values or are simply complacent in their…show more content…
Our SSI text explains that “the poor are reacting realistically to their situation”, in other words, the poor have learned to live with their situation and therefore they accept the fact that their values are as such because anything more would be unattainable for them (Kerbo, 2012). In this view of poverty, the reasons for poverty are not due to the differences from the poor and the middle class, it is due to their situations. I agree with this view of poverty more than the culture of poverty argument, because personally I feel most people in society are not complacent with being poor their entire lives. The situational view of poverty focuses on the social and economic circumstances that are the source of poverty instead of the individual reasons, like the attitudes, values and behaviors of the poor regarded with the culture of poverty view. There are certain times in some individual’s lives where they have to experience poverty, such as after an injury or a death in the family, they may experience poverty for a time, but it is not a learned trait through
Open Document