Poverty in American Society

1736 Words7 Pages
There is a diversity of faces and voices that define people that are currently living in poverty. If you seen them on the street would you know them? Who are these unfortunate people? Do you think you could point them out? Where do they come from? While some impoverished people are apparent -many are hidden and walk amongst us everyday, fighting to survive, playing the societal game, and hoping to rise up and leave behind a life of poverty and despair. The impoverished is made up of people from all aspects of life with differences in age, race, color, and ethnicity. This group also includes fallen power elitists; impoverished by greed or over consumption of addiction. The issues of poverty and homelessness go hand and hand. The two are so closely intertwined that we often fail to see that they are in reality one problem, and that the homeless, excluding the handicapped, the aged, and the mentally ill, is merely the most severe expression of it. Charity and handouts do not solve the problems, although they often soften the blow. The impoverished continue to fight their battle to survive, and hope, and pray that the next day will be better then the last. When we speak of the poor, we speak as though they are an unchanging and faceless group to be pity despised or feared. To talk of the "poverty problem" is to talk of some depersonalized permanent fixture on the U.S. landscape. The poverty is people, it's people standing in welfare lines, it's people standing in soup kitchen lines and unemployment lines. It's people living in rat-infested projects and people sleeping on the streets. It's people struggling to acquire things that the rest of society takes for granted. It's people coming up short in their quest for th... ... middle of paper ... ... Review of Sociology, 21, 237-267. Federman, M., Garner T.I., & Short, K. (1997). What does it mean to be poor in america. Monthly Labor Review, 111 3-17. Gibbs, N.R. (1995). Working harder, getting nowhere. Time, 146 16-20. Goldman, R. H. (1999). Food and food poverty: perspectives on distribution. Social Research, 66 (1), 283-304. Hale, T. (1999). The working poor. Monthly Labor Review, 120, 47-48. Russel, C. (1997). Who's poor. American Demographics, 18 8-12. Susser, I. (1997). The Construction of poverty and homelessness in u.s. cities. Annual Review of Anthropology, 25, 411-435. Thomas S. L. (1997). Women, welfare, reform and the preservation of a myth. The Social Science Journal, 34 (3). 351-368. U.S. Census Bureau. (1999). Federal poverty guidelines (WWW document). URL www.census.gov/hhes/poverty/povmeas/falstp.html
Open Document