, Research Paper
Evaluate different sociological approach to the definition of poverty
The definition of poverty is the centre of a farce debut. This is if the definition is absolute or relative poverty. The farce intensity of this debut became prominent in the late part of the 19th century and the early parts of the 20th century. This was when people started to feel that some thing most is do about the growing level of inequality and poverty . This was the founding step of the welfare state and the benefits system in action today. This then started people thinking how to judge if people needed these benefits and how best to measure whom should. Different sociological view have different view on the matter not only weather absolute or relative poverty is the corrected definition but how to solve the problem of poverty if poverty is the problem at all.
All thou the new right are not a sociological group in essence it still holds a view of sociological matters. The new right has very definite views on this matter. They feel that the people are only poor if they lack the things that are needed for life. This is food, water, clean air and shelter; this is absolute poverty. In this model very few people within our society are defined as in poverty and only the third world countries have a large amount of the population that are defined as within poverty. The view of the new right is that the work is out there for the poor to build their way up out of poverty but they are to lazy to do so.
Most sociologists of developed industrial countries are more inclined to that of the relative poverty as a definition. This is that in comparison to the others within the society there is always an eliminate of poverty within the society. They are the ones that are below the average life style of the rest of the society. More liberals thinking theories then the right wing of the new right favour this.
With in developed countries there is the question of material depravation or multiple depravation. Material depravation is the depravation of objects; this is a material object that is not essential for life but luxury items but can include shelter and objects need or advisable to live a health life. Multiple depravation is not the restriction of object or the lack of them but the restriction of choice and opportunity that is almost impossible for the individual to get them selves out of.
The Marxists in part agree with the relative definition of poverty but feel that poverty is not the issue. They feel that looking at poverty distracts from the wider picture. That it is not poverty that is important but that of inequality. But the Marxists say that they have curie for both relative and absolute poverty. This is of course communism, the Marxist believes that absolute poverty well be removed with the removal of all forms of stratification and the redistribution of wealth. The problem of relative poverty will be removed as in communism every one is equal and no one would be in a better position then an other.
The extensive sociological literature on poverty overlaps with that on race, ethnicity, subcultures, the underclass and stratification generally- more so in the United States than in Britain. The study of poverty is central to any examinations of social inequality, including an analysis of who is poor and the reasons for their poverty. In the UK, there is no set poverty line although some commentators use eligibility for, and claiming of, social benefits as a measure of the extent of poverty. Using this criterion 17% of the British population or about nine million people, were officially poor in 1986. However, this excludes all the people who are eligible for benefits but do not claim them, those that are not eligible and those that are just above the arbitrary line plus those how have fallen in to the poverty trap. Categorise of poor people in industrialised societies usually include the unemployed, people in lowpaid or part time employment, the sick and disabled, older people, members of large families and single parents families. Although the poor have often been blamed for their poverty, which is seen as the consequence of some form of personal inadequacy such as fecklessness or idleness, most studies explain the existence of poverty in terms of the social and economic structures of industrialised societies poverty studies have been criticised for not recognising that poverty may result if the income of a man. Although well above the poverty line, is not equitably shared between all members of the family. Thus the burden of poverty falls particularly on women.
Just as poverty is seen to be an indicator of class and gender relations in an industrial society, so poverty has been seen as an indicator of unequal economic relations between different countries. The poverty of the third world countries being directly related to the accumulation of wealth in developed countries.
When it comes do to the debut if relative or absolute measures of poverty come to a conclusion, which is the dominant is still unclear. They both hold their own merits. Relative measures of poverty are good at looking at a society and inequality within those societies. Absolute measures of poverty are good for looking at poverty across different countries and a globe measure of poverty. Neither of the measure of relative or absolute poverty is better then the other but they be used in different areas to different effects.