Presentation on theme: "Ruby Payne: The Culture of Poverty"— Presentation transcript:
1 Ruby Payne: The Culture of Poverty By: Kellie Tetrick, M.A. Ed.
2 Welcome! (Background and why we are learning about this?) Who is Ruby Payne?She is sometimes controversial with her research and techniquesShe admits this does not qualify as “research” against university standards because it does not have a “clean” methodology.This is a cognitive study – it looks at “thinking” or “mindsets” created by one’s environment.Some criticize her as being “classist”… you may too but it is not the intent of hers or my message to you today.Dr. Payne does not want to or for us to make EXCUSES for behaviors of people/students in poverty.
3 Raise your hand if you identify with the following: I know which grocery stores’ garbage bins can be accessed for thrown away food.I know how to get a library card.I fly in my own plane or my company plane.I know how to get a gun, even if I have a police record.I know how to place an order in a nice restaurant.I can read a menu in French, English and another language.I have at least two or three “screens” that keep people whom I do not wish to see away from me.
4 Raise your and if you agree with the following: Only minorities live in poverty.There is no way out of poverty.People who live in poverty never work.Most children living in poverty have both parents.Most children whose parents who are immigrants live in poverty.Fewer children of native-born parents live in poverty.59% of poor renters spend 50% of their income on shelter.47% of daughters born to parents in poverty stay in poverty compared to 35% of the sons. (!!!!)Education has no effect on births out of wedlock.
5 What is Poverty??Please talk with the person next to you and jot down:How would YOU define poverty??Who is affected by it?How do you think a person can get out of it?How do you think poverty affects education?
6 Poverty is…Lack of money or material possessions (The Merriam-Webster Dictionary).Poverty is relative – if everybody around you has similar circumstances, the notion of poverty and wealth is vague. (We was poor but we was rich?)Poverty occurs in all races and in all countries.Not a clear-cut distinction – in 2006 the poverty line in the U.S. was considered to be $20,444 for a family of four.
7 What Causes Poverty? Behaviors of the Individual Talk with your neighbor and jot down what you think are the causes of poverty.Behaviors of the IndividualHuman and Social Capital in the CommunityExploitationPolitical/Economic Structures
8 WHAT CAUSES POVERTY? Behaviors of the Individual Human and Social Capital in the CommunityExploitationPolitical/Economic StructuresDefinition:Research on thechoices,behaviors,characteristics,and habits ofpeople in poverty.resources availableto individuals,communities, andbusinesses.Research onhow people inpoverty areexploitedbecause theyare in poverty.Research on the economic,political, and socialpolicies at theinternational,national, state, and locallevels.Sample topics:Dependence onwelfareMoralityCrimeSingle parenthoodBreakup of familiesIntergenerationalcharacter traitsWork ethicRacism anddiscriminationCommitment toachievementSpending habitsAddiction, mentalillness, domesticviolencePlanning skillsOrientation to thefutureLanguage experienceIntellectual capitalSocial capitalAvailability of jobs Availability of well-paying jobsRacism and discriminationAvailability and qualityof educationAdequate skill setsChildcare for workingfamiliesDecline in neighborhoodsDecline in social moralityUrbanizationSuburbanization ofmanufacturingMiddle class flightCity and regionalplanningDrug tradePayday lendersSub-prime lendersLease/purchaseoutletsGamblingTemp workSweatshopsSex tradeInternet scamsGlobalizationEquity and growthCorporate influence onlegislatorsDeclining middle classDe-industrializationJob lossDecline of unionsTaxation patternsSalary ratio of CEO toline workerImmigration patternsEconomic disparityLabel the columns 1, 2, 3, and 4, starting with behaviors of the individual as 1.Raise your hand if you have causes listed in column 1. Look around the room to see who agrees with you.Raise your hand if you have causes listed in column 2. Look around the room to see who agrees with you.Raise your hand if you have causes listed in column 3. Look around the room to see who agrees with you.Raise your hand if you have causes listed in column 4. Look around the room to see who agrees with you.Take a moment to talk to your neighbor.The following conclusions are drawn from this module:There is good research in all four areas.We need a continuum of strategies to cover all causes of poverty if we want to end poverty and create prosperity.Dr. Ruby K. Payne offers a new lens through which communities can analyze and address poverty. According to Alice O’Connor, author of Poverty Knowledge, race and gender are the typical analytic categories. Payne says the analytic category of economic class is also needed.
9 (Generational and Situational Poverty are very different, how?) Model for Classes:Intergenerational transfer of knowledge – it takes 3 generations out of poverty to become college educated.GP – SP – MC – NM – OM(Generational and Situational Poverty are very different, how?)Three generation rule – wealthy families lose their money by the 3rd generationAn individual moves back and forth on a continuum—from generational poverty (GP)/situational poverty (SP) to middle class (MC) to new money (NM) to old money (OM)—generally one economic level per generation.The pattern is that it takes three generations on average before a member of your family attends college if you come into a country as an unskilled immigrant.Knowledge gained by one generation being passed on to the next generation is called “intergenerational transfer of knowledge.”On average, 90% of wealthy families have lost their wealth by the end of the third generation.The first generation that attends college often chooses service careers in teaching and government.In order to graduate from college, an individual must learn to navigate the world using the hidden rules of middle class.A family moves from generational poverty/situational poverty to middle class to new money to old money generally one economic level per generation.(GP) generational poverty(SP) situational poverty(MC) middle class(NM) new money (OM) old money9
10 MENTAL MODEL FOR POVERTY What It’s Like NowMental model of poverty:A mental model gives the big picture in a few moments; the mental model communicates the “why.” For example, by looking at the mental model, you can see that when you’re in poverty, you need people to survive, to “get by.” That is why relationships are critical in generational poverty.People in poverty are:busy trying to solve immediate, concrete problemsbased on how stable their environment isand the ability to make choicesand imagine what the future might bringThere are some people in our society who are so busy solving immediate, concrete problems that they don’t have a chance to think about the future. They are living in the “tyranny of the moment” and do not have future stories. Consequently, people live without the opportunity to make a big difference in their communities. That sense of powerlessness often makes it difficult for people to get any traction to make necessary personal changes. This mental model helps us understand the interlocking nature of what happens in poverty.Transportation always shows up on the pie because when you’re in poverty, you cannot afford a reliable car. How many of you are AAA members or have some other roadside assistance program? When your car dies, you pull over and call AAA. But in poverty you don’t call AAA, you call Uncle Ray, and he comes out with a truck and a chain and hauls your car back home. Uncle Ray is the reason that the word relationships is written across the pie. When you don’t have AAA, you need Uncle Ray.What do people in poverty in your community tell you about housing? Have your audience think of someone they know who is in poverty. Create a floor plan of that person’s home. Put the initials of every person who sleeps in the home in the room in which they sleep. Are people sleeping in the living room? Couch surfing? Are people sleeping in the kitchen? Is the home crowded? Are people doubling up? Analyze housing for safety, health issues, a good night’s sleep, the impact on children, the impact on someone trying to feed the household, who is welcome and who isn’t, and how hard it is to fight lice.With recent HUD rule changes on Section 8 housing, the United States will lose 800,000 Section 8 housing vouchers by That means in Ohio, for example, that 38,000 families will be looking for a place to stay. We use this data to present the history of the issue of affordable housing in the U.S.One mental model or paradigm we encounter in most communities is that people in poverty don’t work. The reality is that people in poverty do work (sometimes two or three jobs), but the work doesn’t help them achieve economic stability. Some economists say that economic stability is usually around 60–70% of the average household income in the U.S., which is currently about $34,000/year. In other words, just over $20,000/year would be considered the amount of household income that could result in minimum “economic stability.”This slide is another way of making the point that the arithmetic of life doesn’t work for people at the bottom of the economic ladder.Research done by Philip DeVol in 2004 with adults in poverty—welfare to work transition program.
11 People in Poverty … Busy trying to solve immediate, concrete problems Believe in FATE above all determines the futureFew have a “future story”When something bad happens, everything tends to pile up…
12 Mental Model for Middle Class MENTAL MODEL FOR MIDDLE CLASS This is a mental model of middle class.Take a minute to look over the elements in this pie. Now compare and contrast this environment with poverty. Let’s look at stability, time horizon, choice, future story, problem solving skills, and power.Basically this is a picture of stability and higher resources. Higher resources give those with economic stability the “luxury” of choice and future story. Education and achievement are driving forces that glue the elements together.Relationships are important in middle class, but relationships are more interdependent. Relationships are not about survival, but they are expected to incorporate stability.The mental model of middle class is also woven together by the formal register of language used to negotiate systems and organizations.This is a world where planning and resources attempt to keep poor choices and crises at bay. When a crisis does occur, there are usually significant amounts of resources, including social capital, available to stop a downward spiral into massive instability. In poverty one often can’t stop bad things from happening, as one crisis often leads to a pileup of crises in a short period of time.The mental models of class show us where the hidden rules originate.Research done by Ruby K. Payne (2004).
13 Talk with your neighbor, how are the mental models different for middle class and poverty? Higher resources give those with economic stability the “luxury” of choice and future story.Education and achievement are driving forces that glue the elements together.Relationships are not about survival, but they are expected to incorporate stability.When a crisis does occur, there are usually significant amounts of resources, including social capital, available to stop a downward spiral into massive instability.
14 Mental Model for Wealth MENTAL MODEL FOR WEALTH This mental model is provided so that the audience can see where the hidden rules of class, including the wealthy class, come from.Analyze this mental model for stability, time horizon, problem solving strategies, and power.The environment of poverty is unstable, so people have to focus on solving immediate, concrete problems. The environment of middle class is more stable; because people have today covered, they worry about the future and focus on planning. The environment of wealth is so stable that people don’t worry about today or tomorrow.The time horizon in poverty is the present. The time horizon in middle class is two to four years; people can make plans two to four years in advance and reasonably expect to see them through. The time horizon in wealth is two decades.People in poverty have personal power, strength, and fighting ability, but they can’t stop bad things from happening in the neighborhood or community. People in middle class have the power of the institutions because the institutions are run on middle class rules and norms. People in wealth have the power to influence and shape policy and the direction of the community.Our point is that to create sustainable communities, we must have all three classes at the table. It helps greatly if we understand one another’s environments and hidden rules.
15 Other ideas on class:People in poverty have personal power, strength, and fighting ability, but they can’t stop bad things from happening in the neighborhood or community.People in middle class have the power of the institutions because the institutions are run on middle class rules and norms.People in wealth have the power to influence and shape policy and the direction of the community.
16 Where do you fit in class?? Most teachers are usually from middle to upper middle class families.We are idealistic and want to help others, rather than make a fortune.Most schools operation on Middle Class norms and language.
17 Identity:Of the following which how would many of your male students identify himself?Worker?Smart?Lover?Fighter?
18 Characteristics of Generation Poverty Background “noise” – Almost always the TV is on, no matter what the circumstance. Conversation is participatory, often with more than one person talking at a time.Importance of personality – Individual personality is what one brings to the setting – because money is not brought. The ability to entertain, tell stories, and have a sense of humor is highly valued.
19 Significance of entertainment – When one can merely survive, then the respite from the survival is important. In fact, entertainment brings respite.Importance of relationships – One only has people upon whom to rely, and those relationships are important to survival. One often has favorites.Oral-language tradition – Casual register is used for everythingMatriarchal structure – The mother has the most powerful position in the society if she functions as a caretaker
20 Survival orientation – discussion of academic topics is generally not prized. There is little room for the abstract. Discussions center around people and relationships. A job is about making enough money to survive. A job is not about a career.Identity tied to rescuer/martyr role for women – A “good” woman is expected to take care of and rescue her man and her children as needed.Importance of non-verbal/kinesthetic communication – Touch is used to communicate, as are space and non-verbal emotional communication.Ownership of people – People are possessions. There is a great deal of fear and comment about leaving the culture and “getting above your raisings”
21 Negative orientation – Failure at anything is the source of stories and numerous belittling comments.Discipline – Punishment is about penance and forgiveness, not change.Belief in fate – Choice is seldom consideredPolarized thinking – Options are hardly ever examined. Everything is polarized; it is one way or the other. (“I quit” and “I can’t do it”)Mating dance – The mating dance is about using the body in a sexual way and verbally and subverbally complimenting body parts. If you have few financial resources, the way you sexually attract someone is with your body.
22 Time – Time occurs only in the present Time – Time occurs only in the present. The future does not exist except as a word. Time is flexible and not measured. Time is often assigned on the basis of the emotional significance and not the actual measured time.Sense of humor – A sense of humor is highly valued, as entertainment is one of the key aspects of poverty. Humor is almost always about people – either situations that people encounter or things people do to other people.
23 Lack of order/organization – Many of the homes/apartments of people in poverty are unkempt and cluttered. Devices for organization (files, planners, etc.) don’t exist.Lives in the moment – does not consider future ramifications: Being proactive, setting goals and planning ahead are not a part of generational poverty. Most of what occurs is reactive and in the moment. Future implications of present actions are seldom considered.
24 Even in telling me some of those stories that involve a great deal of humiliation at the hands of hospital or welfare personnel, she usually manages to find something that’s funny in the madness of it all and keeps on saying things that make both of us laugh. - Jonothan Kozol Amazing Grace
25 ResourcesSome would debate the definition of poverty is “the extent to which an individual does with out resources.”With your students you can best help them by identifying what resources they DO have and how to build on that.Then, try to build their resources so s/he may be more successful upon entering society.
26 Key Resources Financial – money to purchase goods. Emotional – Being able to choose and control emotional responses.Mental – Having the mental abilities and acquired skills (reading, writing, computing,) to deal with daily life.Spiritual – believing in divine purpose and guidance.Physical – having physical health and mobility.Support Systems – friends, family, backup resources.Relationships/role model – having frequent access to adults who are appropriate who are nurturing.** Knowledge of Hidden Rules** - knowing the unspoken cues and habits of a group.
27 Hidden Rules:Hidden rules are the “unspoken cues and habits of a group.”These rules become part of your belief system and guide how you behave.Relationships can be broken when you do not know the hidden rules.Hidden rules can limit your interaction with people who are different from you.*** Hidden rules should not predict other people’s behaviors .
28 HIDDEN RULES FOR ECONOMIC CLASS POVERTYMIDDLE CLASSWEALTHPOSSESSIONSPeople.Things.One-of-a-kind objects, legacies, pedigrees.MONEYTo be used, spent.To be managed.To be conserved, invested.PERSONALITYIs for entertainment.Sense of humor is highly valued.Is for acquisition and stability.Achievement is highly valued.Is for connections.Financial, political, social connections are highly valued.SOCIALEMPHASISSocial inclusion of the people they like.Emphasis is on self-governance and self-sufficiency.Emphasis is on social exclusion.FOODKey question: Did you have enough?Quantity important.Key question: Did you like it?Quality important.Key question: Was it presented well?Presentation important.CLOTHINGClothing valued for individual style and expression of personality.Clothing valued for its quality and acceptance into the norms of middle class. Label important.Clothing valued for its artistic sense and expression.Designer important.TIMEPresent most important.Decisions made for moment based on feelings or survival.Future most important.Decisions made against future ramifications.Traditions and past history most important.Decisions made partially on basis of tradition decorum.Hidden Rules of Economic ClassThese are the hidden rules of economic class in poverty, middle class, and wealth.
29 Hidden Rules of Economic Class HIDDEN RULES FOR ECONOMIC CLASS POVERTYMIDDLE CLASSWEALTHEDUCATIONValued and revered as abstract but not as reality.Education is about facts.Crucial for climbing success ladder and making money.Necessary tradition for making and maintaining connections.DESTINYBelieves in fate. Cannot do much to mitigate chance.Believes in choice. Can change future with good choices now.Noblesse oblige.LANGUAGECasual register. Language is about survival.Formal register. Language is about negotiation.Formal register.Language is about connection.FAMILY STRUCTURETends to be matriarchal.Tends to be patriarchal.Depends on who has/controls money.WORLD VIEWSees world in terms of local setting.Sees world in terms of national setting.Sees world in terms of an international view.LOVELove and acceptance conditional, based on whether individual is liked.Love and acceptance conditional, based largely on achievement.Love and acceptance conditional, related to social standing and connections.DRIVING FORCESSurvival, relationships, entertainment.Work and achievement.Financial, political, social connections.
30 Hidden rules can limit your interaction with people who are different from you. Don’t try to discuss or reframe hidden rules unless there is a relationship of mutual respect.Use the understanding of hidden rules to create relationships of mutual respect.The more rules one knows, the more “middle class games” someone from poverty can play.The wider the range of your responses, the more control you have over your situation—and the more opportunities become open to you.
31 Registers of Language REGISTERS OF LANGUAGE REGISTER EXPLANATION FROZENLanguage that is always the same.For example: Lord’s Prayer, wedding vows, etc.FORMALThe standard sentence syntax and word choice of work and school. Has complete sentences and specific word choice. (What we use at school and work)CONSULTATIVEFormal register when used in conversation. Discourse pattern not quite as direct as formal register. (Mix)CASUALLanguage between friends, characterized by a 400- to 800-word vocabulary. Word choice general and not specific. Conversation dependent upon nonverbal assists. Sentence syntax often incomplete.INTIMATELanguage between lovers or twins. Language of sexual harassment.In 1967 Martin Joos, a Dutch linguist, found that every language in the world has five registers.The first register is frozen: words that are always the same, like the Lord's Prayer, U.S. Pledge of Allegiance, and wedding vows. Literally, the words don't change. They're frozen.Formal: What most of us use at school and work. It has about a 1,200- to 1,600-word working vocabulary. Often formal register is in writing.Consultative tends to be more spoken, and it's a mix of casual and formal.Casual register is language between friends. It comes out of the oral-language tradition of any group of people. It has about a 400- to 800-word working vocabulary.Intimate register is what is used between lovers and twins: highly private language about private activities. But intimate register is also the language of sexual harassment.You can go up or down one register in a conversation and it's socially acceptable. But if you go up or down two registers or more, people are often offended.Maria Montaño-Harmon, a linguist in California, found that in generational poverty virtually all that the adults and students know is casual register.Use the registers of language as a teaching tool. Many times when students say, "I don't know what that means," they cannot say it in your words. How much time do we give them to translate something from casual register to formal register? Try translating the Pledge of Allegiance from frozen to formal. See how difficult that is?Students get referred for discipline because of language issues when they're in the wrong register.A sixth-grade boy was sent to the office because he told the teacher that something "sucked." Well, part of his discipline was to find two ways to say "sucked" in formal register. His first translation was, "I don't like this work." His second translation was, "There's no longer any joy in this activity.”When students speak in casual register, have them come up with two other ways to say it in formal register. Give information to parents and students in story form.Adapted from Martin Joos
32 You can go up or down one register in a conversation and it's socially acceptable. But if you go up or down two registers or more, people are often offended.Maria Montaño-Harmon, a linguist in California, found that in generational poverty virtually all that the adults and students know is casual register.
33 Use the registers of language as a teaching tool Use the registers of language as a teaching tool. Many times when students say, "I don't know what that means," they cannot say it in your words. How much time do we give them to translate something from casual register to formal register? Try translating the Pledge of Allegiance from frozen to formal. See how difficult that is?
34 Students may get referred for discipline because of language issues when they're in the wrong register.A sixth-grade boy was sent to the office because he told the teacher that something "sucked." Well, part of his discipline was to find two ways to say "sucked" in formal register. His first translation was, "I don't like this work." His second translation was, "There's no longer any joy in this activity.”Idea: When students speak in casual register, have them come up with two other ways to say it in formal register. Give information to parents and students in story form.
36 To survive in poverty, one must rely upon nonverbal, sensory, and reactive skills To survive in school or work, one must use verbal, abstract and proactive skills. (PLANNING) (Think about how the modes of class restrict some children from success…)
37 The Paper World of the Middle Class Middle Class Abstract Items:GradesHouse deedAddressSocial Security NumberDaily To-do ListClock or CalendarHomeworkDriver’s LicenseMRI***Teacher Contract***
38 Two things that help a person out of poverty: KEY POINTTwo things that help a person out of poverty:EducationRelationshipsThere are two key things that help one move out of poverty: education and relationships. Money helps you get past survival mode and allows you time to devote to learning.38
39 Four reasons one moves out of poverty are: Too painful to stay KEY POINTFour reasons one moves out of poverty are:Too painful to stayVision or goalKey relationshipSpecial talent/skillThere tend to be four reasons one leaves poverty:* It’s too painful to stay.* A vision or goal.* A key relationship.* A special talent or skill.39
40 What does this mean to us as educators??? Consider the kids you work with and where they come fromThink about words/hidden language they do not understandMake things visualTeach them the social cues/norms they do not know.ReflectALWAYS start confrontation in the tone you would like to end it.
41 We Make a DIFFERENCE!!!Locate a resilient kid and you will also find a caring adult – or several – who has guided him.- Invincible KidsU.S. News and World Report
42 Thank you so much for your time Please feel free to me at if you have any questions or would like to discuss this further!I’m just down the road!