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POVERTY, WELFARE AND SOCIAL EXCLUSION. Income Poverty Poverty is defined as the inability of a person or a household to satisfy their basic economic needs,

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Presentation on theme: "POVERTY, WELFARE AND SOCIAL EXCLUSION. Income Poverty Poverty is defined as the inability of a person or a household to satisfy their basic economic needs,"— Presentation transcript:


2 Income Poverty Poverty is defined as the inability of a person or a household to satisfy their basic economic needs, calculated based on the value of goods consumed as measured by expenditures.

3 Absolute/Relative Poverty Poverty is divided into two as absolute and relative poverty. Absolute poverty refers to people who have no basic requirements that is necessary for human existence. These requirements are more or less universally defined for all people. Relative Poverty relates poverty to the overall standards of living in a particular society. It is culturally defined differently from one society to another according to some criteria, (running water, health care, can be defined as luxuries in some societies but some other things could be necessary).

4 Relative Poverty Basic criterion is ‘poverty line’ that defines price of basic goods needed for human survival in particular society. Relative poverty causes deprivation and understanding of relative poverty changes in time as society develops. As societies become more affluent, standards that define ‘relative poverty’ rise. The gap between richest and poorest groups in society is becoming more considerable.

5 Measuring Poverty To measure poverty the most common technique is to determine a ‘poverty line’ calculating prices of basic goods for human survival. People have income below average (the level of supplementary benefit) as living in poverty. Townsend (1987)’s study stresses that people have subjective understanding of poverty. According to this study, people think that their necessary incomes are on average 61% lower than the government minimum required income in Britain. Subjective perception of poverty sees differences between the household-perceived needs and their ability to meet those needs. Governments’ rates are lower than people’s perceptions and expectations.

6 Poverty is a global issue According to UN half of world population live less than 2 $ in a day. Growing inequalities between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have not’ in the world makes poverty as a global issue. Growth of professional/managerial job increased. Working class job opportunities in the labour market decreased.

7 Explaining Poverty Poor people show some commonalities like unemployment, part-time working, insecure job opportunities, being older or younger, coming from large families, being single parent, being woman, coming from ethnic or racial minorities, immigrants or asylum seekers and refugees. As a common trend poverty is measured by reference to the number of household living under below the average income that is “minimum power of purchase”. Poor people have less chance to escape from poverty.

8 Is poverty result of people’s natural capacities or consequence of their own personal upbringing? (Blame the victim) Poverty was a result of an inequality of pathology of individuals. The poor are people who have no skills and motivation. Individuals are responsible for their own poverty. There must be winners and losers in each society. It appeared as culture of poverty in 1970s which was seen in 19th century first. O. Lewis defines culture of poverty as transmitted pattern as a result of social and cultural atmosphere into which poor children are socialized. C. Murray says growth of the welfare state created a group of people who have no capacity of self help (dependency culture). Critic: This approach is individualizing poverty.

9 Is poverty a result of social structure? (Blame the system) Poverty is result of social structure/process. Explaining poverty emphasizes larger social processes that produce conditions of poverty that are difficult for individuals to overcome. Lack of ambition among the poor is not consequence but cause of forming dependency culture. Reducing poverty needs policy changes in the whole society. Critic: Surprising number of people are escaping from poverty.

10 Social Exclusion This term is wider than underclass but could be used interchangeably with underclass referring to ways in which individuals may become cut off from full involvement in society. Social exclusion refers to people who have less opportunities to reach self-betterment than majority of the population have. Full involvement to social life requires food, housing clothing etc but also public transportation, phone line etc. Considering social exclusion we have to pay attention to interaction between human agencies and also role of social forces in shaping people conditions.

11 Social Exclusion limited participation in community facilities. lower level of civil participation. having limited or weak social network, limited contact with others. it is a self-reproducing spiral meaning.Socially excluded people are re-excluded outside their own control. Social exclusion could be as a result of individual self-exclusion from society by refusing to go to school or to work etc.

12 Political Exclusion not having chance to make lobbying, participating rallies and contacting political representatives.

13 Economic Exclusion exclusion from the economy in terms of both production and consumption. deprived people have less chance to get full-time jobs and occupational opportunities.

14 Underclass in USA (by Wilson and Murray) Underclass debate in US mainly focuses on ethnic dynamics in class relations. Wilson says that the old racist barriers are getting lost against African-American middle class whom are discriminated by economic factors rather than racial problems. Wilson believes economic instability created a new multiple deprived groups which are ghetto poor with low education and high rate of crime. Murray stresses that government aids make African- American people dependent and accelerated their disadvantaged position.

15 Underclass in the EU Like USA in European countries underclass is closely linked to questions of race, ethnicity and migration. People from ethnic and racial minorities and migrant people are more likely to become underclass or loose their class structures. Underclass people are mostly native and second generation of migrants. They have less career development opportunities and less secure posts in labour market. There is a rapidly developing underclass in UK according to criteria developed by Murray. There is an opposition against Murray’s assumption raised by D.Gallie saying that there are little differences between working class and underclass groups in terms of political outlooks and work history.

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