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Understanding Poverty Part I

Understanding Poverty Part I

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Published by S.Rengasamy
Teaching material compiled by S.Rengasamy to teach poverty and related issues to students undergoing Master of Social Work /Community Development course in the Madurai Kamarai University affiliated colleges
Teaching material compiled by S.Rengasamy to teach poverty and related issues to students undergoing Master of Social Work /Community Development course in the Madurai Kamarai University affiliated colleges

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Published by: S.Rengasamy on May 06, 2010
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04/30/2013

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Compiled by
S.Rengasamy
 
   P   A   R   T  -   I
Definitions, Causes, Types & Effects of PovertyCulture of Poverty, Uses of Poverty, Feminizationof Poverty, Vicious cycle of
 
Poverty
 
 
S.Rengasamy -Understanding Poverty -Definitions, Causes & Consequences-(Part-I)
2
Contents
 
..................................................................................................... 9Diagram: Vicious Cycle of Poverty ................................................................................................ 9More Definitions of Poverty ......................................................................................................... 9More Explanations on Poverty .................................................................................................... 11Poverty Vulnerability & Inequality .............................................................................................. 12Deprivation ............................................................................................................................. 12 An Example of Severe Deprivation of Basic Human Need .............................................................. 12Box: The discovery of poverty ................................................................................................... 13Literature Review on Poverty ..................................................................................................... 14Poverty Basic Facts .................................................................................................................. 15Poverty Synonyms .................................................................................................................... 15Causes of Poverty ........................................................................................................................ 16Scheme I &II ........................................................................................................................... 16Diagram: Poverty & Inequality ................................................................................................... 17Types of causes of poverty ........................................................................................................ 17 A. Individual ............................................................................................................................ 17B. Aggregate ........................................................................................................................... 17Herbert Gans - Functions / Uses of Poverty ................................................................................. 18Case vs. Generic Theories of Poverty .......................................................................................... 19What can we do about poverty? ................................................................................................ 19 Acute causes of poverty: ........................................................................................................... 20Box: How poverty is measured & How it is percieved by the poor .................................................. 20Entrenched factors associated with poverty: ................................................................................ 21Diagram: Poverty Causes & Consequences .................................................................................. 22Oscar Lewis - Culture of poverty ................................................................................................ 23Box & Diagram: Causes of Poverty ............................................................................................. 24Box: Feminization of Poverty ..................................................................................................... 25Causes of Poverty in India (Wikipedia)........................................................................................ 26Perceptions of Poverty & Traditional picture of the distribution of wealth in the world ...................... 28Types of Poverty ...................................................................................................................... 29The Effects of Poverty .............................................................................................................. 30What is the Cycle of Poverty? .................................................................................................... 30Diagram: Vicious & Virtuous cycle
 
S.Rengasamy -Understanding Poverty -Definitions, Causes & Consequences-(Part-I)
3
Income inequality refers to the differences in income between andamong various groups of individuals and households in an economy
PovertyIntroductionWealth and Poverty
People tend to be quite judgmental when it comes to wealth and poverty. On the one hand, ideaslike wealth comes to those who work hard
 — 
leads many people to blame the poor for theirpoverty. On the other hand, compassion forthe poor (and perhaps envy of the wealthy)leads others to blame the wealthy forpoverty, judging them too selfish andunfeeling to assist the poor.But social sciences examine wealth andpoverty from a more objective viewpointthan the noneconomist. Social sciencesmeasure wealth and poverty in several ways.The three most common measures areincome, assets (meaning accumulated wealthin the form of money, securities, and realestate), and socioeconomic metrics. Measures in the last category i.e. socioeconomic metrics gobeyond financial data to account for health, nutrition, infant mortality, sanitation, and otheraspects of human well being.It is easy to examine wealth and poverty in terms of income. Data on income is readily available,reliable, and relevant, especially in discussing poverty in several parts of the world, whereinherited wealth is a minor factor and most people live on wages and salaries.It's useful to think of wealth and poverty in relation to one another. That's because
incomeinequality
is really the underlying issue in poverty, especially in developed nations.Human socialsystems being whatthey are, it is oftenthe differences in wealth that make people feel rich or poor. In a Third World nation, a familywith indoor plumbing, running water, decent food and clothing, and access to health care andeducation is quite well off. In the United States, however, millions of people who have thosethings are considered poor, because they have little else and those things constitute the bareessentials in America. In this most developed of economies, dwellings without plumbing are notlegally fit for habitation; public assistance programs, such as Food Stamps, Medicare, andMedicaid, assure at least adequate levels of nutrition and health care; and public education iscompulsory for children.Perhaps Webster's Dictionary provides an accurate definition of poverty:
the state of one wholacks a
usual or socially acceptable amount
of money or material possessions
. This is not tominimize the plight of the poor. It's easily arguable that poverty of any kind is unacceptable in asociety with the riches and opportunities. Also, many poor do live without adequate nutrition,shelter, and health care. This is especially true of the rural poor, and for the physically,emotionally, and mentally disabled poor.

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