Chapter 10 Notes: Poverty
Chapter 10 Notes: Poverty SOCI 120 - 012
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SOCI 120 - 012
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Elizabeth Notetaker on Thursday October 13, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SOCI 120 - 012 at University of Tennessee - Knoxville taught by Tobin N Walton in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 5 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Sociology in Sociology at University of Tennessee - Knoxville.
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Date Created: 10/13/16
Chapter 10: Poverty Vocabulary: POVERTY: condition of deprivation due to economic circumstances that is severe enough that the individual cannot live with dignity in society PERVERSE INCENTIVES: reward structures that lead to suboptimal (crappy) outcomes by stimulating counterproductive behavior RECESSION: period of economic decline that lasts a year or more CULTURE POVERTY THEORY: argues that poor people adopt certain cultural practices that differ from middle class society in order to survive in difﬁcult economic circumstances (and will continue to do these things even when it doesn’t help anymore) UNDERCLASS: people in society who are viewed as worthless and nonessential (people who stand on the corner or are on welfare) ABSOLUTE POVERTY: point at which household income falls below the necessary level to purchase food to physically sustain its members (varies because it costs more to live in certain place) RELATIVE POVERTY: measured based on a percentage of the median income of a given location Paradox: How do we help the poor without making perverse incentives that induce more poverty in the long run? Need to Know for Exam: “underclass” Susan Mayer’s study Notes: • The debate about poverty is the question of which came ﬁrst, poverty or bad outcomes (crime, poor education, divorce, etc.). • perverse incentive example: welfare encourages the poor not to work • During a recession, poverty rates might be higher. • Recessions typically have wide-ranging and severe impact on society. • Many people disagree with the culture poverty theory—sociologists just learn it now, but don’t really believe it anymore. • Culture of Poverty Disproved example: While it may be true that welfare generates a sense of helplessness, there can also be structural reasons why it is hard to transition from welfare to work. • Ken Auletta: introduced the under class and created a much more negative view of the poor in the 1980s • William Julius Wilson turned focus from welfare to factors such as deindustrialization (industry goes away), globalization (domestic market to global market), suburbanization (movement out of cities and into suburbs), and discrimination as causes of urban poverty. Chapter 10: Poverty • In the past 20-30 years, policies to deal with poverty have been offering beneﬁts that directly serve children and encourage working. • Susan Mayer: in her book “What Money Can’t Buy” she found little evidence that parental income has any effect on children’s outcomes, contrary to widespread belief • Charles Murray and Hernstein: their book, “The Bell Curve”, says that it is genetics that ultimately effects a child’s outcome (eugenics!!), not poverty (obviously not true) • Rosenbaum: did a study of an assisted living program in Chicago and the ‘Moving to Opportunity’ (MTO) study (1994)—does moving to a less impoverished society improve a person’s life chances? • MTO study seemed to show that living in a quieter and less stressful environment did have positive effects on children (mixed results so can’t say for sure, but did seem to show these things). • Ofﬁcial poverty line was calculated by a formula created in the 1960s by Mollie Orshinsky— that is a little old! • The cost of food has decreased, but the cost of living has increased since she created this formula. • Of course, it has been heavily criticized for not reﬂecting changes over the past 40-50 years. • There are 3 basic theories of how poverty negatively effects children: 1. Material deprivations are caused by a family’s low socioeconomic status. 2. Bad parenting practices are related to a family’s low socioeconomic status. 3. There are differences between poor parents and higher income parents, but there is not much that can be done about these differences. • The USA has a broader range between poor and rich (richer are MUCH richer than the poor) compared to any other developed nation. • The USA also has higher poverty rates than anywhere else—a higher percentage of the population lives below the poverty line—may be contributed to the timing of free market capitalism (minimal government inﬂuence on markets) or the decentralized form of government (each state has its own governing body in addition to federal government).
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