Sociology 1101-- Ch 10
Sociology 1101-- Ch 10 Socio 1101 (Lopez, Intro to sociology)
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Socio 1101 (Lopez, Intro to sociology)
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Isabella Bowling on Monday October 19, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to Socio 1101 (Lopez, Intro to sociology) at Ohio State University taught by Steven Lopez in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 67 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Sociology in Sociology at Ohio State University.
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Date Created: 10/19/15
Sociology Ch 10 POVERTY How do we help the poor without creating perverse incentives that induce more poverty in the long run a condition of deprivation due to economic circumstances may be absolute or relative but is thought to be severe enough that it destroys all of an individual s dignity in society In 1964 Johnson passed the in order to combat poverty and create a whole new office dedicated to fixing poverty and managing the new government programs Marlin was a boy who was born in poverty he learned that stealing was what you did when you didn t have a dime to your name or needed food He s been in and out of prison many many times The question is though If society had raised his mother s income when he was growing up would he have fared any better Could he have been lifted from a life of crime Or is it a lost cause The Culture of Poverty The Culture of Poverty 1966 Lewis devoted a long career to studying the lives of poor Mexican and some Puerto Ricans living in NY Lewis described the practices of the families as quotself defeating included practices different from the mainstream in order to survive difficult economic circumstances that once adopted people fell back into once falling from an advantageous position In 1965 wrote a controversial report on black families in which he says the cultural arrangements of a matrifocal where the mother assumes structural prominence and being multigenerational is the cause not the effect of the African American economic problems Men won t get involved in relationships with women who already have children bc they fear of the father coming back and cannot financially support their own families because they are cycling in and out of marginal employment and prison The Unheavenly City he asserted that the lower class was unable to escape their own poverty because they weren t futureoriented Says their quotinstantgratification mentality held them back from moving up Basically lower class people have specific quotlower class personality traits A notion about the culture of poverty was that reliance on the government created a sense of helplessness and dependency and hindered entry into the labor market when the economy picked up Negative Income Tax late 1960s early 1970s government gave the experimental group a check and then once the family reached a threshold income level they were expected to start paying quotpositivequot taxes Results women left their marriages and unemployment increased basically people concluded that we can t lift families out of poverty but we can give them more leisure time The underclass 1981 introduced the concept quotnot only are the poor different from the mainstream because of their inability to take advantage of what society has to offer but they are also increasingly deviant and even dangerous to the rest of us Other sociologists argued that the poor weren t actually any different from us but that they were responding in this manner because of the lack of good longterm incentives reward structures that lead to nonideal outcomes by stimulating counterproductive behaviors eg welfare is argued to actually discourage work efforts Some suggestions to quotmake work pay including eliminating the taxes on lowincome workers raise the limits on Medicaid so workers can transition to lowwage jobs without losing health insurance and adding components that encouraged twoparent families and discourages outofwedlock births nterestingly enough argued that the effects of income poverty on children were vastly overstated In her research she found that the income of parents during the child s life had little effect on whether they completed high school got good grades etc Also she found that there were very weak correlations between certain purchases that were supposed to matter money spent on food spacious residence and car ownership and children s outcomes Basically what appears to matter for children is not the money itself so giving money to the poor parents would seem pointless The Bell Curve Thesis 1994 The Bell Curve Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life concluded that the same traits that make adults economically successful make them good parents Basicaly that no matter what you buy the children in terms of educational toys books or Mozart CDs doesn t matter because they re genetically inclined to have low IQs which will lead to keeping them in poverty So giving money to the families is a waste because they won t be smart enough to rise up Moving to Opportunity 2000 analyzed the results of the experiment in which the government dispersed 75 of the families in the public housing area of Chicago into the more affluent suburbs and then provided them with counseling and rental referral services to help them locate housing the families that moved into the lowpoverty areas had better employment situations and their children improved on various scales there was no real control group the families selfselected to move out and the researchers only were able to track down and interview 60 of the original group during a second meeting MTO a new study attempting to pick up where the study above left off Had three groups 1 Control group received no housing voucher and no restrictions on where to move 2 Received housing voucher but no restrictions on where to move 3 Received housing voucher but had to relocate to specific lowpoverty areas and received tutorials in basic life skills Group 3 reported experiencing less stress and were generally happier and healthier and their children increased their test scores attendance rates and improved healthwise no changes in the welfare use between the control and the experimental group Also little difference in the employment and earnings between the groups but genrally all improved because of the economic boom of the late 90s Another thing the study only included families that enrolled in the study so we will never know if the results can be applied across the board Lastly the results seem to support that it only produced higher tranquility in the families and greater opportunity initially MTO implies that social division not income is the main problem Having the poor surrounding each other negatively impacts them and further influences poverty mid80s Surveyed lottery players Modest prize little effect on work behavior Larger prize reduction of 20 in working hours BUT workers who had not been in the workforce at all if they won a prize they increased their commitment to work after receiving prize and others 2003 studied the kids of Cherokee families who received more income after the legalization of gambling on Native American reserves the children s behavioral problems decreased largely because the parents had more time to supervise children War on Poverty Today According to Marlin the boy from the introduction people don t need more money they need more time Prices are too high people think they need x y and z to be happy so people are constantly working the children are raised by TV and videogames He says quotghetto kids just do what they are exposed to so that s why the rich kids will probably be rich and the poor ones will grow up to be poor There s no exposure to what s good in life forces families to move far away from their jobs in order to live in a good neighborhood Causes the parents to be unable to spend as much time with children therefore continuing the cycle of poverty in theory has been a huge problem because it goes on the record as almost criminal makes it hard to get a new home afterward you can t apply for assistance 5070 of your income goes toward a home in a horrible neighborhood because that s all you qualify for and you might still lose yourjob because you have to miss work going to court and looking for a new home Poverty amid Plenty one of the 400 richest Americans said that being poor was the quotgreatest living he ever did because he was able to survive on powdered milk oats vegetables and vitamin pills the point at which a household s income falls below the necessary level to purchase food to physically sustain its members How to measure though 1963 Children of the Poor estimated the poverty line based on the recommendations for min amounts of healthy food the variety of family types and the household budgeting for food Criticized because it doesn t take into account regional variations of the cost of living and it s hard to define what are actual quotnecessitiesquot for living eg housing Food TV ACheat More recently it s the quotnecessities required to live with dignity Also poverty is measured with respect to income alone so it doesn t take into account the issue of debts and assets A better measure to use would be net worth assets minus debts the measurement of poverty based on the percentage of median income in a given location Really only measures the income inequality at the bottom half of the distribution Effects of Poverty on Children s Life Chances Three basics theories why poverty is bad for kids 1 lead to poor nutrition lack of adequate medical care and unsafe environments lack of physical and cognitive development Family is responsible for getting the child out of poverty 2 a paradigm in which low income unstable employment a lack of cultural resources feelings of inferiority in social class increase household stress levels 9 these high stress levels lead to detrimental parenting practices eg yelling and hitting which lead to poor development for children Family is responsible for getting child out of poverty 3 of low and high income scholars believe that the correlation between socioeconomic status and child development outcomes is an illusion Basically the parental characteristics from parenting styles to genetics that lead to low income less education etc are what also lead to detrimental development for children So you can t measure and fix poverty by the parents Why is the US so Different Bill Gates has a net worth of 72 billion Average American 69000 And yet we also have one of the highest poverty rates in the advanced world 465 million in poverty Economic rewards are too lopsided Explanations of why the US if diff Europe transitioned to capitalism after us so they were more prepared to protect the weak because they knew the conditions that would occur Fragmented US political system makes it hard to develop a comprehensive safety net for poor meaning we have no history of feudalism except the south prior to the civil war So we don t have the same concept of quotpaternalismquot in which the people receive protection from the government because they work for it We favor individualism over paternalism American s also include many different races while the Europeans effectively used colonies to segregate and initiate a more centralized thinking and running of government Can the Poor Save 2006 signed the trying to fix some problems with the employerbased retirement savings system Hard to rely on retirement accounts when nearly half of Americans don t have them because of frequentjob changes etc so we need more saving incentives One way to do this is by giving them something now and then asking them to pay later eg give them 1000 now and match them 50 for savings with the 3 of future wages for 15 years they give up into an IRA plan But for those who are selfemployed or hold unstable jobs we need to develop a sort of private savings account that applies for all Americans
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