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21 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
Cultural Explanations - Murray - Underclass
He classifies this people as those who are willing inactive participants of the labour force and choose instead to rely on the government for it's welfare. Only few of these people have actually graduated from high school and are therefore under-qualified.

These people are often defined by high levels of criminality, illiteracy and long term unemployment.

Cultural Explanations - Murray - Deserving & Undeserving Poor
Undeserving poor - Those who are stuck in low paid jobs and periods of unemployment through no fault of their own.

Deserving poor - Voluntarily unemployed, are often involved in acts of petty crime.

The erosion of family values and work ethic of the second category (underclass); the benefit claimants, is responsible for the continuation of poverty.

Cultural Explanations - Marsland - Dependency Culture
Argues for most people low income results form the generosity of the welfare state. Universal welfare creates a a culture where individual are dependent on the state and are therefore disincentivised to to work harder thereby making long term unemployment possible. This culture of dependency on state provision is then passed on from generation to generation.
Cultural Explanations - Spencer - Dissolute Living
Poverty is a result of bad character and improper morals. Agrees with culture of dependency - believes the poor would seize any opportunity for an easy life without the difficulties. Also believed poverty was a functional necessity and provided an incentive for hard-work and thrift.
Cultural Explanations - Lewis - Culture of Poverty
Cultural adaptations the poor make in order to survive poverty but in return prolongs the poverty of the suffers. Examples include the tendency towards instant rather than deferred gratification. They become fatalistic about their future and abandon hope of improving their lives.

Should be considered differently from other new right thinkers - doesn't blame the individual themselves but instead sees it as a rational reaction to their situation.

Cultural Explanations - Evaluation
Blames the individual - Little evidence to suggest that norms and values differ between social classes.

Ignores social stigma of unemployment and detrimental psychological effects to well-being and self-esteem.

Gallie: 'no proof that the unemployed have different values - underclass does not exist'

Kempson - 'People who live on low incomes do have aspirations like others in society'

Alcock - 'Murray compares families to a 'golden Victorian era' which didn't actually exist - there have always been criminals and births outside marriage.

Solutions to Poverty - New Right
Lewis's solution would be to educate the poor and teach them mainstream norms and values; hard work academic success & deferred gratification. However, all children taught these at school.

Murray's solution would be to eliminate all benefits for unmarried women so women who want kids have to get married, choose good providers, barbarian males find good jobs, access to regular sex will calm men down. No time for crime, no more underclass. However, single mothers and children could starve to death. Also too extreme forcing people into marriage. Doesn't take into account divorced people. Marriage isn't always best, employed male head can still be poor.

Structural Explanations - Marxism - Capitalist By-Product
Factors of production are owned privately, and proletarian workers are gradually immiserated by downward pressure on wages applied by the Bourgeoisie. Marx also predicted high periods of economic expansion and collapse, which would lead to high unemployment and poverty.
Structural Explanations - Westergaard & Resler - Cheap Labour
The continual supply of cheap labour which keeps wages down and continues the existence of poverty among 'wage slaves'. Workers lack political powers to make changes needed.
Structural Explanations - Marxism - Reserve Army of Labour
Inequality functions to provide a reserve army of labour which can be hired in times of economic boom and fired in times of recession. This army is made up of the poorest sections of society. can be used to control 'excessive' wage demands of the WC. Can also be used to ideologically divide the WC as they see each other as threats to their livelihoods.
Structural Explanations - Braverman - Deskilling
Skilled labour in an industry is being eliminated by the introduction of technologies operated by semiskilled or unskilled workers who are cheaper to hire. Technology is being used to break down white collar skills such as book keeping into simple routine tasks in attempts to maximize efficiency and reduce costs.
Structural explanations - Coates and Silburn - Cycle of Deprivation
Some people are born into poverty but poor have different norms and values. caused by low pay, lack of jobs, low schools, housing. Blames society for inadequately protecting individuals. Born poor - go to bad school - bad qualifications - low paid work - have kids - cycle continues.

However, schools are all OFSTED checked, minimum wage introduced, tax credits. It also assumes no free will.

Structural Explanations - Evaluation
Not all the proletariat are poor, Marxism looks at inequality not poverty and you're bound to find inequality in capitalist states. Many communist states also have severe poverty, it also ignores recent policies like National Minimum Wage, tax credits etc. Overly deterministic and fails to take the agency of the individual, which is key to understanding poverty in a meritocratic society.

Views poverty as a purely economic phenomena, failing to take into account social and cultural aspects of poverty. also doesn't explain poverty of certain groups in society.

Solutions to Poverty - Marxist
Abolish capitalism and it will disappear, to do this the working class must realise exploitation and unite and fight or revolt. Bourgeoisie will be overthrown and capitalism will be replaced with communism where everyone is equal so no poverty.

However, there is a lot of poverty in modern communist countries.

Situational Constraints - Field - Structural Changes & Poverty Trap
Result of structural changes in the British economy, particularly the transition between a manufacturing and services economy. A direct result of Thatcherism and the collapse of the manufacturing industries. Poverty persists because poverty trap situation where some lone parents would be financially worse off if take job due to lack of benefits, transport cost and cost of childcare.

However, it's outdated as new labour introduced tax credits and sure start with free nursery places. Murray thinks he ignores fact shouldn't be lone parents in first place

Situational Constraints - Leibow - Subculture
Argued against cultural theories, the appearance of a subculture is a rational response to situational constraints. In response to gratification, he argued that the MC have the wealth on like the WC to effectively invest in their future while the WC are obliged to expend their resources in order to maintain himself.
Solutions to Poverty - Social Democratic
Policies on education, employment, families welfare etc. Field believes a more generous universal welfare system available to all regardless of income will eradicate poverty trap and enable people to work so prevent poverty. Encourage further and higher education in order to break cycle

However, New Labour may have done this with min wage etc, some graduates today poor or unemployed

Solutions to Poverty - Functionalist
Poverty functional so no solution needed
Feminists - Patriachy
Society is structured in a patriarchal way to benefit men at the disadvantage of women. In a patriarchy women are used as a form of free-child care and are rarely admitted to higher levels of paid work. More likely to be responsible for dependents such as children and the elderly than men, a further constraint which inhibits them from achieving the full employment and escaping poverty.
Functionalist - Gans
Poverty persists because it is functional, it performs 13 functions - some for the individual and some for society. It creates jobs for the MC; police and social care but also helps the economy - out of date food, last season clothes and old cars are all bought by the poor. It ensures all jobs in society are filled as they would take up dull/dangerous/dirty jobs that no one else wants.

Murray - Underclass don't help the economy - they just claim benefits while committing crimes.

Social Exclusion - New Labour - Dual Labour Market
Disadvantages the WC as they experience long periods of unemployment, low pay and insecure work conditions being in the secondary labour market. Other groups in the primary labour market experience advantageous life chance which are characterized by high skill, high pay and long-term job security.