Discussion: Poverty in Young and Middle Adulthood
Poverty has a strong influence on the lives of adults. When an adult lives in poverty, the effects extend beyond that individual to all those who depend on the adult. The problem of poverty in the life of an adult becomes a family or community problem, and few social problems are more impactful.
Thirty-four million people, or 10.5% of the U.S. population, live in poverty (U.S. Census Bureau, 2020). As a social worker, then, you are likely to address the needs of clients whose adverse circumstances are strongly influenced by this condition. Increasing your understanding of poverty will equip you to better understand and assist your clients.
For this Discussion, you analyze theories of poverty as well as poverty’s effects in young and middle adulthood.
U.S. Census Bureau. (2020, September 15). Income and poverty in the United States: 2019 (Report No. P60-270). https://www.census.gov/library/publications/2020/demo/p60-270.html
By Day 12/24/2021
Respond to two colleagues in one or more of the following ways:
Critique your colleague’s explanation of how poverty impacts individuals in young and middle adulthood.
State whether you agree or disagree with your colleague’s position on poverty being the result of cultural or social factors. Provide support for your position.
Critique a colleague’s evaluation of a different theory of poverty than you selected.
Use the Learning Resources to support your posts. Make sure to provide APA citations and a reference list.
Colleagues 1: Anjanikki Herron
RE: Discussion – Week 4
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For the purposes of analyzing poverty from a sociological standpoint, for instance, poverty may be defined as the state in which an individual lacks the resources or capabilities to participate in and contribute to society (Auerbach, 2021). Poverty can have consequential issues for the young population as they may carry on the legacy as it relates to the culture of poverty. One must be willing and motivated to overcome the bounds of poverty in order to break the generational cycle. The family unit is arguably the most important entity in any given culture. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that many sociologists believe that life in poverty may also be one of the cultural elements imbued in the family structure (Auerbach, 2021). Cultural poverty may be a thing, but the very essence of poverty originated due to a number of factors for some centuries ago. People have to examine their lives, and many come to a conclusion they should remain on poverty and receive assistance or go without while trying to live ‘The American Dream’.
Poverty is the combination of both social and cultural implications. The disparities among racial and ethnic groups living in poverty lead many scholars to assert that the government system in question distributes resources and services on an unequal basis. In fact, many conclude the undercurrents of racism lend to social stratification (Auerbach, 2021). One cannot disregard the underpinnings of poverty and how it came about. However, poverty continues due to a combination of social and cultural implications. What seems to be the norm is there is no accountability as if it is a direct attack similar to that of racism.
The culture of poverty arises after extended periods of economic deprivation in highly stratified capitalist societies (Zastrow et al., 2019). When resources are lacking and adequate paying jobs, one can’t help but create an attitude regarding their present condition. Overcoming that attitude can lead one to break the cycle. Assisting with finding strategies and resources to eradicate poverty and overcome the barriers associated with certain stigmas. Creating problems and resources that assist and acknowledge the various barriers is essential after rapport has been built to even show a family the generational culture of poverty they experience.
Partly because poverty is functional, our society makes only a halfhearted effort to eradicate or at least reduce it (Zastrow et al., 2019). Poverty causes problems for the affluent. If this is the case, we must problem adequate resources and funding to the various parts that are being affected by this widely known issues. The affluent control political influence, thus control things associated with change. To eliminate poverty would mean a redistribution of income from the rick to the poor (Zastrow et al., 2019).
Auerbach, M. P. (2021). Cultural Theories of Poverty. Salem Press Encyclopedia.
Auerbach, M. P. (2021). Social Theories of Poverty. Salem Press Encyclopedia.
Zastrow, C. H., Kirst-Ashman, K. K., & Hessenauer, S. L. (2019). Understanding human behavior and the social
environment (11th ed.). Cengage Learning.
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Colleagues 2: Kenchelle Wells
RE: Discussion – Week 4
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An explanation of how poverty impacts the experience of individuals in young and middle adulthood.
Poverty is when an individual does not have enough money to buy things that are considered necessary and desirable (Zastrow et al, 2019 pp. 42). Many things can lead to a person living in poverty, such as unemployment, health issues, emotional problems, and drug addiction among other things. Being in poverty can stop an individual in young and middle adulthood from experiencing like of others who are the same age, but don’t live in poverty. Poverty can be caused by many factors but being in poverty can also cause some of those factors to occur more often as well. An individual may not have health issues but being in poverty and only being able to purchase unhealthy food can lead to health problems.
A statement as to whether poverty is the result of cultural or social factors; provide support for your position and an example to illustrate it.
I believe that both cultural and social factors play a significant role in poverty but that in many cases cultural factors are more significant and play a bigger role. There are generations of families that live in the same are or housing project. Never leaving the situation in which they were raised in because they don’t know what life outside of this one community would be like. It is a mindset that many of these individuals and families just can’t shake. Even if someone does make it out of their poverty-stricken community many of them will still live with the mindset that they are poor, by doing things that they saw their parents and even grandparents do before them.
What aspects of this theory would be most suitable for your practice? Why?
The Application of Interactionist Theory to Poverty would be the most suitable for my practice. Interactionist view poverty as a matter of shared expectations and believe that in order to resolve a poverty problem then the stigma associated with it must be eliminated (Zastrow et al, 2019 pp.558). You must work on an individual’s way of thinking before you can show them how to possibly live in a better situation. When a person believes in themselves, they make a situation better. If I believe that I am worthy, nothing that anyone else can say can bring me down, if I don’t allow it to.
What aspects of this theory do you find problematic in terms of your knowledge of social work practice? Explain.
One of the main problems of this issue is not giving the client the education and knowledge they need to get out of poverty. We are making them feel better, but not giving them the tools. The Interactionist Theory tends to fix the mind but leaves the education part out of the equation. You can give a man a fish and he can eat for one day, but if you teach them how to fish, they can eat forever.
Zastrow, C. H., Kirst-Ashman, K. K., & Hessenauer, S. L. (2019). Understanding human behavior and the social environment (11th ed.). Cengage Learning.
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