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Poverty in the US: Essentials of Sociology Essay (Critical Writing)

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Updated: Apr 18th, 2021

Introduction

Poverty is a state of living in which one finds it difficult to access daily necessities or forms of self-reliance. Estimates indicate that most of the people living in poverty live around highly populated places with little resources to survive on. Slums come up in such places as people try to bring up structures that will function as a shelter for them and their families. Estimates indicate that the level of poverty in the US is around 14.3 percent of the whole population (Loury, 2002).

The US government offers poverty thresholds every year to estimate the level of poverty. This threshold indicates the minimum amount of cash income that a family setup should acquire to survive. Each family’s pretax income should not be below the threshold amount, and these threshold figures are exclusive of non- monetary forms of income that the family may have. These thresholds reveal that the poverty level varies across sub-groups, with the black community being the worst hit, and the Hispanic community next after blacks (Loury, 2002). However, it is because of their immigration rates and predisposition to poor education and training programs that prevent them from being successful life planners. They end up depending on welfare.

Some of the precursors to poverty for the vast majority of Americans living below the poverty level may be because of lacking insurance, experiencing credit constraints, and poor saving habits. The lack of financial services that a low-wage person can access in America could also lead to poor financial stability, making it hard for them to save or plan (Henslin, 2010).

Functional analysis

Auguste Comte and Hebert Spencer postulated this sociological point of view. It suggested that society was a bigger part of a functional system. In this sense, it works as if it depended on another part, as an organism. The interrelations seem to affect each stage or level of functioning of the whole system in observation. The failure of one sub-unit in the system leads to a destructive effect on the other end, thus leading to dysfunction. If we apply this theory to society, the mismanagement of governmental funds, for instance, may affect the welfare of its citizens. If a governmental plan affects the income or production capacity of the workforce in the country, the nationals experience a decline in monetary surplus; the market prices then rise in favor of the production company while the community suffers from a higher cost of living.

It stimulates a poor economy, and the population starts to suffer from the price gouging from industries. One key strategy that can help combat poverty is enabling citizens to save and educating them on how to create assets. Assets are a form of investment, which crops up when people save and plan for a future. Major assets include organizations, property, income-generating projects, and knowledge firms. The Government’s initiative in establishing low-cost financial policies for low-income earners could restore a balance in society’s imbalance.

Other factors discussed in functionalism include the relevant ties and relations in the entire system, the more the mutual activities, the greater the bonding experience between the various parties. When the Government introduces programs that are more social than actively involve more people, low- wage and high-pay employees, it establishes an educative link between the social classes, allowing the less fortunate to learn something from the wealthy. Skills develop in such communal workshops.

Conclusion

Functionalism implies that the more the bonds and mutual activities, the less the disparities between the two classes. The Government can combat poverty by combining effort with the backup of insurance firms and financial institutions by initiating active investment opportunities within the financial capability of low-income earners.

References

Henslin, J. M. (2010). Essentials of Sociology: A Down to Earth Approach (9th ed.). New York: Prentice Hall.

Loury, G. (2002). Colors of Poverty. Web.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Poverty in the US: Essentials of Sociology." April 18, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/poverty-in-the-us-essentials-of-sociology/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Poverty in the US: Essentials of Sociology'. 18 April.

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