|In this report you will read about poverty and what is meant by poverty. Included will be an exploration of the differences between | |absolute and relative poverty. You will also read about the relationship between poverty and inequality, covering the types of | |inequality between gender and class and also, the extent of poverty in the current British context. I will also cover causes of | |poverty and inequality using sociological theories. Ending this report you will read into the effects of poverty and inequality in | |relation to behaviour, experiences and life chances on young people. | | |Poverty can be defined as “The state or condition of having little or no money or material possessions”, (Oxford English | |Dictionary). There has been two approaches brought forward by sociologists and these are absolute and relative poverty. Absolute | |poverty refers to basic conditions being met for an individual or group to live in a physically healthy state.
These conditions | |include sufficient food, shelter and clothing; if these are not met, it is seen as absolute poverty. (Townsend 1979). The second | |approach is relative poverty and is based upon the standard of the overall living in society. It is when individuals or groups are | |living to a lesser standard to others within the society. | | | |Another factor that can cause inequality within society is class. This relates to a division of groups within society.
Class has | |been seen as a major factor determining “the production, distribution and redistribution of resources”. (Townsend 1979). | |Depending on your class group, it will dictate where you are placed in the hierarchy of the society, which will affect your access | |to the gains and resources in society. There are four classes in society; these are the underclass, the working class, the middle | |class and the upper class. The inequality of class causes poverty as individuals are limited to wealth, resources and opportunities | |within society.
A case of inequality that relates to poverty is gender. This is when men and women are treated differently from each| |other regarding their roles and position within society. It is fair to say that women have been treated as less than equals and have| |had lesser opportunities within employment and chances | | | |Within Scotland, there were 980,000 people living in relative poverty and 620,000 across Britain working but living in relative | |poverty in 2007. (www. bbc. com).
There were also 250,000 children living in relative poverty, and 150,000 children living in absolute| |poverty within Scotland in the same year. (Save the Children in Scotland). | | | |A feminist perspective is the sociology theory you could use to show the causes of poverty and inequality. The feminist perspective | |believes there is a general thought in society, that there is a gender division in the employment market, and males are | |breadwinners, whereas women are housewives “.
Many women throughout the world encounter discrimination just because of their gender | |even though the government created the ‘sex discrimination act 1975’, which is now ‘The Equality Act 2010’, to prevent sexual | |discrimination, as it still continues today. Throughout the years it has been well known that women have faced discrimination in | |areas such as employment, education, and the use of facilities such as golf clubs etc. Due to the gender inequality within Britain’s| |society the man is the bread winner, and that the woman stays at home, cooks cleans and looks after the children.
Over the years it | |has created a culture that is engrained within our society. This leads to a woman often working part time or in low paid jobs, if | |working at all. Also, if they are working, they are less likely to be selected for promotion or managerial posts, because it is not | |seen as a woman’s position or because of childcare responsibilities, such as maternity leave for 9 months or longer if they have | |more than one child.
This can then lead onto that if you have a poor income, or reliant on benefits, then you are not able to afford| |the basics such as gas, electricity, appropriate living conditions and healthy nutritious food. This then creates health problems | |and inequalities because of poor diet and living conditions, from which they are unable to escape from. All of this can lead to | |addiction because of the situation they find themselves in. They can turn to smoking, drinking and drugs as a way to relieve | |anxiety, stress, boredom and depression. | | |Poverty can severely affect the young people I work with and have a negative impact on their behaviour, experiences and life | |chances. Many of the young people come from deprived areas, where their homes are inadequate or their parents are on a low income or| |are unemployed. This has an effect on the young people’s health, and they often have poor diets and lack healthy nutrition.
Due to | |the lack of finances, the parents are not able to provide their children with a variety of social activities. This does not help | |develop the child’s socialisation skills and can often leave them feeling angry and left out from their friends. This anger can | |often show itself within education and lead to being excluded from school, which in turn can have a negative effect on their job | |opportunities. This lack of finance and social interaction for the young person can lead them to commit crimes.
The individual can | |often suffer low self-esteem which may lead to regular drug abuse, which again can have a knock-on effect towards crime. Within the | |residential setting, I work with a young person who often gets jealous and angry when he hears of outings his peers have been on | |while he is on home contact. This is because when he goes home, his parents have little or no money to take him out so he often | |spends his time on the street being bored, rather than going to places like the cinema or to a leisure centre .
This young person has| |committed crimes of vandalism through boredom and theft from shops because he cannot buy the goods he wishes. | | | |To conclude, it can be shown that there is a link between poverty and inequality, this has been demonstrated through various | |theories and supporting statistics. | | | | | REFERENCES | |What causes poverty by John H Mckendrick | |Miller, Janet (Care in Practice for Higher Still) 1996 | |Oxford English Dictionary | |Townsend, P(Poverty in the United Kingdom) 1979 | |www. bc. com/news | |www. savethechildren. com | |Word Count |1053 |
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