Empty Pockets Essay

1351 words - 5 pages

Poverty is a growing social problem in Canada that is often ignored but it does not mean that it does not exist. Poverty by definition means being poor, and lack of the means of providing material needs or comforts. By looking at an article from Maclean's magazine and a journal written by Stephanie Baker Collins we can better understand and define the controversy that is poverty. John Ralston Sauls article called "Poverty, warns John Raiston Saul, threatens the very basis of our democracy" discusses how poverty is excluding people from society. Instead of creating a society that is just and equal we are eliminating those who don't fit in to our idea of "utopia" (An ideally perfect place). The article entitled "An understanding of poverty from those who are poor" written by Stephanie Baker Collins addresses poverty from the perspective of those that are poor.By understanding this view "a deeper understanding of the multiple dimensions of poverty" (Collins,2005, p.10) is provided. The research in this article was to integrate and contribute to a better understanding of poverty instead of what we are told from data and statistics.The magazine article from Macleans written by John Ralston Saul portrays poverty as an issue that is ruining democracy. This article argues investing more money in housing for the poor rather then in more shelters. The reason for the increase of poverty is because "we are eliminating hospitals without developing alternatives." (Saul, 2005) While society eliminates more of these places the streets continued to be filled with homeless people. John Ralston Saul describes a solution to poverty by having as he says "A bit of human support in open group homes, for example, would change their lives." (Saul, 2005) By offering more opportunities to those living in need where they can weigh out their options will help to elevate those that do not know how to balance out their everyday lifestyle, to live a healthy life with less struggles. The article from Macleans views poverty as a social problem that is created by society. Those that are living in poverty only attain the help they need once they hit rock bottom. John Ralston Saul see's this as a violation of human rights. We choose who we eliminate from our society and in a sense we choose those who stay in poverty and those who over power it.The journal written by Stephanie Baker Collins looks at poverty from a completely different perspective then the article written by John Ralston Saul; by conducting participatory research on a small group of women that were excluded from society. This article addresses how people in poverty cope with their daily lives, and their strategies used to making ends meet. In this research Visual methods were used such as mapping exercises, seasonality diagrams, time lines, and ranking exercises to evaluate the issues surrounding poverty. Suggestions for why poverty has resulted to the extremes that it has is because "People are ashamed; they don't...

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