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Is It Possible To Eliminate Poverty?

2517 words - 11 pages

One sociological issue which is prevalent in our society today is poverty. Poverty has been present in society for a very long time. It seems that no type of society can escape the reaches of poverty and reach a state where everybody in the society is working and is able to adequately care for themselves. This led me to ask if it is possible to eliminate poverty in our modern world today. There are sociologists and experts who argue that poverty will forever be a part of our society and there are others who believe that eliminating poverty is a feasible goal. In order to examine this question one has to first be able to understand what poverty is and the different types of poverty which exist in our society today. Only then can one come to a conclusion. The conclusion which I arrived at was that it is not possible to completely eliminate poverty. It is not reasonable to believe that everybody in society will be employed and successful. However this in no way means that we should give up in the war on poverty. Rather it should mean the opposite. This should spur society to action in the sense that everybody in society should be encouraged to do as much as in their power to reach an ideal society, a utopia, where there is no poverty. Reaching perfection is impossible but that does not stop many artists, religious worshipers, and countless other people from attempting to do exactly that. Setting a very high standard or an impossible goal will ensure that society strive higher and higher to reach that standard which will in turn create productive results. We know that utopia is a fictional place but that should not stop society from attempting to reach that state. We may never reach that state but along the way, just attempting the process has the potential to change society dramatically for the better. One of the ways which society can start along that path is to attempt to eliminate poverty.
In order to understand why it is not possible to eliminate poverty, it is essential that one comprehends what poverty is. There are many different definitions of poverty across different areas in sociology. Dalton Conley defines poverty as “a condition of deprivation due to economic circumstances”(355). Coser also states that “a person who is poor is one who attempts to receive assistance because they are poor”(140). These two definitions are standard in the sense that they attempt to convey a basic definition of poverty and a person who is poor. However there are different types of poverty. There is economic poverty which is “a deficiency in the amount of financial resources a household has to meet its basic needs which can be defined in either absolute or relative terms”(Mowafi 260). This definition takes poverty and relates it on a household scale where a family does not have enough to sustain its basic needs. Another type of poverty is absolute poverty. “Absolute poverty refers to the set of resources a person must acquire to maintain a minimum standard...

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