The Problem Of Poverty Essay

1365 words - 5 pages

In the world there are at least one billion children that are living in poverty. There is at least three billion people in the world that live on less than $2.50. (Shah, 2013) Poverty can be seen everywhere around the world. Carl and Belanger (2012) states that poverty happens when the distribution of wealth is not equally divided between all groups of people. Poverty in Canada is defined as poor quality of food, sleeping in poor quality housing, parks, or city streets, and on a daily basis it is difficult to make decisions on what is best for you and your family. Living in poverty will decrease your life span and health, and could lead to criminal offenses just to stay alive. Aboriginal people, immigrants from other countries, people with disabilities, single parents especially women, and injured workers are more susceptible to living in poverty. (Canada without Poverty, 2014) Research has shown that living in poverty is not based on the failure of an individual, but the failure in the government and elite systems around them. When the political and economic systems do not provide employment wages or social assistance benefits, it makes it difficult for the individual to get out of poverty living. Also when the public policy does not provide affordable living, child care, or health and social services for the individuals, it can leave the individual still in poverty. Through conflict theory, sociologists can determine the causes and effects of poverty. (Carl/Belanger, 2012)
Carl and Belanger (2012) state that “conflict theory is a theoretical framework that defines society as a system of interrelated parts.” (pg. 8) Conflict theorists believe that we live in a world where there is not enough resources to go around and people who have wealth are not willing to share it. Conflict theory takes a macro approach which means it looks at the bigger picture of the situation and how the structures of society contributes to the occurring problem. Conflict theorists see society as a pyramid. In this pyramid, the elite would be at the top because it is the highest point and the smallest since there is not a large amount of elite people. The middle of the pyramid would represent the middle class citizens who are neither rich nor poor. The bottom of the pyramid would represent the working or “poor” class, where there are large amounts of people in this category. (Carl/Belanger, 2012) This pyramid example shows that something is wrong in society because of the large amounts of people in the bottom portion of the pyramid and very little people at the top. In today’s society once someone gets power and wealth, they are less likely to give it up to someone who is less fortunate than them. According to conflict theorists, poverty is a sign that the distribution of wealth is unevenly divided. If the elite people of society shared their wealth then there would be less poverty seen all around the world. (Carl/Belanger, 2012) In the eyes of poverty, conflict...

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