How Do Social Institutions Contribute To The Problem Of Poverty? How Do Attitudes And Ideologies Help Perpetuate Poverty?


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Poverty in general is the term for somebody who lacks money or material possessions. It can be used to describe both an individual person or a more broader concept of society.

To fall into absolute poverty, also known as destitution, means that a person(s) have fallen below the standard of basic human living. This includes no access to clean or fresh water, no basic health care, food, education, shelter or clothing. It is estimated that currently over 1 Billion people worldwide live in such a state of absolute poverty.

History purports the idea that poverty is an accepted part of economics, occurring when production of food is insufficient to accommodate an entire population.

In many governments, particularly those of the third world, corruption, debt and unstable leadership, has meant that poverty has become rife amongst some countries' populations.

Economics dictates that such cycles of poverty are likely to continue until there is outside intervention.

A number of factors make it impossible for those stuck on the poverty line to escape it. Poor people do not have access to resources such as capital, education or indeed the right connections willing to help them out.

Therefore unfortunately these individuals experience further disadvantage, which only takes them further into poverty, and means they remain poor throughout their lives.

Dr. Ruby K. Payne in her book, A Framework for understanding Poverty, suggests that there are two types of poverty.

  • Situational Poverty - That which can be traced back to a particular event within the lifetime of a person or persons who poverty affects.
  • Generational Poverty - A continuous cycle of poverty passed on from generation to generation, due to the restrictions of being unable to get help or access the resources needed to break the cycle.

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