Poverty And Crime

Superior Essays
Poverty and crime, two of the most important issues our society faces today that show a strong correlation with each other. According to the Huffington Post, in a survey conducted in 2014, roughly 45 million Americans are considered to be living in poverty. That is a staggering figure, given that America is often perceived as a place of opportunity. The crime rates or no less shocking, with an average of 368 violent offenses committed per 100,000 inhabitants and 2,731 property crimes per 100,000 inhabitants. These two problems seem to stem from the lack of solid infrastructure within our economy to support those that are living in less than desirable conditions. As it currently stands, the difficulty of overcoming the financial barrier to …show more content…
Therefore, people find themselves in poverty due to situations beyond their control. One common myth exists that people who live in poverty are lazy and are poor because they do not have a job. This is false because people who live in impoverished areas often have multiple jobs and work 40+ weeks in order to make ends meet. Large corporations, such as Walmart, pay their employees extremely low wages forcing these employees to apply for government aid programs. Looking at poverty from a structural issue would suggest that there is an illness in the society that needs to be …show more content…
One cause is due to the extremely low wages that workers earn in large corporations, such as Walmart. These low wages causes the workers to apply for government aid such as welfare and food stamps. Additionally, growing up in poverty may put someone at a severe disadvantage because they are not able to access the same resources as a middle class or upper class child. This therefore creates a cycle of poverty. From a conflict theorist point of view conflict exists between different social classes due to an uneven distribution of wealth where the elite hold the majority of the wealth while the working class holds the minority of the wealth. Therefore, our society is specifically structured in a hierarchical system where poverty will always exist.
There are also many root causes of crime. Crime rates tend to increase during economic instability. Crime rates increase when people start of believe that there are wrongs that were committed against them and they attempt to undo those wrongs. From a structural functionalist perspective, there is a disconnect between the cultural goals and the institutional means to achieve those cultural goals. If somebody wants to achieve wealth, they accept the cultural goals, but have been excluded from the institutional means to achieve that wealth (education and

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