What Is Poverty?

Nations of Poverty
In this paper I will be examining how poverty is determined, if nations create their own poverty and how social and global stratification can effect poverty. Poverty has been a part of society since societies were created. So what is poverty and how is it defined?
What is Poverty?
Poverty can be defined as the state of being destitute. Simply speaking, this means that a person or group of people are living below a national standard of living. The range of people who are considered to be destitute are poorer than the Poverty Line. The Poverty Line is determined by the government by calculating a low cost food budget and multiplying it by the number 3. Anyone who makes less than the poverty line number are classified as poor
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Social inequality is universal, so there for it stands to reason that it must hold a purpose (Henslin, 2015). Functionalism sees the poor as those who fill a lesser position in society for a purpose. The purpose is usually to fill the positions that a more qualified person would not be in. Poverty has a function in society in that it motivates the impoverished to want to change their social rank. Although there should be a balance to the rich and poor ratio as “the more unequal the society, the worse the problem is generally (Shah, 2012)”. The conflict theory tears apart the functionalism theory and states that conflict, not function is the reason we have social stratification (Henslin, 2015). The conflict created among the social ranks helps to keep the status quo in check, leaving the poor and the rich in their “proper” places and so aptly labeled. “In general, conflict theory attributes stratification and thus poverty to lack of opportunity from discrimination and prejudice against the poor, women, and people of color (Schmitz, 2012).” Symbolic interactions define people’s beliefs, lifestyles, daily interaction, and conceptions of themselves (Schmitz, 2012). These interactions perpetuate the fact that the poor and destitute are placed where they are by society and that their positions cannot be changed within the society without dire consequences. Generally, the greatest impacting factors of Symbolic interactions are linked to religion, beliefs, social classes and rankings and sexual gender. In Conclusion, it can be established that while development and material possessions can certainly reflect upon a nation’s global status, it cannot define how poor its poorest citizens may become due to its actions and that the definition of poverty is continually

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