Poverty: A Social Theory Analysis

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Although classified by multiple set of measures, most recent literature has universally recognized different theories of poverty (Dalton et al., 2011; Anand and Lea, 2011; Sun & Sun, 2012; Pridemore, 2011; Alkire & Foster, 2011; Lustig, 2011; Walby et al., 2012; Ravallion, 2011; Azariadis, 2011; Spears, 2011; McBride Murry et al., 2011; Collins, 2011; Walker & Day, 2012). Astutely, most of social theory researchers have been able to differentiate between theories that root the cause of poverty in individual deficiencies as seen by the conservative and theories that lay the cause on broader social phenomena as seen by the liberals or progressives.
On one hand, a quasi-collective set of beliefs perceived poverty in the American society under
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Apparently, earlier scholars seemed to imply that people might cease to be poor if they changed their culture (Shildrick & MacDonald, 2013; Mohan, 2011; Steinberg, 2011; Darity, 2011; Ryan, 1976). With more evidences to counter the blaming the victims’ theory modern researchers contain themselves from claiming that culture perpetuates itself for multiple generations despite of structural changes (Lacour & Tissington, 2011; Steinberg, 2011; Cuthrell et al., 2009). In fact, many cautiously abstain themselves from using the term pathology when it comes to the phenomenon of poverty (Mohan, 2011; Borjas, 2011; Harkness et al., 2012). However, with the advance of the concept of diversity which includes acceptance, civility, and respect, the new generation of social scientists comes to the understanding of culture in substantially different ways. It characteristically rejects the idea that whether people are poor can be explained by their values (Banerjee et al., 2011; Tay & Diener, 2011). The new generation of scholars is also hesitant to share new ideas into structural and cultural poverty, because of the increasingly questionable validity of previous distinction (Katz, 2013; Lamont et al., 2010; Lepianka et al., 2009). In their quest to carefully distinguish values from perceptions and attitudes from behavior, the new generation of scholars often fails to define culture as comprehensive as did Professor Oscar Lewis. It almost always sets aside the ideas that members of a group or nation share a culture or a group’s culture that is more coherent or internally consistent (Swidler, 2013; Cotterrell, 2013). In many instances, the new generation of social scientists’ conceptions of culture tends to be more narrowly defined, easier to measure, and more exposed to falsification (Baughman, 2013; Vaisey, 2010; Hunter et al.,

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