The Logic Of Workfare The Underclass And Work Policy By David Harvey Summary

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Register to read the introduction… Harvey believes that scholars that adopt a new theory quickly are vulnerable to use the work in an abusive way that will benefit their own thinking. An example of this misinterpretation can be the work of Lawrence Mead who, like Lewis, was concerned with poverty and how it affects society. In his work “The Logic of Workfare; The Underclass and work Policy” Mead examines the lower class in 1989 and focuses heavily on the number of jobs and their availability to the lower class. This writing is used mainly to compare the welfare and workfare systems Welfare is an assistance provided by the city, state, and or national government of a financial support for citizens. Workfare is a system in which the recipients of welfare must obtain or actively seek employment in order to receive financial support from the government. Much of the focus of Mead’s research is on the lower class, particularly minorities, women, and youth. He states that “much of todays entrenched poverty reflects that poor adults seldom work consistently.” (p156) The argument has been made that this is due to the lack of available jobs. Mead argues that there is little correlation between the lack of jobs and the qualifications of workers because he believes that jobs are …show more content…
Based on his beliefs, it would be difficult to argue that the findings by Mead would be an accurate comparison of the poor to the Culture of Poverty. Many of his statements are that the poor are not willing to work. They would rather stay poor and on public assistance rather than take advantage of jobs they consider to be meaningless or unworthy of their time. This attitude is based on the premise that they do not want to work meaningless jobs with lower wages. He, like other conservatives, are blaming the poor for the situations that they are in. This is something in which these same conservatives accused Lewis of doing in the Culture of Poverty Theory. …show more content…
This leads Harvey to conclude that Lewis was rooted in Marxism and therefore the Culture of Poverty Theory must be interpreted accordingly. Harvey believed that Lewis’ actions and support for the working class, unions, and his advocacy for the causes of the oppressed provided conclusive proof that he a disciple of Marxism.
A portion of Harvey’s analysis includes an interpretation by Susan Rigdon, a writer who postulates that it was not the intention of Lewis to make the poor look as if they were helpless, and that they could not escape from their undesirable conditions. On the contrary, Oscar Lewis believed in the struggles of these individuals much like Karl Marx believed in the proletariat and their fight to rid themselves of the oppression of

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