Hnc Social Care

Poverty and Inequality Essay

Question 1

There are two main different types of Poverty:

• Absolute poverty is defined as the lack of sufficient resources with which to keep body and soul together.

• Relative poverty defines income or resources in relation to the average. It is concerned with the absence of the material needs to participate fully in accepted daily life.

Social exclusion is a new term used by the Government. The Prime Minister described social exclusion as "…a shorthand label for what can happen when individuals or areas suffer from a combination of linked problems such as unemployment, poor skills, low incomes, poor housing, high crime environments, bad health and family breakdown”.” The House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee”

Functionalists believe poverty exists because it makes a contribution to order and stability. If poverty did not make a contribution it would cease to exist. Poverty performs many functions. Some of these functions are: (a) The poor do the unskilled, dangerous, temporary, dead-end, undignified, menial work of society at low pay, (b) Affluent persons contract out at low wages many time-consuming activities such as housework, yard work, and child care, (c) The poor are medical guinea pigs of sorts (for example, they are the ones most likely to volunteer for over-the-counter and prescription drug tests), (d) Certain middle-class occupations exist to serve the poor, (e) Poor people purchase goods and services that would otherwise go unused. (MARX Theory)

Conflict theory states that poverty is a side effect of the capitalist system, where those with access to resources and power exploit those who have less. The Conflict theory also states that outside forces prevent the individual or group from achieving a desired goal or certain aspect of living.  

The elements that usually prevent this upward mobility from occurring are the limits that the upper classes place on...