Rasberry - Social Stratificaton

Raspberry quotes Robert Woodson in his article from a lecture and then goes on to state that “It isn’t financial dependency that creates the frustration and despair that sometime overwhelm poor people. It is the helplessness – the belief, daily reinforced, that they cannot make any significant difference in their world, in their immediate neighborhoods or in their own lives.” (pp. 218)
Raspberry alludes to the fact that the situation the poor are in creates a sense of helplessness. Because these individuals place themselves into a situation where they do not know how to get themselves out of poverty and give up on themselves they get stuck and believe that they have failed themselves. These individuals “believe that nothing they can do will really make any difference; and every setback becomes “proof” of their helplessness.” (pp. 219) The situation is personal. These individuals want to move up within classes, but do not know how to, or do not have the resources to accomplish their goals.
Raspberry would like to see more people independent of the government and their families and choose to make their own money, make their own choices for their lives. Choose to be better citizens by looking at the structure of society and where they are placed within it and make a conscientious decision that they are going to rise up through this structure and make more of themselves than society believes is possible. He says, “The cure is not to eliminate dependency but to instill the confidence that their efforts matter, that they have gifts to share.” (pp. 219)