According to Encyclopaedia Britannica (2008), it defines poverty as:
“The state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions […] whatever definition one uses, authorities and laypersons alike commonly assume that the effects of poverty are harmful to society and individuals.”
Absolute poverty and relative poverty are extremely prevalent issues. However absolute poverty is by far the more serious issue. According to the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee (2014) describe absolute poverty 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.”
Absolute poverty is seen as a condition which is characterized by severe deprivation of basic human needs, whereas relative poverty is seen as a situation where people lack the minimum amount of income needed in order to maintain the average standard of living within society.
Functionalism views society as a social system of interconnected parts - each depending on the other in order for it to function. According to Parsons (1902-1979), society requires four prerequisites which must be constantly addressed in order for society to function. The prerequisites are the basic needs that any individual requires in order to live above the poverty line. Parsons four prerequisites are:
Adaptation: : in order for a society to survive the basics of food and shelter must be provided. Having these basics gives a society control over their own environment, and in order to have these basics, society will need a functioning economy.
goal attainment: All societies must provide some set of collective goals for its members to aspire to. Meaning that it is easier to have a system of goals rather than having a single unitary goal. Therefore, it concerns not the commitment of the values of...