It has been said that “Poverty is functional to society today”, the extent to which this is true have been explore by theorists of the cultural, Marxist, and functional perspectives and can be examined SSI Eng countries of the Caribbean such as Trinidad and Tobago. To begin, in the late sass, Oscar Lewis, an American anthropologist created t he culture of poverty ideology. It is in this ideology that he states that there are t here levels in the culture of poverty . The first being the individual level.
Here the poor feels helpless, inferior to those around him and marginal’s from society. The individual De plops a sense of acquiescence and fatalism. He goes to say that the individual desires immediate ratification even through expedient means as the are unable to delay gratifier action. Secondly, the family level. On this level, there exist consensual marriages or FRR e runs, a high rate of divorce and a significant number of matriarchal families. Lastly, the community level in which most people are fatalistic therefore leading to mini mum effectual corporation in the major institutions.
There is non membership in try add unions and other homogeneous organizations. Not to mention, that little use is made of banks, hospitals, museums and other indistinguishable institutions. Lewis concluded his concept y suggesting that the culture of poverty emboldens poverty as the preceding characteristics of poverty act as vehicles to ensure the continuation of poverty If this is applied to the country of Trinidad and Tobago, it can be said that those e Of the Beta residence formerly known as ‘shanty town’ may experience pope rotor each level.
Individualistically, persons of the Beta residences and surrounding areas are often marginal’s and are left to feel helpless and inferior to those belonging g to other areas in Trinidad and Tobago. Most have given up on finding a way out of poverty a ND has turn o illegal means for immediate gratification. On the family level there are ma NY common law marriages along with a high rate of divorce and separation between couple sees, therefore contributing to the existence of a notable number of matriarchal households.
Also there is little participation in institutions such as schools whether as a teacher or stud antes suggested by Lewis the persons belonging to this region may never find their way out of poverty as all the aforementioned characteristics encourages poverty to be c intended . Thus, it can be said that Lewis does not believe that poverty is functional in s society. Though Lewis held great views, Critics have argued that in many countries, t poor has found ways of improving their life situation. These include, participate Ins In community groups and politics and also by maintaining strong family units.
A Iso other researchers have insisted that the behavior of the poor is not culturally est. Wished but instead is due to ‘situational constraints’. For ex underemployment, unemployed meet low income and other related factors. Conflict theorists put forward the idea that poverty is a result of the state’s fail ere to allocate resources equitably. They examine poverty from different angles inch ding that of the labor market, stratification system and capitalism. They state that in the I Barbour market, there is an increasing demand for skilled workers in industrialized societies. Hose who are unemployed and underemployed are most likely unable to meet the require meets and are unable to secure high wages on the labor market,thus, remaining in poverty. A great example of this can be seen in Trinidad and Tobago where a person is now ex pecked to have at least three SEC passes in order to work as a cashier in a grocery or in KEF. Alternatively, there is a dual labor market, consisting of the primary labor racket and the secondary labor market. The primary labor market is found in large e profitable companies with job security, high wages and training opportunities.
While the secondary labor market is found in small companies with little job security low wages a ND few training purport nineties. Conflict theorists suggests that women and those of et hon. minorities are concentrated in the secondary labor market and take low paying jobs. T his too, can be seen in Trinidad and Tobago where the primary labor market is official go Vermont offices or non governmental organizations and the secondary labor market would be irking in hairdressing salons, hardware, groceries, in the market, CHEEP, et c.
It is in most of these organizations Women and the ethnic minorities are heavily me played. In addition, Marxist theorist explores poverty from the angle of the stratification system. They indicate that this system relates poverty to class. They believe the at the ‘underclass’, namely the retired elderly, the physically disabled and single par .NET families lack prestige and wealth and that their low position is a result of their low sat tutus. They go on to say that it is because of their low wages that opportunities for better pap d jobs are limited. Equally important is the angle of capitalism.
It is here that Marxist states that the existence of poverty is in favor of the owners of production, as it allows the m to maintain the capitalist system and maximize profits . It is important to realism that me embers of the working class only owns their labor which is sold at a wage and for those who SSE labor is not in demand, wages are low. Therefore competitions among workers arise which keeps the wage levels in check. The conflict theorist says that the state will act in FAA our of the ruling class and therefore, the government would do little to reduce poverty.
From this it can be said that Marxist view poverty as being functional in society but to non e other than the upper class or owners of production while exploiting the working class. There are researchers who disagree with the Marxist point Of view reason bee Eng, the Marxist view has failed to clearly states what causes certain groups in society to become poor, also the perspective does not distinctly distinguish the poor from other members of the working class, and therefore fails to offer an explanation for their poverty. Not to mention that the theory does not explore the income variations existing with n the working class.
Another Perspective taken on poverty is the Functionalist or conservative app roach led by Herbert . J Gangs. He argues that poverty persists because it IS beneficial to certain non poor and affluent groups in society. Functionalist theorists including Gangs argues that there are certain functions of poverty.
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