Individualism Sociology

492 Words2 Pages
In the textbook, it defines individualism as ‘ the belief that the individual is more important than the social group’ (Kerbo, p.254). This relates to those living in poverty as ‘individualism can mean that people are held responsible for their lot in life’ (Kerbo, p.255). To make matters worse, for the poor living in U.S. society, individualism is held in high regard. Many older studies use this belief to answer the question as to why individuals and families are living in poverty. In the beginning of the chapter is was discussed how poverty is portrayed across the globe. While the U.S. may have more spending towards anti-poverty programs, it is worse off due to its cultural beliefs. The belief that the poorest are this way due to some personal problem is hurting and keeping them in poverty.…show more content…
For this paper I will discuss social Darwinism and relate it back to the culture of individualism. This way of thinking is the most popular and reoccurring in American society. This view is so popular because it is a way for those who are not poor to justify poverty and to categorize people so they can look down on them. The text goes on to further explain, ‘ this ‘blaming the victim’ perspective can also be a means of controlling the poor’ due to the fact that the poor themselves believe it and are less likely to fight back for better conditions (Kerbo, p.259). The basic argument of social Darwinism is that people who are at the bottom are there due to their own inability to survive the competition. In other words, those who are at the top are there because they are the fittest, not any other factors. Further in the chapter, it summarizes a study due that correlates the poor are poor due to low mental ability, yet is later proven that it is the other way
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