Structural Functionalist Approach To Poverty Essay

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Defined, poverty means someone who lacks the socially acceptable amount of money to survive. Poverty often leads to a cycle of not being able to afford what is needed across generations. The US has about 12.7% of its population below the poverty line and the rate has been decreasing. The two perspectives that look at this topic in both a positive and negative light are the structural functionalist and the conflict theory. The structural functionalist theory believes everything is a working part of society and is needed to create a sort of well oiled machine and that every part has its own use and needed function. The conflict theory sees every aspect of society as a conflict between two groups for scarce resources and wants to minimize the…show more content…
Poverty creates workers in today 's economy because people in poverty are willing to work to gain money to support their needs and wants. Those who are better off in society aren 't as willing to do dangerous or dirty jobs. Their willingness to work to achieve what they want also gives them a higher sense of optimism when it comes to increasing their socioeconomic status in society. This makes “relatively lower-class individuals are more likely to engage in behaviors that actually promote economic mobility”. The functionalist believe that poverty is a necessity to society in that those that are qualified for jobs are given those jobs. Since those in poverty aren 't given the same educational opportunities as those that are considered wealthy, they can 't get jobs that need higher qualifications. Poverty helps to keep those who have the qualifications in the jobs that require them thus helping society to function. The functionalist perspective believes poverty helps society keep moving, so it also believes that no one should try to alleviate poverty. This perspective doesn 't do well with change because it believes that every part of society is needed no matter how bad it can be for people. The conflict theory, believes that everything is a result of conflict and believes in minimizing the conflict as best it
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