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Definitions and Theories/explanations

Discuss About The A Critical Social Work Response To Wealth.

Poverty and inequality persist in Australia despite the existence of an excellent welfare system. This essay describes the reasons behind the existence of these social issues. The main reasons behind these social issues are the increasing cost of the houses and unequal distribution of income. Poverty is the situation when the individuals do not have the enough money or income to meet their basic needs.  Economic inequality is defined as the situation where the income and wealth are not distributed equally and fairly (equally and fairly are two different terms as per the definition but we can write both words) among the people of large population amongst the population. The excess of the inequality and poverty is harmful for the Australian economy, so it is important to take some corrective actions to reduce the levels of these social issues. In Australia, there were around 2,265,000 people who living below the poverty line in the year 2012. According to the reports of the OECD (Organization for Economic and Social Development), the overall ratio of the poverty in 2014 was 12.8%. and Australia holds the position of 14th highest out of 36 countries whereas US is placed in the 35th position (Henley, 2013).

However,This essay highlights the poverty and inequality concepts with the relevant theories and definitions and also explains about the preferred approach to be used to reduce the level of poverty and inequalitythem.

Poverty: Historically, the poverty was (has been) defined as (according to) the universal standards of existence.  A person isPeople are said to be under the absolute poverty, when a person lacks they lack the minimum requirements for the survival such as food, shelter and clothing. On the other hand, relative poverty is the defined as the lack of the income or resources to fulfill the basic needs. According to the viewpoints of Latvia (1998), “Poverty is humiliation, the sense of being dependent on them and of being forced to accept rudeness, insults, and indifference when we seek help”. A poor man in Kenya (1997) (This date is for the reference purposes, here is the reference link) definesdefined poverty as the “what an individual sees by looking at his house, clothes and utensils” (World Bank, 1999). According to the various articles, poverty is thea multi-dimensional social phenomenon and its causes vary by age, culture, gender and other social contexts (O’Brien, 2009).

The following table from the Australian Council of Social Service shows the rate and profile of poverty has been shown in the year 2011. It shows the percentage of the people and children below 50% and 60% of median poverty lines. of 50% of median income as well as 60% of the median income has been illustrated in the below table:

The Conflict Theory of Poverty

The below table also show the distribution of the income to each type of group memberfamily group and its percentage.

(Goldie, 2016)

Inequality: Social inequality refers to the hierarchical distribution of the resources such as political, economic and cultural resources. Social inequality is very similar to the stratification concept which refers to the relationship between variables such as wealth and the social standing. According to the viewpoint of Karl Marx, the stratification systems are identified by the distribution of the economic resources. Therefore, inequality refers to the difference among thegroups of people because of the social, economic and political resources which are hierarchical in nature (Morley & Ablett, 2016).

Theories: On the basis of According to research conducted by the Australian bureau of Statistics (ABS) on poverty in Australia, (Can you name who conducted this research?) the social democratic or a traditional liberal perspective has been the preferred approach in this country. Moving aheadFurthermore, many theories of poverty and inequality has been introduced after doing the cultural and social analysis of the countries. (I think this will help you to understand this sentence) (I think it is better to use this word – however I don’t really understand this sentence), research on the theories related to the social issues has been done on the basis of cultural as well as social analysis and theories related to them. This research focused on cultural and social analysis and the theories of poverty. (Is this what you meant?)

The Conflict Theory of Poverty was established by the Karl Marx in the year of 1848 which  and basically underlined the causes and attributes of poverty. According to this theory, upper class people are basically holding the entire market system.whereas on the other side, there are alsoWorking-class people also exist in the market but according to the Karl Marx, he explained thatthe working classes are dependent on the upper class for work for wages and for the security of their livelihood. This theory however, claims that the society is now in the state of conflict because of the limited availability of the limited resources and this theory is used to explain the social phenomenasuch asof wealth and poverty, domestic violence and discrimination. This theory basically revolves around the social inequality (Is this what you mean?) that results from unfairness of income distribution. The ruling classes and the working classes create the conflict in the capitalist economy. There is conflict between the ruling class and working class in a capitalist economy. (Yes, this is better) (Is this better?) According to this theory, the bottom-up approach is used to understand the needs of the society. It starts with starting with the economic needs at the base then building the economic climate and thento provide for those needs in the end. There are three different versions of Marxism explained in the Marxism: Classical Marxism, Academic Marxism and Political Marxism. Therefore, Marxism also provides the analysis of the various factors and putting economies into perspective. (This  sentence is unclear to me – do you mean the following?) (YES) (Marxism provides an analysis of social factors and puts economies into perspective.) However, Marxism, as a method in sociological research,fails to provide substantial explanations to problems pertaining to race and ethnic relations. Assumptions, which can explain economic relationships, fail to explain contemporary racism and problems associated with it. Advocates of Marxism face the challenge of showing the relevance of their theoretical and historical views to contemporary forms of race and ethnic relations (Serr, 2007).

The Structural Function Theory of Poverty

The Structural function Theory of Poverty is another theory and according to this theory poverty is more than just a shortage of money as it is revolves around the socioeconomic mechanisms central to capitalism (This comment seems a bit vague). According to this theory, it is recommended that government should provide an education for the youth of all classes in society. theupper class as well as working class people,which in return access to the government in order to sustain the service.(I don’t know what you mean?) (I want to say that  working class people can take an advantage of the government facilities such as pensions, subsidies and many health insurances.  It's a common(well-known) fact that if children have a high level of education then they will find a job in order totosupport their families. However,If this cycle is repeated and is properly maintained thanthen poverty can be reduced fromwithin the economy. Therefore, this theory is like a ladder for the individuals to increase their level of income.

According to the Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, this theory has been introduced which emphasizes more places emphasis on the socioeconomic mechanism central to capitalism and generates unequal distribution of wealth which causes poverty. According to this theory or viewpoints of the Marx, wealth and poverty are linked to each other. TheyIt also focuses on the competition alsoas itwhich is the central to the imbalance because it also creates losers than the as well as winners in the competitive world (Ferreira & Ravallion, 2011).

Talking aboutIn considering the advantages and limitations of these theories or explanations of views,then this social theory presents an extremely powerful message to the people about the issues that face the country because of inequality between the upper class and working class. On the other side,Additionally, functional theory also representspresents some of the methods or ways in relation to overcome the poverty from the economy by involving the government sectors and by providing the public a high education and jobs. The limitation of all these theories or explanations are that people have the different viewpoints related to the causes of poverty. as some of people Some people are in the favor of some ofOther people think that low wage rates is the reason of for poverty (University, 2015).

After doing the analysis of the previous literature and studies, it is analyzed that in order to address the inequality and poverty,(Too many words that add nothing to your essay) The preferred approach to address poverty and inequality should be to increase the level of government spending. AlsoManyother studies from the past 20 years emphasizeon the fact that government spending is very important to reduce the poverty. According to the National Social Surveys, the attitudes of the people towards the government spending and the measures that should be undertaken have been critically analyzed about what the people are thinking related to the possible measures to reduce the poverty. The preferred approach,voiced by the Australian public is,to address the poverty and inequality are in the favor offor the government (to increase) Is this correct? (Yes) Spending,take responsibility for providing quality education to Australian residentsthe people living in Australia and improving their standard of living. Also half of the people shared their viewpoints with regard to the factHalf the people surveyed thought that the government should reduce the income differences between the rich and poor people and provide equal job opportunities tofor all the people in order to reduce the poverty and inequality in the economy. Comparing the international countries, Australians were more in favor of government spending and Americans waswere in the favor of some anotherother measures to reduce the poverty.

According to thea study of middle Australian people, there are 71% people showed athe positive response towards the government approaches (Do you mean government spending?) (it includes the approaches like government spending on education, pensions, subsidies and insurance for the Australian people) and think better to reduce poverty, 70% people prefer to reduce unemployment by the government job creation (Is this what you mean? (YES) )and 59.6% people consider that reducing the gap between rich and poor people in order to handle the inequalities and poverty social issues from the economy(would be beneficial.) Studies on the preferred approach to address the inequality and poverty in Australia show that the governments are providing a strong support to the in order to reduce the poverty and give equal opportunities for all. Moreover, according to the National Survey of U.S, (Where does this appear in your reference list? – I have tried googling this and nothing has come up.) in the year 1998, it was found that there are 42% of the people represent the role of were in favour of the government in increasing taxes by 1 or 2% because it willwould help to support the families when they need it (Ericson, 2013). when they actually need some support from the government. AlsoHowever, around 36% of people arewere in the favor of status quo and 14% of people supported to reduce a reduction of taxes. the tax deductions. Poverty and inequality in Australia very serious social issues and is very important to deal with them by adopting awesome preferred approaches. Education is also known other approach which is preferred by the people to reduce the poverty and inequality (Healy, 2017). Is clear that if higher will be the education of students, results into the higher employment opportunities increase in the level financial support to their families.(You have already made these points earlier in your essay – you don’t have to repeat yourself.)

Poverty is a very serious issue.and also It is not easy for peopleto handle by the people because it limits the othertheir abilities and capability is to grow, develop and contribute towards the economic growth of the country. Moving furtherAnti-poverty strategies need to beunderstandunderstood and carefully implemented (Is this comment appropriate?) yes  in order totoaddress the handling ofvarious complex social issues. The solutions to poverty are not that much easy and straight forward.the required They require the effort and cooperation of the various organizations, regulators,and professionals and the government departments at every stage. It is also observed that these problems are not that much great,(Are you sure about that?) (please read the full line, I want to say that this problem is not great because it can be easily resolved if government committed to take some major steps)  but the commitment by the government or regulator can make a difference.(The commitment to change for the better is essential for everyone involved.)

According to the United Nations, in its Universal Declaration of Human Rights,(You had better reference this), it is important to protect the human rights as to reduce the level of the unequal distribution of income among the group members and to eliminate the poverty. United nations considerinequality and poverty are legitimate issues concerning human rights (Koehler, 2017). The office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights tookhas the responsibility oftopromote thepromoting human rights and social justice in order to reduce these social issues inthe Australia. All the demands for social justice have been addressed to governments and other authorized entities which are responsible for the welfare and security of the societytheir citizens. Social work plays important role as a profession because this will help to reduce suffering amongst vulnerable people and limit the growth of the existing problems.  As abovementioned thatthe preferred approach is to increase the government spending, therefore, the government should promote the social work as a profession. The continuous social workleads toSocial workers help raise awareness promote of the causes and consequences of these social issues as well as working towards how to reduce reducing the levels of the povertydisadvantage.Also, the office of the UN high commissioner for human rights took the responsibility to promote the human rights and social justice in order to reduce these social issues from the Australia. All the demands for social justice have addressed to governments and other authorized entities which are responsible for the welfare and security of the society.I have moved this section further up in the paragraph.

Also, talking aboutConcerning the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the UN addresses the resources distributions, social rights and the making of the social protection and care policies which helps to control the social issues and regulate economies in efficient ways. The agenda given by the UN does not focus on the relationality and as its main goal is to work towards the poverty issues exits that exist in Australia and transform the world. The main focus of this agenda is to focus on the sustainable development goals. The Agenda of the UN has the positive side that, this is focusing much broader and deeperfocuses on broad, deep issues and it refers to all the forms of poverty as well as the inequality as a significant factors. The overall goal of the global social policy is to eradicate or overcome the inequality and poverty. In U.N reports of United Nations, it iswas found that 60% ofpeople said unemployment is the main reason of poverty, 31.5% people said low education is also the causeof causes poverty, and 14%ofpeople identified low wages and restructuring as significant. The actual reason found during the analysis is that the main reason in thefor Australia’sbehind the poverty and inequality issues is the high cost of housing.

Suggested changed change of conclusion below


From the above analysis, it is analyzedcan be concluded that poverty and inequality are the serious issues that persist in the Australia and their effects are increasing because of the high cost of the housing and the various other factors. Existing social services that the government provides to address these issues are: (list them)

  • Provides education to all the youth of all classes in the society
  • Offering health facilities to Australian people
  • Reduction in the taxes to avoid these social issues
  • Lowering the cost of the houses in Australia
  • Offering good amount of wages
  • Adopting the anti-poverty strategies
  • Redistribution of the income
  • Increasing the amount of pensions to the old age people
  • Creation of the jobs in the Australian economy to deal with the unemployment issues.

Effective implementation of these measures requires a government committed to social change that benefits all sections of the community and one that is open to innovative ideas.  It is time for are view of the taxation system which does not place the largest burden on any section of the community, proper funding of social services so that they keep up with demand, fair renumeration for work with increases that keep up with the cost of living, affordable and accessible education for all and a monitoring system to keep track of and control cost of living pressures.

In the last, it is concluded that it is very difficult to get the society at the equal position because of the globalisation and the government policies. The negative effects of the rise in inequality in the society are more than the positive. In order to deal these kinds of issues, it is recommended that government should take some initiatives and facilitates some of the activities without harming the Australian Economy. The government is only one support for poor people who have the ideas and powers to reduce these social issues by doing some amendments in existing policies or making new policies by considering the factors social security, low wage rate and high tax rates for the highly paid people or income earners.


Ericson, S. (2013). Key points from dr. robert reich’s film, inequality for all. Retrieved from

Ferreira, F., & Ravallion, M. (2011, February). Poverty and Inequality: The Global Context. Retrieved from

Goldie, C. (2016). Poverty in Australia 2016. Retrieved from

Healy, L. (2017). Situating social work within the post-2015 Global Agenda. European Journal of Social Work, 20(1), 5-16. Retrieved from

Henley, J. (2013). Patrons Review – The role of the moving image in natural history, Archives of natural history. Retrieved from

Koehler, G. (2017). The 2030 Agenda and eradicating poverty: New horizons for global social policy? . 17(2). Retrieved from

Morley, C., & Ablett, P. (2016). A Critical Social Work Response To Wealth And Income Inequality. Retrieved from

O’Brien, M. (2009). Social work and the practice of social justice: An initial overview. Retrieved from

Serr, K. (2007). Thinking about Poverty. The Federation Press. Retrieved from

University, O. (2015). Social inequality: a short history of an idea. Retrieved from

World Bank. (1999). The definitions of poverty. Retrieved from

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