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1.1 Analyse different concepts of poverty e.g. absolute, relative
2.1 Evaluate three different theories of the causes of poverty and resolving it e.g. functionalist, New Right, social democratic, Marxist and feminist perspectives
2.2 Assess the effectiveness of different policies for dealing with policies
3.1 Analyse three theories in relation to the function of the welfare state in resolving poverty and providing services such as education, housing, health e.g. New Right, Social Democratic and Marxist perspectives

Absolute and Relative Poverty Concepts

Poverty is the state that results in scarcity of the minimum amount of money or the resources that are being used or required by a person to live a normal life. The people can be said to be poor if they are deprived of the resources and the income that are needed by the person to fulfil the basic needs. Poverty line is drawn between the people to differentiate between the people who are under poverty line and who are above poverty line (Halfpenny, 2014). Poverty line cannot be drawn only at one aspect of income but there are many aspects that need to be considered before drawing the poverty line. Although poverty is the very common aspect to be seen and read all around but understanding the actual meaning of poverty is very difficult. There are many factors that make their contribution in poverty such as political factors, social factors, economical factors, cultural factors, etc. with passage of time the impact of these factors on poverty has also changes (Woolcock, 2007). There are basically two concepts of poverty:

  • Absolute
  • Relative

Absolute poverty can be defined as the poverty that does not allow the people to even attain the minimum basic needs of the individual. The situation of absolute poverty rises when the people do have the enough resources to fulfil the basic needs like shelter, food, clothing etc. In this situation; the people may not be affected by the other people but cannot afford to have the small necessities of the life (Bradshaw, 2007).

Relative poverty is also the form of poverty in which the major factors that affect the poverty is the location or the other people. This is because the comparison is made between the people in this case. Relative poverty is defined as the poverty in which the some of the people in the country are not being able to enjoy the things that the other people of the country are enjoying. It is the case where the people have difference or the large gap between the living standards (Esping-Andersen, 2017). This type of poverty differs from pace to place according to the situation of the country or the living standards of the country.

There are different theories that determine different causes of poverty in different regions. Three theirs have been discussed below:

Functionalism: Functionalist is considered as one of the best theories that look for the poverty sociology. This theory suggest that society have different functions same as the body. Poverty is also the element of society and thus it also has functions. According to this theory poverty has two major functions. Among these one of the functions is motivation. Poverty motivates the person to work hard to earn more to fulfil his living (Held, 2013). As per the theory poverty drives the people to work efficiently if they want to make use of the available resources. This theory states that working hard is very much better than living in poverty as working hard is the resolving criteria for the issue poverty according to this theory.

Functionalist, New Right, Social Democratic, Marxist and Feminist Perspectives on Causes of Poverty and Resolving it

The social democratic theory: It argues against the capitalist society. It suggests that the rich people should help the poor people in different ways. It has also been argued in the theory that in the state of capitalist the profit margin does not focuses on rich or poor but make rich people more rich and poor more poorer. This theory is about helping the weak by the powerful people in the society. This approach deals with welfare of the society and focuses on ideas of elimination g the bas effects of capitalists that are unemployment and low wages (Castles, 2009). This approach also suggests that interference of government in the market in order to regulate the activities that are related to division of profit margins among the society. It suggests that government should interfere and make the things sorted for the poor people so that the money should not be able to flow on the richer side only. According to this approach, the main reason of being poor is dependency of the poor people in Britain. This is because poor thinks that they can earn more benefits by depending o others rather than working for themselves.

Feminization perspective: Feminization perspective on poverty suggests that there is more percentage of women of females who are poor rather than the males (O'Connor, 2009). The reason is not only the income aspect but the biasness in providing chance of earning between the men and the women is also a big reason. Lone mother households are also one of the major reasons behind this issue. The aspects that can be considered here is that the jobs that women are doing is not safe and generally are in the small companies with informal nature. Thus, these jobs have no security. The women who are poor loss access to the proper health services by the society. They cannot be able to access the resources that are available (Pogge,  2007). The solution to resolve this issue is to educate the girl child. Education to the women can reduce this issue to the great extent. This is because they become independent and can be able developing the capability of working and earning for themselves.

There are different policies that are being formed in UK in order to reduce the poverty. With the change in the level of policies and the change in reasons behind the generation of poverty, it has been analysed that the government of the country has released new or modified policies now and then. These policies are so much n number that it needs to be regulated by the government. To regulate sic poverty policies, new policies have been formed. There is various aspect of poverty on which various policies have been formed (Unicef, 2007). The first is the reduction of child poverty. The policy is formed in order to eliminate the poverty among the children of the country. Improving mental health is another aspect that has been focused upon and the policy has been framed that argues about the health and care service provided to the metal people. Improving social mobility is one of the major aspect on which the government has frame the policy o that every person in the country have the capability to achieve the potential. Wages is the element that affects the poverty number in the country. Managing those wages and work for pay is the policy that has been released so that the people get fair wages and earn their living. Other than the above discussed reasons, there are many policies that are still running in the society for reduction of poverty and bringing equity among the population. As these policies are large in number so the government has made efforts in framing such policies that regulates the above discussed policy (Krumer-Nevo, Weiss-Gal and Monnickendam,  2009). This policy of regulation is necessary so that the confusion can be eliminated as the poverty policies undergo many changes now and then and this may confuse the socialists or the people.

Social democratic approach is the first approach that focuses on reducing the poverty in the country. As discussed earlier as well that this approach is against the capitalist state where the gap between rich and poor is so large. This theory or the approach argues about the welfare system that needs it be implemented in order to support the people who are poor and to fill the gap between the rich and the poor.

Marxist perspective: it has been analysed that the perspective of Marxists over poverty is regarding the inequality in wealth distribution (Goldstein, 2012). This is the theory that is somewhat similar to social democratic theory as bit the approach focuses on capitalist’s society. The sociologists have contrasting views on the aspect that the inequality is the major cause of poverty in society. Some think that poverty is there because of inequality and some claims that poverty attacks the society who accepts inequality. On the other hand, some of the scholars argue that poverty and inequality does not have any realisation. However, the Marxists theory suggests that removal of inequality can reduce the poverty of the country.

New right approach is very much contrasting with the above discussed bot the theories. This is because it begins in capitalist’s society, according to this theory capitalists society provides the stable system to the society while the interference of government in the market place results in instability and confusion (Platt, 2007). The main reason for this approach of poverty is the single parent. This approach provide some of the tactics to reduce poverty in the country such as implementing welfare system, providing benefits to those who are more in need.

References:

Bradshaw, T.K., 2007. Theories of poverty and anti-poverty programs in community development. Community Development, 38(1), pp.7-25.

Castles, F., 2009. The Social Democratic Image of Society (Routledge Revivals): A Study of the Achievements and Origins of Scandinavian Social Democracy in Comparative Perspective. Routledge.

Esping-Andersen, G., 2017. Politics against markets: The social democratic road to power. Princeton University Press.

Goldstein, P., 2012. Post-Marxist theory: an introduction. SUNY Press.

Halfpenny, P., 2014. Positivism and Sociology (RLE Social Theory): Explaining Social Life. Routledge.

Held, D., 2013. Global covenant: The social democratic alternative to the Washington consensus. John Wiley & Sons.

Krumer-Nevo, M., Weiss-Gal, I. and Monnickendam, M., 2009. Poverty-aware social work practice: A conceptual framework for social work education. Journal of Social Work Education, 45(2), pp.225-243.

O'Connor, A., 2009. Poverty knowledge: Social science, social policy, and the poor in twentieth-century US history. Princeton University Press.

Platt, L., 2007. Poverty and Ethnicity in the UK. Policy Press.

Pogge, T., 2007. Freedom from poverty as a human right: Who owes what to the very poor?. UNESCO.

Unicef, 2007. Child poverty in perspective: An overview of child well-being in rich countries (No. inreca07/19).

Woolcock, M., 2007. Toward an Economic Sociology of Chronic Poverty: Enhancing the Rigor and Relevance of Social Theory.

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