The definitions of property vary from one country to country and from one culture to another. However the poverty generally refers to being deficient of central human needs like food, water, clothes, shelter as well as education because of lack of ability to afford them. This is absolute poverty. Relative poverty on the other hand refers to owning less reserves or a lesser wages than others in the society. Poverty levels are determined by the economic activity one does, people’s social class for instance in some countries there are barriers that prevent the poor to move from one class to another hence they remain in relative poverty for long because they cannot elevate their social status. Poverty has been a problem globally thought the countries most affected are third world countries, the less developed and some developing countries. Absolute poverty in the areas is usually as a result of overpopulation and failure to use birth control. The independent (2007) argued that birthrates have to be controlled to reduce poverty; the respondent reported that if world leaders were to alleviate global poverty, they had to take contraception methods as the central in their attempt to tackle poverty in the globe and hunger. The world population has been estimated to reach 9 billion in 2042 if the correct measures are not taken (worldometers, 2009). This means that the crisis of poverty might be here to stay if the government and people don’t adopt correct measure to curb overpopulation SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE ON POVERTY: In sociology poverty is viewed differently by various schools and scholars. The study of social factors of poverty links the state of poverty to the state of resource allocation and the way power is distributed in a social set up. Sociology views poverty in a different manner than other disciplines. Sociology views poverty as a purpose of the weakened capacity of people to live the kind of lives that they like. Aspects of social life associated with poverty are lack of access to basic amenities like education, access to information, political power and health care. Poverty in sociology is understood to be a feature of unequal social status and relationships which are not equal. People are unable to have meaningful connection and interaction with other people in the society as a result of poverty. Such social exclusion as a result of poverty is reduced by people having relationships which are strengthened by connection to the mainstream (Lewis 1966) for instance providing care to people who are in crisis and helping with basic needs and other amenities.
FUNCTIONAL ANALYSIS OF POVERTY: The functional analysis is a macro level analysis of poverty which is a very large social pattern. This perspective states that every part of the social order is mutually dependent and leads to the society doing well as a whole. Good functioning of a society enables stability, productivity and order because the different parts of the society work together so that there can be thus (Ritzer& Goodman, 2003). Disruption makes all parts to adjust and bring back a new-fangled order, steadiness and productivity. Poverty segments the society into two separate group, “the have and have not”. According to this perspective it in a way meets the basic needs in the society because those who are suffering do works that other people won’t do, poverty causes people to do even the dirtiest jobs which some people would never do. If there was no poverty to set aside these two groups, there are jobs that would not get done and this would lead to social instability.
CONFLICT THEORY IN EXPLANATION OF POVERTY: The conflict perspective theory pays attention to the pessimistic, conflicts and society ever changing nature. This perspective challenges the existing social condition (Ritzer & Goodman, 2003). The conflict perspective calls for social change and believes that those in high places use their power to force social order on those who are weak and poor. Though the rich seek out to help the poor they do this for their own selfish interest for instance gaining recognition and their status being elevated. The conflict perspective sees competition of scarce resources as what leads to poverty. The privileged have power over the deprived and unfortunate. The wealthy people in high places only look out for interests of those who are of the same status. The poor have come to see the society as based on inequality, in regard to this view conflict is functional in that it enables people to see faults and try to mend them. The ever changing nature of society is caused by two or more parties in the society having different interests and thus conflicting. Conflicts reinforce poverty because after two parties conflict over different views and result to war, there is so much damage done and this leads to poverty. Conflict spurs on poverty because money spent by the government to restore the damaged places would have been used to increase the standards of living of the people. Poverty will always exist in situations where there are conflicts.
SYMBOLIC INTERACTIONISM VIEW IN EXPLANATION OF POVERTY: The interactionism view emphasizes the importance of definitions and meanings in social behavior and it effects. People react to their understanding of situations rather than to the objective situation itself. The perspective also suggests that people’s identity is shaped by social interaction. Cooley suggested the concept of “looking glass self” whereby people see a reflection of themselves according to how others view them. In this case poverty must be seen or recognized as a problem in order for it to be a social problem. Poverty is labeled as a social problem and develops in stages. The social problem is born first and then it gains social recognition by the larger community (Blumer, 1986).
It eventually is recognized as a problem because of the fatalities associated with it, poverty leads to death and thus the society has labeled it as a social problem. It has also led to groups coming up to tackle it and reduce its occurrence in the future. For instance people and government have been educated on how to eliminate poverty by harvesting enough food and water in times of plenty to use in times of shortage. Poor people may also be seen as being responsible for their own fate because they did not manage to make sense of their world. Social problems like poverty exist if they are recognized. Sometimes poor people are said to be responsible for this fate and thus labeled as lazy and incompetent. If they are not willing to change and live to this label they create a culture of poverty.