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Poverty and Ethics

  • Date Submitted: 10/12/2011 04:54 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 52.8 
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Nicole Kellough

Poverty is a major issue in the United States of America. Furthermore, some critics have yet to acknowledge the effects that poverty as on the United States as a whole society. While some seem to be lavishly rich, others seem to be dirt poor. Poverty in the United States can be viewed in one of two ways; it can be viewed as a way for our society to get together and help each other out, or it can be seen as a way to keep some people socially and economically higher than others in terms of social class. Gloria Watkins wrote a piece titled Outlaw Culture: Resisting Representations in 1994 under the name of Bell Hooks, talked about her viewpoint of poverty. She states that the main, “focuses on images of poverty in popular culture and what they tell us about ‘our’ assumptions about ‘the poor’,” (431). This meant that Gloria believed that most people were unwilling to help people in poverty based off of their assumptions that have been taught about the poor. Gloria was correct in her claims that poverty in today’s culture is based off of the negatives connotations that are attached to the word “poor”.

According to Gloria Watkins, critics most always, “portrayed the poor as shiftless, mindless, lazy, dishonest, and untrustworthy.” She also explained that, “poverty… in our society as a whole, is seen as…worthlessness.” This is due to the fact that when people think about poor people; their minds make up the image of a hobo on a street corner, or an addict trying to purchase drugs, because in actuality, these people are poor. She even stated that most of these critics said that the poor were, ““willing to commit all manner of dehumanizing and brutal acts in the name of material gain, the poor are gained only by means of material standards.” Most people do not realize that there are good, honest, and hardworking people who still are poor based off of the fact that they do not have the money to keep up with today’s growing economical demands....


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