Sociology

Poverty

Damian Anderson

Professor James Earhart

Soci 216

28, February 2016

Poverty

If a survey would take places measuring the benefits of poverty, it is presumed that a majority would like insist that poverty isn’t a beneficial circumstance. There are plenty of arguments on why people are in poverty but the ideas and solutions to take one out of poverty are scarce in comparison. It is better to skimpily identify the problem and then focusing on solving the problems, and that should remain to be the focus.

There are three types of poverty. First there is absolute poverty. This type of poverty, mostly seen in other countries, “refers to the lack of resources necessary for well-being” (Mooney, Knox, Schacht, 174). Second there is relative poverty which is the lack resources compares to other populations (Mooney, Knox, Schacht, 174). Thirdly, there is extreme poverty where people are living on less than $1.25 a day. (Mooney, Knox, Schacht, 174).  Generally, povery in America is determined on whether a house hold spends 1/3 of their income on food however measuring poverty can vary depending on the number of members in a household (Mooney, Knox, Schacht, 175).

As with any social problem there are different perspectives when addressing the problem. Structural-functionalist view poverty as the result of “economic institutions that fail to provide sufficient jobs and pay” as well as educational institution failing to equip individuals with the needed skills for employment (Mooney, Knox, Schacht, 176).  Karl Marx presented a conflict theory regarding poverty, as it comes from the business owners’ domination over the workers (Mooney, Knox, Schacht, 177). Symbolic interactionist view that the label of “poor” will give one an identity of being lazy, immoral, irresponsible, and personally deficient (Mooney, Knox, Schacht, 179).

Rebecca Vallas and Melissa Boteach proposed 10 ways of solving the problem of poverty; however some have some issues themselves. A few of the ways they suggested included: creating more jobs, raise the minimum wage, increase the earned income tax credit for childless workers, support pay equity, provide paid leave and paid sick days, establish work schedules that work, and expand Medicaid (Vallas, Boteach, The Top 10 Solutions to Cut Poverty and Grow the Middle Class). The solutions sound great on paper; however it would require much government overseer for these ideas to work, however some seem problematic. For example, raising minimum wage will work momentarily, but once cost of living is adjusted a larger poverty group is born. Work schedules that work is also a foolish idea as many business (fast food restraints for example) are open nearly 24 hours a day, thus shifts have to vary among coworkers.

The solution to poverty is education and skills. Once someone gains a proper education the doors open wide for potential opportunities. However, not everyone is going to have available access to furthering educations due to high school costs (discussed in an early paper). There are organizations that help assist those stuck in poverty meet certain needs.  Feeding America, largest domestic hunger relief program, provides meals to more than 200 food banks in all of the 50 states (Rozzi, Top 10 Non-Profits Fighting Poverty). Another similar organization is Meals on Wheels, whom “provide visionary leadership and professional training and to develop partnerships that will ensure the provision of quality nutrition services to seniors in need (Rozzi, Top 10 Non-Profits Fighting Poverty).  Though providing nutrition and meals may be a temporary solution to what seems like a permanent problem, it is a start.

What is the solution to poverty? The solution to nearly every problem faced is proper education. When we are properly educated, whether through high schools, GED programs, or colleges/universities we are opened to a new world. The best way to fight poverty is improving the education system offering more specific/hands on classes rather than teaching student how to take a test. When students succeed, our nation will succeed.

Works Cited

Mooney, Linda A, Knox, David, and Schacht, Caroline. Understanding Social Problems. Stamford: Cengage Learning. 2015. Print.

Boteach, Melissa, and Vallas, Rebecca. American Progress. Web. 2014.

Rozzi, Giulia. TakePart. Web. 2009

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Crash- Review and Analysis

Crash Analysis

Damian Anderson

Columbia College

Crash is 2004 drama film directed by Paul Haggis and follows the lives of several separate people whose lives connect over the span of 36 hours. Their interaction revolves around a simple theme: racism. Though it is an unwanted substance in society, racism exists in more than one faucet. The film not only cover whites being racist of blacks, but blacks racist of white, Persians racist of Hispanics, ect. Some of the key points in the film revolve around the action and choices of Officer John Ryan, played by Matt Dillon.

There were several situations in the film that arose in regards to choices of Officer Ryan that are directly connected to the text. In one of his first scenes, the decorated officer chooses to stop a SUV, claiming that it may have been connected a hijacked vehicle, when actuality it was because the passenger appeared to be performing oral sex on the driving. Once stop the officer asked both the passenger and driver are asked to step outside, after the passenger was vocally aggressive. This lead to Officer Ryan performing a pat down of the passenger, and in the progressive gropes her sexually. The driver is intimidated by the officer and doesn’t oppose Officer Ryan. Another officer with Ryan also doesn’t oppose the officer actions immediately.

This scene alone has numerous things packed into it that the text mentions throughout. Chapter 2 speaks primarily of racism in the police department; it cites that some police department carries serious repercussions when allegations of racism occur on behalf of their employees.   A police department in California, Alameda Police Department, carried punishment that included termination (Shusta, Levine, Wong, Olsen, Harris, 2015). The department’s general orders include the following: 1) Code of Ethics, when an officer commits to personal suppression of prejudice, animosities, malice and ill will, 2) Discrimination of any form (age, sex, race, national origin), 3) Impartiality to all individuals and promises equal protection under the law, and 4) harassment in the workplace for any reason including race, ethnicity, disability, sex, age, ect. is prohibited (  Shusta, Levine, Wong, Olsen, Harris, 2015). This department had also released action that would not be condoned, they are: 1) racism, racial slurs, racial discrimination, 2) sexism, offensive sexual remarks, sexual discrimination, 3) discrimination or harassment for sexual orientation, and 4) religious discrimination (Shusta, Levine, Wong, Olsen, Harris, 2015). Officer Ryan would clearly be guilty due to his sexual action toward the passenger.

The second piece of information taken from scene would concern the distrust of law enforcement. It is unfortunate that a large population of community feel that the police aren’t there to protect them but to oppress them. Many ethnic groups such as those from South America, Puerto Rico, and Cuba have faced such things in their native land (Shusta, Levine, Wong, Olsen, Harris, 2015). In Crash, it shows one man (Officer Ryan) creating distrust with one woman. However, this just shows a singular event that can occur in other beat, towns and communities. It only takes a few media sources to turn a community against the police. It has been in done with the Black Lives Matter movement over and over, based on information that the media broadcasts. Similar protest could occur given the same outrage over another issue or misuse of power.

The film Crash shows an accurate display of an accurate picture of what power the police hold. There is an immediate need for policies and proper procedures, including severe disciplinary actions, in regards allegation of prejudice action by the employees of the department. There is already enough distrust out there and by implementing more programs regarding the issues at hand, the community may once again be partnered with law enforcement. Until then, police will be looked upon as oppressors.

Works Cited

Haggis, P. (Director). (2004) Crash [Motion Picture on DVD]. United States: Sony Pictures

Shusta, Robert M., Levine, Deena R., Wong, Herbert Z., Olson, Aaron T., Harris, Philip R. (2015). Multicultural Law Enforcement: Strategies for Peacekeeping in a diverse society. (6th ed.) Prentice Hall: Upper Saddle River, NJ. Print