definitions of poverty

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  • Definitions of poverty.
    • Relative poverty.
      • People are poor in relation to the national average.
      • Not able to participate in the community's normal or average style of living.
      • People are socially excluded; this means people are denied access to essential services and important areas of society
      • Measured through a deprivation index as well as in terms of income level.
      • Dynamic
        • Townsend - " any definition of poverty must be related to the needs and demands of a changing society"
      • Takes into account the cultural needs of society.
      • Consensual measurement of poverty.
      • It is too subjective.
      • Poverty will never disappear if it is always measured in relative terms.
      • Difficult to make an accurate measurement of relative poverty
    • Absolute poverty.
      • Lack the basic physical necessities of life.
      • measured by income level (wages, benefits, pension)
      • Budget standard - Income is not sufficient enough to pay for the basic elements.
      • It is a scientific and objective definition/measurement of poverty.
      • It is a fixed and universal definition.
      • It is an easily understood and easily recognizable definition/ measurement.
      • It is difficult to establish what the minimum needs of society should be.
      • It assumes that basic needs never change and that everyone has the same basic needs.
      • Absolute measurements do not measure the cultural needs of society.
    • Subjective poverty.
      • When a person believes they are in poverty.
      • Measure by questionnaire.
      • The feel good factor.


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