Key Terms - Poverty

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Poverty ­ Key Terms
Income and Wealth
Global Economy ­ refers to the way in which investment and trading now span the entire world
Inheritance Tax ­ tax on wealth when a person dies
Inland Revenue ­ the government department responsible for taxes on earnings and wealth
Life Cycle ­ refers to the changes in a person's economic and social situation over their lifetime
Marketable Wealth ­ all a person possesses (does not included their pension or house)
Pension ­ a regular payment made to someone when they retire from paid employment
Personal Wealth ­ wealth owned by individuals. This can be compared with institutional wealth,
which is wealth owned by companies
Redistribution ­ the transfer of wealth from the rich to the poor
VAT ­ a tax charged on most goods and services
Wealth ­ the ownership of property, shares, savings and other assets
Definitions and Measures
Absolute Definition ­ a person is in poverty if they are unable to afford the most basic
necessities of life. Poverty is seen as destitution
Consensual Measure­ a form of the relative definition of poverty, base on a lack of the goods
and services deemed necessary by most people in society
Destitution ­ failure to obtain the absolute necessities to keep life going
Households Below Average Income (HBAI) ­ the measure used by British government which
puts the poverty threshold at 60% of median income
Median Income ­ the middle band of income
Operationalize ­ how sociologists go about finding a way to measure a concept
Relative Definition ­ a person is in poverty if they are unable to afford the standard of living
considered acceptable by the majority of people
Relative Income Measure ­ a form of the relative definition of poverty, based on having only a
certain proportion of the average income in a society
Social Exclusion ­ when people suffer a series of linked problems, such as unemployment, poor
skills, low incomes, poor housing and high crime, which prevent them from enjoying full
membership of society
The Extent of Poverty
Composition ­ refers to a way of analysing poverty figures by illustrating which groups provide
the largest proportions of people living in poverty
Disposable Income ­ how much people actually have left to spend after paying fixed bills
Economic Status ­ refers to a way of classifying poor people by how they obtain their income
Family Status ­ refers to a way of classifying poor people by the sorts of family types they
belong to

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Household Status ­ used interchangeably with `family status'
Low Pay ­ defined s earning less than half the average male wage
Older People ­ refers to people of pensionable age, currently 60 for women and 65 for men
Risk Groups ­ refers to a way of analysing poverty figures by classifying groups by their chance
of being in poverty
Existence and Persistence
Citizenship ­ refers to the belief that people living in British society have certain `rights',
including the right to have a decent standard…read more

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Selectivism / Targeting ­ the belief that only those with limited resources should receive
welfare services and benefits
Universalism ­ the belief that everyone should be entitled to free welfare services and
Voluntary ­ independent organisations that provide health or welfare services, but do not seek
to make any profit
Welfare Regime ­ `ideal type' term used to categorize similar sorts of welfare provision in
different countries…read more


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