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1. Different definitions and ways of measuring poverty, wealth
and income.
Poverty: absolute and relative, material and multiple deprivation, social
exclusion, subjective poverty, environmental poverty. Measurement of poverty:
of relative poverty illustrated by Townsend or Mack and Lansley.

Defining Poverty.
Absolute poverty - also known as subsistence poverty as…

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Allows us to think how poverty is socially constructed and may change at different times and
places. Allows us to extend the debate, as this measure realises that poverty is a comparison with
what the rest of society possesses. Impossible to apply equally across the world, material values
differ between…

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Social exclusion ­ New Labour - This refers to the process by which certain groups
are marginalised and disadvantaged by the mainstream institutions of society. It
not only stresses material deprivation bit also inequalities of power that prevents
those socially excluded from influencing decision-makers.
Subjective Poverty ­ Are people with…

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Wealth: marketable and non-marketable wealth, significance of home
ownership and share ownership, pensions, inheritance. Issues and problems in
measuring wealth.
Defining Wealth.

Sociologists find it very difficult to define new concepts of wealth, however they do
understand that wealth includes possessions, assets, and savings. For example the
inclusion of property…

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levels pay often low levels of income tax. The idea was that increased revenue
would allow the government to spend money on public services and thereby
increase living standards for all tax payers.
Direct Taxation - These are taxes which are imposed directly on the individual
paying them. E.g. income…

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Murray ­ Stigmatization - Income - Women who have children outside marriage
are singled out as particularly worthy of stigma, the erosion of which since the
`sexual revolution of the 1960s', Murray suggests, has contributed to the increase
in their numbers.
Kabeer ­ Social Status ­ Income ­ Women have…

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ethnic minorities tend to be concentrated in the secondary labour market in jobs
characterised by low-pay, low skills and job insecurity. Because these jobs offer
little in the way of promotion prospects or training, ethnic minority workers have
tended to remain in a disadvantages position in the labour market. For…

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depend on gender, marital status, ethnicity, and previous occupational status
alongside the age factor. Divorced or widowed women have the lowest levels
of material resources, especially those who may have been in involved in part
time or low paid work.
Behavioural Explanations ­ Income - Less adaptable, Failure to make…

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disabilities, to find and obtain good paid work, is a major reason for this social
group being vulnerable to poverty.

3. The existence and persistence of poverty in contemporary

Study of official statistics and sociological research findings on poverty,
including some international comparisons.


No overall figures are…

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state provided anything more than the bare essentials of life, then the poor
would seize the opportunity for an easy life without the difficulties. Spencer also
believed that poverty was functional necessity for society, and provided and
incentive for hard work and thrift.
Lewis ­ Culture of Poverty ­ New…


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