Work, Poverty and Welfare - Key Terms

Key terms for the whole of the Wealth, poverty and welfare section.

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Absolute poverty
(subsistence poverty) - When a person lacks the basic minimum requirements necessary to subsist (survive) and maintain life, health and physical efficiency.
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Relative poverty
A condition whereby individuals or families are deprived of the opportunities, comforts and self-respect which the majority of people in their society enjoy. The 'ordinary living patterns' vary over time and between societies.
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social exclusion
Where people lack the resources, which might enable them to participate in the community or society in which they live, excluding them or 'cutting them off' from what most people regard as a 'normal life'
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Deprivation index
A list of items, lifestyle needs, such as food, health, housing, income, ownership of consumer goods and access to transport, used to measure the level of deprivation experienced by an individual, group or geographical area.
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Subjective poverty
Refers to people's own feelings and judgments about whether or not they are poor in relation to the other members of society.
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Relative deprivation
The sense of lacking things compared to the group with which people identify and compare themselves.
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Poverty line
The dividing point between those who are poor and those who are not. The poverty line used in Britain and the European Union is 60% or below of median income.
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Median income
Derived from dividing the population into two equal groups, half of who,m have income above that amount, and half with income below that amount. The median income is exactly in the middle of these two groups
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A dependency culture
A set of values and beliefs, and a way of life, centered on dependence of others, particularly benefits from the welfare state
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Underclass
A social group right at the bottom of the social hierarchy, whose members are in some ways different from, and excluded from the rest of society
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Theory of the cycle of deprivation
Suggests that poverty is cumulative, in the sense that one aspect of poverty can lead to further poverty. This builds up into a vicious circle of poverty from which the poor find it hard to escape, and it carries on with their children
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The poverty trap
When people on means-tested benefits find themselves worse off if they get low-paid jobs, as the benefits they lose are worth much more than the money they gain through employment, This creates a disincentive for them to look for work.
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Wealth
Property in the form of assets which can be sold and turned into cash for the benefit of the owner.
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Marketable wealth
Consists of assets that can be bought and sold, and turned into cash for the owner's benefit.
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Non-marketable wealth
That which cannot be sold or cashed in, like occupational and state pension rights.
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Productive property
Property that provides an unearned income for its owner, such as factories, land and stocks and shares.
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Consumption property
Property for use by the owner which doesn't produce any income, such as owning your own car.
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Income
Is a flow of money which people obtain from work, their investments or the state (benefits).
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Earned income
Income which is received from paid employment (wages and salaries).
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Unearned income
That received from productive property, like rent on buildings and land, dividends on shares, and interest on savings and other personal investments.
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Marginalisation
Refers to the process whereby some groups are pushed by poverty, ill-health, lack of education, disability, racism etc. on to the margins or edges of society and are unable to take part in the life enjoyed by the majority of citizens.
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Market situation
Refers to the rewards that people are able to obtain when they sell their skills and talent on the labour market, with the rewards they get dependent on the scarcity of their skills and the power they have to obtain high rewards.
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Welfare pluralism
Refers to the whole range of welfare provision, including informal provision by the family and community, welfare provided by the government, the voluntary sector and the private sector.
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Pressure groups
Organisations which try to put pressure on those with power in society to implement policies which they favour.
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The inverse care law
Suggests that those in the greatest need of help from the welfare state get the fewest resources allocated to them, while those who need it least, get the most resources.
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The labour process
Refers to the circumstances in which people apply their labour at work to produce goods and services, such as how well they work who controls their work and what skills they use.
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The division of labour
A term referring to the way labour process, or occupations, is divided up into a large number of specialised tasks or jobs, each of which is carried out by one worker or group of workers.
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Productivity
Refers to how much workers produce during the labour process - their output in terms of items made or processed - in a given time period (Their efficiency as a worker)
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Taylorism
Involves breaking work down into its simplest elements, with workers given clear and simple instructions on exactly how they should do their job by the managers who plan and co-ordinate these different tasks.
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Fordism
The application of scientific management to the mass production of standardised goods, using assembly- line technology, involving few skills and repetitive work by employees
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McDonaldisation
The process where the principles of the fast-food restaurant are coming to dominate more and more sectors of society
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Deskilling
The process through which the skills of workers are removed from work by the application of technology
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Upskilling
The process of giving extra training to workers so they have more skills to make them before better in their jobs
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Hawthorne effect
Occurs when the presence of a researcher, or a group's knowledge that it has been specially selected for research, changes the bahaviour of the group
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Responsible autonomy
Means workers are given a limited degree of control over their work, and the opportunity to use their own initiative and to organise their own work routines.
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Alienation
The condition whereby workers lack power and control at work and have no job satisfaction or sense of personal creativity and fulfillment from their work. Work becomes meaningless apart from as means of earning money
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Technological determinism
The view that the technology or machinery used in production is the major influence in explaining workers' attitudes and involvement in work
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Craft production
The production of goods by human skill using hand tools
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Mechanisation
Involves the production of goods by machinery which take over the manual ski;lls involved in craft production
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Automation
The process where machinery and computers not only make goods, but also control the speed of production, the input of raw materials and the correction of any mistakes, with very little human supervision
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Flexible specialisation
Involves production methods using technology that can be quickly adapted to producing new, more specialised products to meet rapidly changing consumer demands
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Knowledge work
Is that which deals with ideas, information and analysis, rather than making or distributing physical products
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Core workers
The well-paid and qualified, skilled workers who make up the full-time, permanent employees in the work place
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The primary labour market
The relatively secure section of the labour market, consisting of full-time standard jobs, with good pay and working working conditions, job security, training and career opportunities
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periphery workers
Employees who are often in insecure, non-standard part-time jobs, or on short-term, zero hours or temporary full-time contract, and employed on casual, temporary basis, and therefore easily replaceable.
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The secondary labour market
The insecure labour section of the labour marke, involving part-time, or short-term, temporary work, lack of job security, lower levels of training, poorer pay and fewer promotion opportunities
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The culture of poverty
Set of beliefs and values thought to exist among the poor which prevents them from escaping poverty
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The unemployment rate
The percentage of the economically active population who are unemployed.
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The economically active population
Consists of those in the population who are either in work or looking for and available for work.
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Anomie
Refers to a sense of normlessness - confusion and uncertainty over social norms - often found in periods of rapid social change and other disruptions to the routines and traditions of everyday social life.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

A condition whereby individuals or families are deprived of the opportunities, comforts and self-respect which the majority of people in their society enjoy. The 'ordinary living patterns' vary over time and between societies.

Back

Relative poverty

Card 3

Front

Where people lack the resources, which might enable them to participate in the community or society in which they live, excluding them or 'cutting them off' from what most people regard as a 'normal life'

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

A list of items, lifestyle needs, such as food, health, housing, income, ownership of consumer goods and access to transport, used to measure the level of deprivation experienced by an individual, group or geographical area.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Refers to people's own feelings and judgments about whether or not they are poor in relation to the other members of society.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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