Social Welfare History
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Poverty has continued to be one of the complicated and tedious topics with many scholars generating different views concerning the same. Several theories have been developed starting with classical thinkers to the current state of contemporary scholars. Despite the numerous theories developed to help explain the phenomenon, these theories have not been internalized fully as many explanations that tend to lack objectivity persist in the society. One of the stereotypical explanations of poverty is more entrenched in American culture than any other nation of the world. A long established notion of poverty in American culture is that the poor are the chief architects of their own poverty. This belief is based on the assumption that everything is possible in America. In this perspective, the poor people are assumed to have taken a deliberate attempt to remain in their poor state and should not be aided out of their predicament (Bane et al, 1994).
The second explanation about poverty that has a lot of biases has been propagated by scholars who postulate that the poor people seem to lack vision that defines their future and as such prefer to live in the present. That is the poor people do not prefer to have saving culture, which would enable them to accumulate capital for future investments, which at least would change the lives of their future generations. This perspective could also mean that the poor people lack concern for the future world and are therefore, not fit to remain in the society. The third biased view of poverty has been postulated by theorists, who have linked the poor to be fatalists who always indulge in self-defeating behaviours, neglecting the virtue of hard work. In this version, the poor people are taken to be lazy and as the bible outlays, they should not be given food or any assistance to aid them out of poverty (Goode and Edwin, 1996).
The above biases about the complex issue of poverty have the capacity to hamper service delivery geared towards uplifting the poor sections of the society. The first effect is that such views will affect policy formulation from micro to macro institutions such as the government. Societal institutions, which formulate all policies, including those on poverty eradication, are headed by human beings, might be within the confines of such biases in one way or the other. In such situations, therefore, majority of the developed policies will not be geared towards uplifting the poor, but will serve to perpetuate the status quo. Secondly, the biases will provide a breeding ground for discrimination. The poor will be discriminated by members from the rich class, something that will spread up to implementation of service delivery protocols, which by default are in the hands of the rich. Lastly, the biases have the potential of creating hatred and insecurity in a nation. All the biases levelled towards the poor will serve to create two opposing forces like the ones described by Karl Marx, which stratified society into the haves and have-nots. When conflicts entrenched in such human perception occur, cooling it down can take a lot of time and in the process hamper service delivery (Patricia, 2010).
First and foremost, to reduce the biases in delivering services to the poor, there needs to be strong, laws established by the government to act as a guideline and to cushion the public against any biases towards the poor people of the society. More so, such rules should entrench intensive clauses that allows for affirmative action, which is critical in diffusing the notion that the poor people are in that state because of choice. Education is another technique that can help correct the negative perception about the causes of poverty. When people are educated, stereotypical values relinquish as people begin to look each other through an objective lens (Bourgois, 2001).
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