• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9

Poverty no longer exists in Britain today

Extracts from this document...


There is an argument that poverty no longer exists in Britain today. Many people would say that the days when people died from lack of food, shelter or clean water ended, in this country, with the introduction of the welfare state (Chinn, 1995). Poverty, however, can be defined in two ways and depending on which definition one chooses to employ, it can be contested whether the balance of evidence shows that poverty actually does exist or not. In this piece of work it will be argued that poverty does affect many people in our society and the lack of resources of poorer people in society is at the root of inequalities in health. Furthermore it will be shown that the discrepancy between the standards of living that better off people in society enjoy and the standards of living that poorer people endure can be something that is very difficult to alter. In conclusion there will be a discussion on the role that social care professionals may play in trying to reduce the negative effects suffered by some people as a result of poverty. The first of the two identified forms of poverty is absolute or "subsistence level poverty" (Thompson and Priestly, 1996: 207). ...read more.


The rate of pre-natal mortality is higher for women from lower socio-economic groups. A poorer person is more likely to die in infancy, more likely to suffer ill health, as a child and as an adult, and more likely to die prematurely than someone who has greater access to resources. It has been stated that "the most significant factor [affecting health] in poverty is... the fact that poor people are denied access to possessions and services that are available to their better-off peers" (Moore, 1997). This could include: preventative medicine, early treatment when sick, a healthy diet, access to 'keep fit' leisure activities. Other factors which could have a detrimental effect on poorer people could include things like poorly maintained housing, stress related illness and smoking, which is more prevalent among lower income groups (Office for National Statistics, 1998). Explanations for poverty tend to fall into two categories. There are individualistic explanations for poverty. That people who are in relative poverty are so because they are in some way lazy, irresponsible or 'feckless' and they could help themselves to escape poverty if they really wanted to. Some people vocalise this way of thinking by, for example, telling the unemployed to 'get on their bikes' and find work. ...read more.


In particular it recognises the needs of those who may have multiple disadvantages, for example women, children, people with disabilities, older people and people from ethnic minority groups. Social care workers should have an awareness of combined inequalities and should have a commitment to reduce them. "Many social workers invest considerable efforts to maximise the welfare benefits of their clients and search through charitable resources to alleviate some of their acute hardships" (Jones, 1997: 121). Social care workers can work in partnership with other agencies to ensure that they refer people to organisations who are able to help, when it is not within the social carer's remit. For example, referrals could be made to: agencies who advise on health matters, or work to increase benefits, or help people back into work, or give advice on housing matters. "The best way to get rid of poverty - absolute or relative - is to forge a more genuinely equal society" Stephens et al (1998: 258). This is something that is beyond the capabilities of any one profession. In conclusion, social care workers can help to reduce the negative effects of poverty to a certain extent but, for any major improvements to be made, there needs to be a radical change (through governmental policy) in the distribution of both power and wealth. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Marriage is no longer important. Evaluate the arguments for and against

    4 star(s)

    the fear of getting divorced again or, because they can?t be bothered going through the complicated marriage process, or even because they didn?t like being married. A woman might have previously cohabited over a period of time and then got married.

  2. crime and poverty

    For example if a person has had an experience of crime so for example seen someone commit murder then they are likely to grow up and commit crime. Some people may agree with this because they may have seen crime when they was younger and then could of committed crime themselves.

  1. Briefly outline one major inequality which exists in the UK today. Analyse and discuss ...

    can truly become members of the society into which they have been born; second, the stabilisation of the adult personalities of the society..." (www.A-Z of Sociologists). Whilst Parsons, acknowledges the existence of gender roles, from a functionalist perspective, it is a balance rather than an imbalance with the needs of society and the family overriding any inequality.

  2. The essay will interpret inequalities in health among the sub-populations of socio-economic class position, ...

    Table 2 shows evidence of this. Employees in routine line occupations have a hazard ratio of 1.30 in comparison with 0.69 for higher managerial and professional occupations. Table 2. Hazard ratios for mortality for 1986-1995 by SEC, men aged 15-64 SEC Hazard ratio 1. Higher managerial and professional 0.69 2. Lower managerial and professional 0.94 3.

  1. Max Weber: Basic Terms (The Fundamental Concepts of Sociology)

    When this consolation fell away it was inevitable that those strains and stresses would appear in economic society which since then have been growing rapidly. This point had been reached at the end of the early period of capitalism, at the beginning of the age of iron, in the 19th century'' (270).

  2. Discuss the contention that postmodern culture and post modern living arrangements are diverse, fluid ...

    Lone mothers headed the majority of lone parent families in spring 2002, with just one in ten headed by a lone father". (www.statistics.gov.uk) Living arrangements for men and women are broadly similar. Most live in a couple and "81 per cent of couple households live in owner occupied accommodation". (www.statistics.gov.uk)

  1. Changing attitudes to poverty, by Government and Society between 1834 and 1942

    independent worker and the proposal to abolish outdoor relief for the able bodied poor, so that those seeking relief would be forced into the workhouses. Although the 1834 Amendment Act was the most significant development in the history of poverty and welfare in the nineteenth century the attitudes towards the poor had changed.

  2. Homophobia: a Definition

    In the case I just recounted, my acquaintance acknowledge that all of the defining traits were present in his friend's son, but still resisted using the word. Another acquaintance of min was more blatant in his resistance to any validity of the word--refusing to acknowledge that the word was appropriate

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work