The Uses of Poverty - Essay Example

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The paper 'The Uses of Poverty' presents, the sociologist, Herbert Gans who has illustrated functions of poverty that work as the reason for the persistence of poverty in society. According to Gans, occupations, and professions like criminology, social work, journalism, and public health exist…
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The Uses of Poverty
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The rich people give charity to the poor which helps eliminate the stagnation of wealth. The poor vote less and do not actively participate in political activities, which helps to stabilize the political scenario. Two functions of poverty described by Gans, that I disagree with acknowledging as functions of society, are as follows:
The getting done of dirty work by the poor is more of an economic function of the society because the poor are required to get all dirty work done at low wages- work which is often underpaid and requires more effort. This way, the poor help the people of upper classes lead easy lives by cleaning the society at indecent wages. This helps subsidize the economy of a country as the poor also pay heavy taxes despite their low wages.
The third function described by Gans is also an economic function and not a social function. Poor help in the maintenance of jobs like police, peace-keeping force, NGOs, journalism and social work. This helps in subsidizing the society financially as there is reduced unemployment when these professions keep on working for the benefit of the poor. Read More
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