Unit VIII: Poverty– Who’s poor and Why?

1. Poverty and You (VIII A) a) Review the Opportunity Atlas for data on the poverty level and two other issues. Enter your current address and compare the information on three poverty indicators with those of the address of Silberman School of Social Work (2180 Third Ave., 10035) What is your reaction to the poverty level in your neighborhood? What did knowledge of “place” add to your understanding of poverty? b) Take interactive minimum wage quiz. How did your budget fare in relation to minimum wage? 2. Who’s Poor? Review the data describing who is poor in the USA. See the US Census data (VIII B). 3. The Poverty Line: Ask the following Gallop Poll question to two people you know but who are not necessarily knowledgeable about poverty lines and poverty policy. Tell them: “People are considered poor if they live below the established federal poverty line.” Then ask them “What amount of annual income would you use as a poverty line for a family of four living in this community?” a) Indicate their reaction as well as your own to any discrepancies that emerged. b) Ask them why they think the poor are poor. Compare their explanations included in the readings for this unit (see # 4 below). 4. Absolute and relative poverty: What is the difference between these two? (See Surbhi, Unit VIII C)? 5. Causes of Poverty: (VIII D) There is more than one way to explain poverty. Based on the readings in this unit, discuss the difference between the individual and structural explanations of poverty. Why are these differences important, and which “cause” of poverty best explains the poverty faced by one of your clients (or someone you know)? 6. Responses to Poverty: More social programs versus more punishment? (VII E) a) Compare and contrast the main difference in two ways that the government addresses poverty b) Looking at your own agency (or another one you are familiar with), describe how your agency may be engaging in one, the other, or both. 7. View the Poor People’s Campaign video. How would you describe their main demands? Note:. You can answer the questions separately or integrate them into a single essay, provided you cover all the points. Often it helps to organize your papers by using sub-headings to highlight which issues you are addressing. In answering questions, please DO NOT use your personal opinion, unless you are specifically requested to do so. These papers focus on analytic ability, not your personal opinions. They are not designed as an opportunity to give a personal stance. If you are making an assertion, you must support it with facts data. APA-7 Style.

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