Poverty as a social injustice

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POVERTY AS A SOCIAL INJUSTICE

INTRODUCTION

This paper is going to discuss what social injustice is and take a critical look at poverty as an example of a social injustice. From a sociological point of view, there are two kinds of poverty. In this paper I will address relative poverty. The poor in this paper are regarded as those who lack what is needed by the average population so as to be able to live in a decent manner because their income is rated as being lower than the country's' median income

Social injustice is defined as the process of acting and being unfair or unjust in your treatment to others. In this case, when one acts in this manner, he infringes or violates the rights of other people. Social injustice examples therefore include situations like improper or unfair distribution of opportunities and resources, oppressing people using any form, and denying people the freedom to exercise rights, desires and ensuring that they don't realize their full potential. (Sarat)

Examples are when people are treated in inhumane ways hence depriving them of basic needs as food, shelter and clothing, work opportunity, political freedom, poverty in specific groups or communities, high unemployment rates, bullying and even hate crime
POVERTY AS A SOCIAL INJUSTICE

Poverty is rated as being amongst the greatest predicaments being faced in the world today. Poverty is defined as the state where people are unable to meet the demands of their basic needs such as food, shelter and clothing and is categorized as being either absolute or relative.

Poverty is a very real predicament in our world today. This is due to the fact that it affects the larger segment of the entire population and that there are several cases of people being homeless, many sleep on the streets, lack food and even clothing. It is also manifested when they are work for longer hours and for less money. (Haughton, Jonathan and Shahidur)

WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF THIS SOCIAL INJUSTICE?

Poverty as a form of social injustice is caused by several factors that are discussed below.

Historical issues are considered as having contributed to poverty being rampant in many nations since many nations that have high poverty levels or that are poor were former colonies of modern rich nations. These nations exported slaves from the poor countries and took away many resources from these nations to their benefits. In this case, this colonialism helped cultivate fertile conditions that would prevent the locals from owning land, getting education, capital and many other resources that would enable them support themselves adequately.

Civil wars and political instability: The above issues are directly attributed to creating poverty since. With the presence of security, and stable country, a country will definitely be successful since natural resources can be harnessed either individually or collectively, education and talent will breed fertile ground for the civilians to be able to work and reap fruits of their hard work.

National debt has led to many countries to bear the debt load as a result of debt from loans given to them by the wealthy nations and international bodies like the world band. Countries are therefore left to place their national priorities in paying off the debts rather than improving the lives of its citizens

Social inequality and discrimination there are many cases of discrimination such as gender discrimination that has resulted in the marginalization of both women and children, thus rendering them very poor. Inequality in income distribution is also a factor that contributes to poverty. Natural disasters have been attributed to causing poverty since most countries that are vulnerable to natural disaster have high poverty levels hence become a great obstacle to poverty eradication. Disasters include floods, earthquakes and drought

WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF THIS SOCIAL INJUSTICE?

This form of social injustices has so many negative effects on the society because the persons living in abject poverty have a very low living standard since the hardly afford access to healthcare, education and food. (Glyn, Andrew and David)

Poverty takes a toll on poor children's development. For example, poverty causes malnutrition which would affect the development of a child's mental thinking and healthy body. Poverty may also lead to political instability and lead to increased risk of war, mass emigration of population and terrorism.

Malnutrition is a significant effect of poverty since children are the greatest casualty of this form of injustice. The society being unable to get access to nutritious food subsequently gets malnourished because they have a low purchasing power. More to this, healthiest food stuff is also expensive and they opt to go for cheap stuff that is also insufficient to satisfy them.

Health is affected because people are unable to access cheap and quality healthcare. Medicines are out of reach hence people lack basic resources to maintain a good health living environment. Because they are unable to feed properly, their immunity is compromised and their bodies unable to fight disease, hence reducing their life expectancy including the child mortality rates

The education pattern in the society is affected by poverty because a larger part of the population is unable to attend schooling from an early age. Most families are totally unable to buy the basic school supply and clothing and would rather spend the gotten money on purchasing food. This result in a larger section of the population being illiterate leading to where people are unable to attend schooling

and attaining basic education, hence with the lack of educations, they become victims of poverty

Poverty on the economy: The number of people living in poverty has a direct impact the rate of employment and hence it affects the economy of the country. This leads to a weak economic system since the lack of proper education because people cannot get proper paying jobs. (Logan, John and Harvey)

Poverty impact on the society: poverty has led to many people in the society to live in abject poverty since many live on the streets. It subsequently leads to an increase in the crime rates. This is because when a larger section of the society has no form of income, they resort to different forms of crime to be able to eke a living. (Simon and Thomas)

IN WHAT WAYS CAN CIVIC ENGAGEMENT WORK TO SOLVE THIS SOCIAL INJUSTICE?

Civic engagement can help mitigate this social injustice through different means. Proper welfare systems can be created to bring the poor population closer and involve them in activities in the society that can improve their livelihood and subsequently have an actively involved civil society. The ways in which they act can also help. There has to be a lot of attention concentrated on the manner in ways that the political structures and way in which the civic society engagement is. (Gutmann, Amy and Sigal)

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Glyn, Andrew and Miliband David. Paying for inequality: The economic cost of social injustice. Institute for Public Policy Research, 1994.
Gutmann, Amy and Ben-Porath Sigal. Democratic education. John Wiley & Sons, 1987.

Haughton, Henry Jonathan and R Khandker Shahidur. Handbook on poverty and inequality. World Bank Publications, 2009.

Logan, R John and L Molotch Harvey. Urban fortunes: The political economy of place. . Univ of California Press, 2007.

Sarat, Austin, Austin. Speech and Silence in American Law. . Cambridge University Press, 2010.

Simon and W Thomas. Democracy and social injustice: law, politics, and philosophy. Rowman & Littlefield, 1995.

 NOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY
Glyn, Andrew and Miliband David. Paying for inequality: The economic cost of social injustice. Institute for Public Policy Research, 1994.
The authors take a look at the overall effects of poverty from a socio economic perspective. The authors use credible sources to gather facts and elaborate on the short term and long term effects of this form of social injustice
Gutmann, Amy and Ben-Porath Sigal. Democratic education. John Wiley & Sons, 1987.
The authors focus on how the importance of empowering the society can help in mitigating poverty and eventually reduce the impact of poverty. The authors focus their energies on why the community needs to be actively involved in this entire process so as to achieve the target

Haughton, Henry Jonathan and R Khandker Shahidur. Handbook on poverty and inequality. World Bank Publications, 2009.
The authors in this book take an in-depth look at describing the different methods of measuring, analyzing, monitoring poverty through the use of a lot of explanatory information and diverse examples that will help the reader clearly get the concept of what poverty is and how it becomes an inequality in the society. The information is made real through the use of modern statistical methods and software
Logan, R John and L Molotch Harvey. Urban fortunes: The political economy of place. . Univ of California Press, 2007.
The authors are Professors in American universities and they analyze what are the impacts of poverty. The book looks at the connection between the levels of poverty in the society and how it subsequently impacts on the society and the eventual creation of a weak economic system and education

Sarat, Austin, Austin. Speech and Silence in American Law. . Cambridge University Press, 2010.
The author of this book is a professor at Amherst College in Massachusetts, and lectures on political Science. In this book, the author addresses issues relating what social injustice is and what are its causes. The author tries to analyze the main issues how the society faces the different forms of social injustices and the overall effects of the same

 

Reference no: EM13799420

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