Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's February 2008

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"ON" POVERTY Poverty as a social phenomenon has been a problem at every step of civilisation. Although the portion of poor people in society fluctuates in comparison to other times, poverty always remained as a problem. Moreover, the policies used to eradicate poverty generally dealt with the reason-result relationship, none of them looked at the dialectic relationship between poverty and society. To achieve this aim, it is necessary to evaluate poverty within the invisible, hidden causes and underlying structures that increase poverty. It is also important to deal with this problem in the historical framework to provide better understanding for these hidden causes. And I will use realist approach to define and evaluate poverty to achieve the objectives mentioned above.

What is Poverty? The usual definitions of poverty are based on lack of money, and annual income is the measure most commonly used. There are two general approaches defining poverty: the absolute approach and the relative approach.

The absolute approach holds that a certain amount of goods and services are essential to and individual. Those who do not have this minimum amount are viewed as poor. But there is a problem with this approach because our definition of a minimum acceptable standard of living is itself likely to change over time. The relative approach, on the other hand, states that a person is poor when his or her income is substantially less than the average income of the population. With this approach poverty will persist as long income inequality exists. The weakness of this approach is that it tells us nothing about how badly, or how well, the people at the bottom of the income distribution actually live. When we deal with poverty we should know how many people are poor and how desperate conditions they live in.

In most...