To what extent are individuals responsible for experiencing poverty in the United Kingdom nowadays?

Essay by weerobertoUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, January 2009

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Over the past 30 years, society has become more and more unequal; the gap between the rich and poor has been increasing greatly (Piachaud, 1998:234). Poverty occurs when a small reduction in resources is accompanied by a disproportionate increase in deprivation. It changes over the time due to changing living standards, e.g. technology like a television is now seen as a need and if a household lacks one then it is a sign of poverty [Townsend, 1997 (in Piachaud,1998)]. It is socially constructed. It is linked to unemployment, unmarried women and consequently this brings crime problems.

One third of deaths, some eighteen million people a year or fifty thousand per day are due to poverty related causes: in total two hundred and seventy million people, most of them women and children, have died as a result of poverty since 1990 (World Health Organization, 1999). Wilkinson (1992) indicates that those living in poverty suffer lower life expectancy.

Studies have shown that every year nearly eleven million children living in poverty die before their fifth birthday. Furthermore, those living in poverty often suffer from hunger (World Health Report, 1999).

Poverty is when income is insufficient to obtain the minimum necessaries for the maintenance of merely physical efficiency. It was first described by Seebohm Rowntree, who wanted to demolish the view that poverty was due to “fecklessness and not to low wages” (Mack and Lansley, 1985, Piachaud, 1993). A study in poverty would be relevant because this issue is considered to be a global problem and a huge amount of people argue that poor people are responsible for their own poverty (Giddens, 2005). The purpose of this present study is therefore to ascertain the importance of poverty as a global problem nowadays.

This essay will be discussing whether individuals are responsible or not...