Redefining Poverty Research Paper by johnnyoutsmart

Redefining Poverty
Explores the need to redefine the term 'poverty' to improve poverty alleviation strategies.
# 58445 | 6,500 words | 9 sources | APA | 2003 | GB
Published on May 10, 2005 in Economics (International) , Sociology (Welfare)

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The term 'poverty' does not have as clear-cut a definition as many suppose. In the past, the World Bank defined it as a form of economic deprivation, inhibiting access to necessary resources such as food, medication, shelter, or clothing. This paper shows, however, that by 2001, the World Bank realized that the definition of poverty as "deprivation of income" was simply too limited and limiting because it viewed poverty only from the economic perspective, overlooking the social perspective. It is limiting because the economic definition of poverty engenders poverty alleviation strategies, which aim to improve the economic status of individuals, communities, and areas by addressing the economic infrastructure alone, overlooking the fact that the social and political infrastructures may be, and often are, equally responsible for poverty. The paper shows that realization of the mentioned limitations motivated the World Bank to redefine poverty as used in its annual reports. This new definition, holding poverty to be a "pronounced deprivation of well-being," does address some of the limitations of the older definition, but is not a comprehensive definition. Additionally, it has failed to engender new poverty measurement variables, maintaining the same limited and limiting ones used in the earlier definition.

Measurements of Poverty
Social and Political Deprivation
Choice in Poverty
Alleviation Strategies
Criticism of Alleviation Strategies
Re-Emphasizing a New Definition of Poverty
Case Discussion and Analysis

From the Paper:

"In other words, poverty is the absence of equality and equal opportunity. If one considers this definition carefully, especially in light of the areas of inequality highlighted by Todaro, one sees the rationale behind, and the validity of, this definition. Quite simply stated, the unequal status of women and minority groups in many LDC's determines the inability of those groups to access economic independence or even the opportunity for stable employment at fair wages. If we go a step beyond, one will note that resistance to employing women, consequent to patriarchal cultural attitudes prevalent in many LDC's such as rural Egypt, culminates in the exclusion of a significant percentage of the population from participating in national economic development efforts."

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APA Format

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