Poverty and the Monetary Identity in American Culture
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The paper begins by discussing the flaws in the current system of measuring poverty and then specifically addresses the problem of child poverty and its devastating impacts. The paper discusses how poverty tends to fall along racial and gender lines, highlighting basic inequities in the opportunities available for African Americans, Hispanics, and women, especially in urban settings. The paper goes on to explore the role of money, and by extension poverty, in American culture by analyzing it through the lens of Georg Simmel's "Philosophy of Money". The paper discusses how in American culture, success is not measured in terms of interpersonal relationships, emotional well-being, or intellectual courage, but according to the acquisition and exchange of money. The paper highlights how in a society where one's social identity is so intimately tied to one's monetary identity, the lack of money can spell profound social doom for the poor. The paper considers a solution to the problem and suggests that if the collective identity of poverty can find a public voice, it may be able to gain some leverage in the American cultural exchange, and the cycle may find a breaking point.
From the Paper:"Poverty has been an issue in the United States since its earliest days as a colony, but the recent economic recession has reintroduced the topic to public discussion. From 2007 to 2008, the poverty rate in the U.S. jumped from 12.5% to 13.2%, a significant increase in such a short period (Acs 2008, para.1). This rapid rise highlighted the complex links between the macroeconomic mechanics of the American financial system and the elements that govern individual financial stability, such as employment and cost of living. This interaction is crucial to the well-being of the citizens and the nation, for when individuals experience poverty, the effects can resonate throughout their families, neighborhoods, and eventually the country as a whole.
"The current federal poverty line for a family of four in the United States is $22,050/year (Health and Human Services 2009). However, the National Center for Children in Poverty estimates that the average yearly cost of living for a family of four ranges from about $43,000 in rural areas to about $67,000 in urban areas (Cauthen 2008). Even basic living expenses in a rural area require an annual family income of nearly twice the federal poverty line. So why is there such a disconnect between what the federal government considers poverty and what constitutes poverty in reality?"
Sample of Sources Used:
- Acs, Gregory. (2008). Poverty in the United States, 2008. The Urban Institute. Retrieved from http://www.urban.org/publications/901284.html.
- Cauthen, Nancy and Sarah Fass. (2008). Measuring Poverty in the United States. National Center for Children in Poverty. Retrieved from http://www.nccp.org/publications/pub_825.html.
- Deflem, Mathieu. (2003). "The Sociology of the Sociology of Money: Simmel and the Contemporary Battle of the Classics." Journal of Classical Sociology 3(1):67-96. Retrieved from http://www.cas.sc.edu/socy/faculty/deflem/zSimMon.htm.
- Holzer, Harry, Diane Schanzenbach, Greg Duncan, Jens Ludwig. (2007). The Economic Costs of Poverty in the United States. Retrieved from http://npc.umich.edu/publications/u/working_paper07-04.pdf.
- Rector, Robert. (2010). Married Fathers: America's Greatest Weapon Against Child Poverty. The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved from http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2010/06/married%20fathers%20americas%20greatest%20weapon%20against%20child%20poverty.
Cite this Term Paper:
Poverty and the Monetary Identity in American Culture (2013, March 22) Retrieved September 28, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/term-paper/poverty-and-the-monetary-identity-in-american-culture-152585/
"Poverty and the Monetary Identity in American Culture" 22 March 2013. Web. 28 September. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/term-paper/poverty-and-the-monetary-identity-in-american-culture-152585/>