Posts Tagged ‘poverty’
Children from poor families cope by hiding their situation from teachers and peers. The study sheds light on the demanding circumstances under which poor children interact with other children – and adults. At home a poor child will tend to take more responsibility in an attempt to tackle and mitigate the family’s economic situation. They don’t nag their parents for money and they alert them well ahead of time if they will need money for something. Another coping strategy these children use is to be withdrawn in social situations. The children told the researcher that not having money for bus fare or trendy brands of clothes is less of a concern than the impact of their poverty on their relationships with other kids. The problem is not that poor children are bullied, excluded or stigmatized because of their situation – in fact, this does not happen that all that often. But problems arise because poor children often exclude themselves socially to conceal their situation. Their peers might then see them as being boring or weird. The link between humiliation and poverty doesn’t seem to be obvious to anyone except poor children themselves. The invisible child.
There are only two explanations for the grossly disproportionate student bodies in the United States and Brazil. (1) Black students in the United States and Brazil are inferior, they are not working as hard, or they are not as naturally gifted as white students. Or, (2) the disproportionately white student bodies are a result of a disproportionate amount of privilege and educational opportunities for white students.
With the flowering of affirmative action to equalize opportunity, Brazilian lawmakers seem to believe the latter explanation. With affirmative action seemingly on its deathbed, Americans seem to believe the former, racist explanation.
Read also: Another Nail in Affirmative Action’s Coffin
The law which forces Brazilian federal universities to leave 50% of higher education seats to students from government schools and minorities such as blacks and indigenous became effective on Monday. Affirmative action or positive discrimination means public school students have access to half of the places at federal universities (funded by the government) several of which in international ratings are considered among the country’s best academic centres, ahead of private institutions.
We aim to understand why blacks are significantly less likely than whites to perpetuate their middle class status across generations. We find that parental job loss is associated with a lesser likelihood of obtaining any post-secondary education for all offspring, but that the association for blacks is almost three times as strong. A substantial share of the differential impact of job loss on black and white middle class youth is explained by race differences in household wealth, long-run measures of family income, and, especially, parental experience of long-term unemployment.
Conclusions. These findings highlight the fragile economic foundation of the black middle-class and suggest that intergenerational persistence of class status in this population may be highly dependent on the avoidance of common economic shocks.
Listening to people talk about their experience of poverty, it is clear that poverty is complex and multi-dimensional. Poverty is more than simply a lack of income. It is the stress caused by the inability to make ends meet, social isolation, and the fatalism and lack of time that prevent political engagement. It is the associated material deprivation, poor housing and neighbourhood. Poverty is a product of multiple causes and can have multifarious, interconnected short- and long-term negative consequences that make life difficult to cope with. Such complexity is easily overlooked and frustrates the best intentions of policymakers who are often tempted to tackle single causes and specific outcomes.
Coping with Complexity identifies fundamental problems with a government strategy that has failed to confront the various interlinked causes and consequences of poverty. A tendency to tackle single causes and specific outcomes has generated poorly targeted and ineffectual policies, which over-emphasise employment as the principal antidote to poverty.
The punitive turn of penal policy in the United States after the came of the Civil Rights movement responds not to rising criminal insecurity but to the social insecurity spawned by the fragmentation of wage labor and the shakeup of the ethnoracial hierarchy. It partakes of a broader reconstruction of the state wedding restrictive “workfare” and expansive “prisonfare” under a philosophy of moral behaviorism. This paternalist program of penalization of poverty aims to curb the urban disorders wrought by economic deregulation and to impose precarious employment on the postindustrial proletariat. It also erects a garish theater of civic morality on whose stage political elites can orchestrate the public vituperation of deviant figures—the teenage “welfare mother,” the ghetto “street thug,” and the roaming “sex predator”—and close the legitimacy deficit they suffer when they discard the established government mission of social and economic protection. By bringing developments in welfare and criminal justice into a single analytic framework attentive to both the instrumental and communicative moments of public policy, Punishing the Poor shows that the prison is not a mere technical implement for law enforcement but a core political institution. And it reveals that the capitalist revolution from above called neoliberalism entails not the advent of “small government” but the building of an overgrown and intrusive penal state deeply injurious to the ideals of democratic citizenship.