What is Culture of Poverty ?

Oscar Lewis was the first sociologist who came up with the concept of Culture of Poverty. In his work, he managed to deliver the ideation of cultural norms set up by a poor farmer. He further explained why a poor peasant remains in the same financial position.

culture of poverty meaning

What is Culture of Poverty?

The culture of poverty is seen as the cycle of same cultural norms which are believed and performed by a farmer which restricts their financial growth. For example, there are many new techniques and better quality of fertilizers but due to conservative thinking, the farmers stick to old ideations only. The motive of replacing poverty with any backup plan or extra effort is diminished, as they think that the status which they are bearing is the wish of almighty. There is a high sense of alienation in poor people although they belong to the same country. The marginal difference was felt by them and they accepted that this will be their life only. For example a ragpicker offspring will be engaged in picking litter only in the age where the only thing they should be involved is education. The ability to dream was withdrawn as the cultural barrier among groups were higher than any change for betterment.

John Kenneth a popular economist studied poverty in a detailed manner. His researches held the reasons that why poverty is transmitted from one generation to next. He has also studied the two major causes or classification of poverty viz. case poverty and insular poverty.

Case Poverty is the type of poverty in which people faces discrimination, certain limitations like a family member becoming a drug addict or gambling which leads to poverty of families. This is not the case of the whole community which means it is not a collective phenomenon. Insular poverty is a type in which the whole community is barren from their rights. Some of the examples are slums of Mumbai where the whole group is below the poverty line.

Another sociologist Daniel Patrick also added his work in the favor of Oscar Lewis stating that the reason people are not getting out of the trap of poverty is their values. He studied the ways of living of Black families in New York City. He studied how the white contemporary peasants were living a different life. He made a report for black families known as Moynihan Report in 1965. Galbraith, another sociologist explained the transmission of disabilities and poverty from one generation to another. There was a popular belief that if anyone tries to leave old methods and pursuit new techniques for a better result, it will be the cause of mishappenings in future. Galbraith came up with inferences that the only reason there is no progress in financial status in periphery countries is due to the cultural foundation. The conservative ways fulfill their idea of being culture full-fledged human being but on the other hand, many of them died in the name of keeping culture intact. It was the scenario of earlier times but nowadays there is a famous saying whatever profession or way serves a person food for his family is taken as right.

I am Prerna Jha, pursuing mechanical engineering from KIIT, Odisha, But I Love to Read and Write Sociology Related Concepts and Theories. I have done schooling from MVM School, Bilaspur. I have interest in writing love stories or any specific genre. I pursue a great interest in quilting. Right now I am an aspiring writer who writes for various pages. I have participated in many social events. I am a social animal who likes to have maximum participation in any fest.