Inan article entitled "The Uses of Poverty: The Poor Pay All,"authored by sociologist Herbert J. Gans examines the bizarrepartnership between the poor and the rich in American culture. Theauthor expresses that the underprivileged have kept a few vocationsin existence, for example, journalism, social work, and criminology.According to Gans, these vocations serve the twofold pretense ofhelping the less fortunate and protecting society from these samepeople.
Inpicking the thirteen functions of poverty Gans concentrates onsocial, economic and political functions, insisting these to be the"most noteworthy" (Gans, p. 337). Gans` first functionsexpress that lower salary employments are normally filled byindividuals of the lower class. Gans is alluding to employments suchas manual work, or occupations that are considered as degrading. Hefurther underlines the vitality of these employments to those whomthey help.
Gans`second function expresses that since poor perform humble work, thehigh societies in the upper class are liberated from that commitment,and hence permitted to take part in different ranges of the society,for example, cultural and social duties. The third capacity expressesthat poverty takes into account the formation of particularoccupations that "service" poor people (Gans, p. 338). Inaddition, the third function asserts that certain religiousaffiliations, drug use, and a greater part of the police force wouldbe less dominating or essential without the poorer class.
Thefifth capacity expresses that the poor are classified as deviants. Asa result, this affects the general public on the grounds that ittakes into consideration other social classes to equate themselvesand their activities with the "deviants" in order tocharacterize their activities as ethically acceptable. The eighthfunction of poverty expresses that "poverty serves to ensure thestatus of the individuals who are not poor" (Gans, p. 339).
Insummary, the important functions of poverty that Gans highlightsinclude: ensuring that the menial work responsibilities of societyare dealt with, guaranteeing the creation of occupations that givehelp to poor people, and ensuring the presence of the poor keeps thearistocracy occupied with charitable works, consequently exhibitingcharity to the less fortunate and prevalence over the elites whochose to invest their time making profits.
Theauthor additionally gives a few alternatives to poverty, for example,redistribution of the resources in the society, along these linesputting everybody on a balanced playing field. However, Gansconcludes that poverty will keep on existing since aggravating theunequal harmony between the poor and the rich in the society wouldturn out to be dysfunctional for the prosperous and that will neverhappen. Gans suggests alternatives to the functions of poverty. Herecommends pay increment with a specific goal to solve the economicissues. Gans expresses that if some of these options were emplaced, afew employments, for example, police or social workers would move tobetter areas of society. One of his options, for instance, includes"considerable salary redistribution" (Gans, p. 341).
Inconclusion, all through Gans` analysis, he utilizes emotionallystacked words, for example, "dirty work" when portrayingmanual work, which influences the person reading to make a negativevisual picture that controls his or her capability to make animpartial, rational decision relating to the issue or solution. Gansadditionally utilizes emotionally stacked words to depict theprivileged societies in a negative light. For instance, Gansexpresses that when the privileged societies donate money to thelower classes, they just do so to mitigate their guilt over theirriches and their offense. This over generalization of the privilegedsocieties` intentions for donation paints a picture of selfish andgreedy individuals that has no feelings towards the poor people.Conversely, Gans depicts the lower classes as hardworking victims ofcircumstance.
Gans,H. J. TheUses of Poverty: The Poor Pay. SocialPolicy 1971