1. Economic Inequality in the United States
    Social stratification: the system by which society ranks categories of people in a hierarchy

    Stratification produces social classes - categories of people who have similar access to resources and opportunities
  2. The Rich and the Poor: A Social Profile
    “The rich”: those families who fall within the top 10 percent of income distribution.

    The “poverty line”: the level of annual income below which a person or family is defined as poor and thus entitled to government assistance

    • The “poverty gap”: the difference between the official poverty line and the actual income of the
    • typical poor household
  3. Profile of the U.S. poor
    • Age: at greatest risk are children
    • Race: African Americans and Hispanics
    • Gender: women
    • Family Patterns: single mothers
    • Region: the South and the West
  4. Social Problems Linked to Poverty
    • Poor health
    • - The link between poverty and health is evident from birth to old age
    • - The infant mortality among the poor is twice the national average and among the poorest, four times the national
    • - Death comes earlier to the poor, who are more likely to die from infectious diseases and violence at any age

    • Substandard housing
    • - About 850,000 people are homeless in the U.S. on a given night
    • - Up to 3.5 million people are homeless at some point during the year
    • - Low income coupled with a decrease in available low-income housing leads to homelessness

    • Limited schooling
    • - Poor children are less likely than rich children to
    • complete high school
    • - fewer poor children enter college and have less of a chance of completing an advanced degree
    • - Uncertain work and the working poor

    • Crime and Punishment
    • - Due to the focus on street crime, the poor are more likely to face arrest, trial, conviction, and prison
    • - The poor depend more on public defenders and
    • court-appointed attorneys, most of whom are underpaid and overworked
  5. Responding to Poverty: The Welfare System
    Social welfare program: an organized effort by government, private organizations, or individuals to assist needy people defined as worthy of assistance.
  6. Large government-run welfare programs have three characteristics:
    They direct money to specific categories of people;

    They benefit many people (e.g., the elderly, veterans, students, and farmers)

    They do not significantly change income inequality
  7. Welfare Today
    • Changes in the welfare system began to occur
    • when President Clinton pledged in 1992 to “end welfare as we know it.”

    The result was the Welfare Reform Act of 1996

    The public remains divided over whether people deserve help
  8. Welfare Reform Act of 1996
    Replaced federal AFDC program with a new state related program – Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

    New rules require able-bodied people receiving benefits to find a job or enroll for job retraining within two years.

    States can set their own qualifications benefits, but must limit assistance to two consecutive years with a lifetime cap of five years.

    • The program directs all states to move half of single
    • parents receiving welfare into jobs or retraining by 2002.
  9. 2010 Health Care Reform
    1) You Must Have Medical Insurance

    2) More Health Care Jobs

    3) Kids can stay on your policy until 26 years

    4) Insurance cannot drop you

    5) You Can't be Denied Insurance

    6) No maximum limit on coverage

    7) No waiting time
  10. Social-Conflict Analysis: Reasons for Poverty
    Marxist Theory: Poverty and Capitalism

    • Multicultural Theory: Poverty, Race, and Ethnicity
    • - Poverty Involves More than Money: Cultural Capital

    Feminist Theory: Poverty and Patriarchy

    • Conservatives: Personal Responsibility
    • - focus on personal responsibility, stressing the importance of self-reliance

    • Liberals: Societal Responsibility
    • - view poverty as more structural than it is individual; thus they look for societal solutions

    • Radicals: Change the System
    • - poverty is inherent in capitalist society,
    • - they dismiss social welfare programs and tax plans
    • advocated by liberals as little more than a Band-Aid applied to the body of a person with an incurable disease
Card Set
A.P.E. FINAL part 2