The Author's Personal Experience with Poverty in Poverty is a State of Mind, an Essay by Bernard Hare

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poverty essay with author


Perspectives On Poverty, By Jo Goodwin Parker And The Poverty Of Equality

Theme of poverty in the street.

You may not now it but many people around the world struggle with poverty. Thhis paper is going to give the perspective of two diffrent stories that struggled with poverty. In "Angela's Ashe's" By Author Frank McCourt it shows a family strugling with poverty, and how they will do anything for eachother. In "The Street", Author Ann Petry describes the poverty of the narrator and what she does to survive. In both "Angela's Ashe's" and "The Street" the authors show the theme of poverty and how to perservere through hard times.

`` Poor People Written By William T. Vollmann

Nelson Mandela once said, “Poverty is not natural it 's man-made.” This quote states that a person can overcome poverty if one has the desire to live a better life. In a novel called Poor People written by William T. Vollmann, the author travels around different countries and places to learn about poor people and to get a global perspective view. While interviewing different kinds of people, Vollmann would ask them one question: why are you poor? Looking at people 's answers Vollmann noticed that some of the people gave quite interesting answers. Vollmann went through a lot of situations where he just couldn 't imagine what life would be if he was ever to live like that. Another novel that has a similar poverty situation is called Let The Water Hold Me Down, written by Michael Spurgeon. Hank, the main character of the novel, experiences a tragic moment in his life. Losing his wife and daughter while drowning, this tragedy left him feeling like it’s all due to his miscarrying about them. His life becomes full of sorrow, and the only way out it was to go to Mexico to his friend’s place and restart his life over. In a new country of Mexico, this story takes place. Even though he had money, a house, and friends’ support, he still experienced lots of pressure trying to survive in Mexico. Poverty has different meanings in everyone 's lives but by reading these two novels, there are three similarities that can be made about people living in poverty.

Rhetorical Analysis Of 'You Ask Me What Is Poverty'

In this essay “What is Poverty?”, Jo Goodwin Parker starts of with a rhetorical question “You ask me what is poverty”, this is the opening line of the essay and it encapsulates the essay ́s purpose. Through the use of the writer ́s language she also captivates the reader with the idea of poverty and what it is by making it very concrete and real. The writer wants the reader to understand what poverty is so that they can feel like they need to help not only the writer but p!eople who struggle in that situation. !

Analysis Of Changing The Face Of Poverty By Diana George

In “Changing the Face of Poverty”, the author Diana George shows different ways poverty is advertised and displayed. She disagrees with the way poverty is addressed and visually represented, in a limited way. I agree with the way she wants people to acknowledge how poverty is being misunderstood.

Essay on Poverty and Sociology

Another theory that relates to poverty is the conflict theory. Conflict theory is a paradigm that sees social conflict as the basis of society and social change and emphasizes a materialistic view of society, a critical view of the status quo, and a dynamic model of historical change (Ferris & Stein, 2008, 2010). The theory was originally brought on by Karl Marx, and was later adapted and further developed by other theorists; for example, Max Weber. Looking at poverty through the lens of the conflict theory, we

Essay on Jo Goodwin Parker. What Is Poverty?

Jo Goodwin Parker’s essay, “What is Poverty?” is about Parker who has personally experienced rural poverty. She explains her story from childhood to adulthood. Parker’s struggles are overwhelming; look at any sentence, the evidence of her daily struggle is there. From her underwear to living arrangements, and everything in between, Parker resides in poverty. In her essay, she says to listen to the story of what poverty is. Then she talks about the different aspects of poverty. Parker talks about the lack of health conditions she and her three children suffer from. She decides to be a mother even though she has no ability to provide

Analysis Of Flavio's Home By Gordon Parks

There are things in this world that will never stop existing, poverty is something that has always been around, for some people it is worse than others. In “Flavio’s Home” by Gordon Parks the author gives a perfect example of what extreme poverty is like. Even though there are difficult times in life, no matter what just keep going, a little light at the end of the tunnel. Although, “Flavio’s Home” is a well written essay there is room for improvement; the quantity of personal pronouns that is used could be minimized. Those who would relate to this essay are people who have or are struggling with poverty.

Overcoming Poverty In Angela's Ashes And The Street

Poverty is a terrible condition, which as unfortunate as it is, many people across the globe suffer from. Poverty can present itself in many ways and in many different circumstances, which is shown in the following stories. In ' Angela's Ashes' by Frank McCourt, young Frank is burdened with the responsibiliity of providing for his family. Similarly, in 'The Street' by Ann Petry, Lutie, a single black mother, is struggling to find shelter for her family. In both 'Angela's Ashes' and 'The Street,' a key member of each family is desperately trying to support their loved ones and meet their basic human needs. In both passages, the author uses specific characters, events, and settings to demonstrate the theme that one needs perseverance to overcome poverty.

Poverty : An Effective Means Of Population Control

Poverty is a major global issue in today’s society. It also has a broad definition as it is very complex and cannot be specifically defined. Poverty is circumstance-dependent. According to Sharif Mohammed, author of Poverty Reduction - An Effective Means of Population Control, “Poverty is a multidimensional condition of human survival, not just a measure of deficiency in income. It is generally defined in relation to a minimum standard of decent living. The levels of living below this are referred to as survival standards. Failure to attain and enjoy the standard is called absolute poverty.” Millions around the world are affected by poverty and it’s an issue that has plagued the globe for centuries. Different

The Glass Castle Essay On Poverty

In our society, poverty is subjective as it can be defined as myriad amounts of the phenomenon. Likewise, the common definition of poverty is being ineligible for necessary commodities to sustain survival (shelter, sustenance, emotional well-being). Evidently, poverty is immensely intuitive, often stereotypically denounced as the inability to obtain a certain amount of money to subsist in our competitive socioeconomic world. However, the true definition of poverty is poignant; it is the afflictive perception of powerlessness and impotence.

Poverty In America Summary

What I perceived as the purpose of the book was that it describes the misconceptions and systemic cause of poverty in the United States. Many of these individuals are in poverty for a particular time period and they will experience periods in and out of poverty. The economic vulnerability of those who have experienced poverty, nonetheless it puts them back at risk again of falling back into poverty. It is all caused by systemic risks by those near or in the poverty by the economic and social policies that are set. The author, Mark Rank’s wrote this book to share how poverty directly has affected the lives of Americans and he even offers strategies on how to deal with these issues. It offers a different understanding of American poverty and

Sudhir's Memoir Chapter Summary

The book demonstrates that poverty may not be a government issue but everyone is impacting towards this issue. People must work with what they got, and give respect to their close ones

Poverty And Poverty : Poverty

Poverty for centuries has been a very severe issue that has troubled many nations while impeding economic developments and progress. Poverty stricken countries are majorly concentrated in the continents of Africa and Asia. Continents like the Americas and Europe have globally been recognized as been wealthier yet still many parts of these ostensible countries face massive cases of poverty. Most at times, countries with high populations owing to high birth rates face the most cases of poverty. The definition of poverty can be boundless in the sense that poverty entails so many subsections as it sometimes gets complicated to group everything under one umbrella. Society tends to focus more on the tangible aspects of poverty because many people associate poverty with lacking money and it makes sense because poverty in terms of lacking money is a major problem affecting almost every country in the world. Even though it is debatable that poverty can be physical, intellectual, spiritual and even emotional, it is best to talk about the lack of money and economic developments in this essay. With reference to the oxford English Dictionary, poverty is state of being extremely poor and the state of being inferior in quality or insufficient in amount. Reflecting on this definition given, I deduced that malnutrition and hunger can define poverty. In the light of this, I think poverty is lacking a comfortable place of shelter, being ill and not having access to a better

The Social Justice Issue Of Poverty

Many describe poverty as an economic deprivation, or lack of income. However, this alone does not incorporate the different social, cultural and political aspects of this unfortunate reality. Poverty is not only a deprivation of economic or material resources but a violation of human dignity. The general scarcity, lack, or the state of one without a specific amount of material possessions or money. It is a versatile concept that may be defined as either absolute or relative. Time and again, poverty is a call to action, for the poor and the wealthy alike, it is a call to change the world so that many more may have enough to eat, adequate shelter, access to education and health, protection from violence, and a voice in what happens in their communities.

Poverty As A Contemporary Social Problem Essay

Poverty is a massive issue today, it surrounds all of life’s experiences, and it impacts on the future for people everywhere, and on health everywhere in society. Poverty is not just related to unemployment or

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Human Rights Careers

5 Essays About Poverty Everyone Should Know

Poverty is one of the driving forces of inequality in the world. Between 1990-2015, much progress was made. The number of people living on less than $1.90 went from 36% to 10%. However, according to the World Bank , the COVID-19 pandemic represents a serious problem that disproportionately impacts the poor. Research released in February of 2020 shows that by 2030, up to ⅔ of the “global extreme poor” will be living in conflict-affected and fragile economies. Poverty will remain a major human rights issue for decades to come. Here are five essays about the issue that everyone should know:

“We need an economic bill of rights” –  Martin Luther King Jr.

The Guardian published an abridged version of this essay in 2018, which was originally released in Look magazine just after Dr. King was killed. In this piece, Dr. King explains why an economic bill of rights is necessary. He points out that while mass unemployment within the black community is a “social problem,” it’s a “depression” in the white community. An economic bill of rights would give a job to everyone who wants one and who can work. It would also give an income to those who can’t work. Dr. King affirms his commitment to non-violence. He’s fully aware that tensions are high. He quotes a spiritual, writing “timing is winding up.” Even while the nation progresses, poverty is getting worse.

This essay was reprinted and abridged in The Guardian in an arrangement with The Heirs to the Estate of Martin Luther King. Jr. The most visible representative of the Civil Rights Movement beginning in 1955, Dr. King was assassinated in 1968. His essays and speeches remain timely.

“How Poverty Can Follow Children Into Adulthood” – Priyanka Boghani

This article is from 2017, but it’s more relevant than ever because it was written when 2012 was the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. That’s no longer the case. In 2012, around ¼ American children were in poverty. Five years later, children were still more likely than adults to be poor. This is especially true for children of colour. Consequences of poverty include anxiety, hunger, and homelessness. This essay also looks at the long-term consequences that come from growing up in poverty. A child can develop health problems that affect them in adulthood. Poverty can also harm a child’s brain development. Being aware of how poverty affects children and follows them into adulthood is essential as the world deals with the economic fallout from the pandemic.

Priyanka Boghani is a journalist at PBS Frontline. She focuses on U.S. foreign policy, humanitarian crises, and conflicts in the Middle East. She also assists in managing Frontline’s social accounts.

“5 Reasons COVID-19 Will Impact the Fight to End Extreme Poverty” – Leah Rodriguez

For decades, the UN has attempted to end extreme poverty. In the face of the novel coronavirus outbreak, new challenges threaten the fight against poverty. In this essay, Dr. Natalie Linos, a Harvard social epidemiologist, urges the world to have a “social conversation” about how the disease impacts poverty and inequality. If nothing is done, it’s unlikely that the UN will meet its Global Goals by 2030. Poverty and COVID-19 intersect in five key ways. For one, low-income people are more vulnerable to disease. They also don’t have equal access to healthcare or job stability. This piece provides a clear, concise summary of why this outbreak is especially concerning for the global poor.

Leah Rodriguez’s writing at Global Citizen focuses on women, girls, water, and sanitation. She’s also worked as a web producer and homepage editor for New York Magazine’s The Cut.

“Climate apartheid”: World’s poor to suffer most from disasters” – Al Jazeera and news Agencies

The consequences of climate change are well-known to experts like Philip Alston, the special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. In 2019, he submitted a report to the UN Human Rights Council sounding the alarm on how climate change will devastate the poor. While the wealthy will be able to pay their way out of devastation, the poor will not. This will end up creating a “climate apartheid.” Alston states that if climate change isn’t addressed, it will undo the last five decades of progress in poverty education, as well as global health and development .

“Nickel and Dimed: On (not) getting by in America” – Barbara Ehrenreich

In this excerpt from her book Nickel and Dimed, Ehrenreich describes her experience choosing to live undercover as an “unskilled worker” in the US. She wanted to investigate the impact the 1996 welfare reform act had on the working poor. Released in 2001, the events take place between the spring of 1998 and the summer of 2000. Ehrenreich decided to live in a town close to her “real life” and finds a place to live and a job. She has her eyes opened to the challenges and “special costs” of being poor. In 2019, The Guardian ranked the book 13th on their list of 100 best books of the 21st century.

Barbara Ehrenreich is the author of 21 books and an activist. She’s worked as an award-winning columnist and essayist.

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About the author, emmaline soken-huberty.

Emmaline Soken-Huberty is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon. She started to become interested in human rights while attending college, eventually getting a concentration in human rights and humanitarianism. LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, and climate change are of special concern to her. In her spare time, she can be found reading or enjoying Oregon’s natural beauty with her husband and dog.

5 Poverty Essays You Can Download For Free

Poverty is a complex issue. Researchers, legislators, and philosophers debate causes and consequences all the time, as well as solutions. To learn more about poverty, here are five essays you can access online for free:

Ending Global Poverty: Why Money Isn’t Enough – Lucy Page and Rohini Pande

In this essay, the authors lay out the argument that if extreme poverty is to end by 2030, it will take more than just economic growth and the distribution of resources. The solution is a shift in social and political institutions. States must be accountable to the needs of the poorest people and also have the ability to address the needs. Simply having more wealth isn’t enough, the authors say. By 2030, the world as a whole will probably be richer, but that doesn’t guarantee poverty will be non-existent. “Ending Global Poverty” was published in fall 2018 in the Journal of Economic Perspectives.

How Poverty Became A Crime In America – Peter Edelman

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The Economic Lives Of The Poor – Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo

Published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives in 2007, this essay explores the lives of the “extremely poor.” These are the people who live on less than $1 per day. Banerjee and Duflo describe the kinds of choices this group must make, their challenges, and more. They’ve relied on data and research from household surveys performed in 13 countries. If you’ve ever wondered what life is like for very poor people, how they earn their money, and how they spend it, this is a good essay to read.

The New Face of Hunger –  Tracie McMillan

The continuing evolution of american poverty and its implications for community development – alan berube.

Written by a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program in Washington D.C., this essay (published by Brookings in 2016) examines how poverty has changed in the last 40 years. Community development has also changed, which means where poverty is found and how it manifests is different than in years past. Where does community development fit into the fight against poverty? Berube addresses this question and more.

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Who Gets to Be Poor?

A viral essay shows that we’re confused about the difference between “downwardly mobile” and “impoverished.”.

Photo via Linda Tirado/GoFundMe

T his week, Americans have had two radically different opportunities to consider tough questions about poverty, health care access, and downward mobility in the post–Great Recession era. One came when President Obama delivered a speech on economic mobility . The other came when Linda Tirado took out her dental bridge for a YouTube video to prove she was poor.

If you haven’t been following the Tirado saga, here’s a recap. On Oct. 22, the frequent Gawker commenter posted a personal essay called “Why I Make Terrible Decisions, or, Poverty Thoughts,” which she framed as “random observations that might help explain the mental processes” of poor people like herself. In the piece, Tirado—a line cook, freelance writer, and sometime political campaign worker who lives in Utah—described the cognitive toll of juggling two low-wage jobs, a full college course load, a marriage (Tirado’s husband is an Iraq War veteran), and two children, some days on just three hours of sleep. Chronic stress and exhaustion, she explained, left her little bandwidth for good planning and decision-making, or for basic health and dental care. Her piece transpires in a grinding, perpetual present tense, both urgent and fatalistic: “You have to understand that we know that we will never not feel tired,” she wrote. “We will never feel hopeful. We will never get a vacation. Ever. We know that the very act of being poor guarantees that we will never not be poor.”

As the essay began to gather steam online, Tirado asked Jessica Coen, editor of Jezebel , if the piece could land a spot on Jezebel ’s front page , which it did. Exactly a month after Tirado originally posted “Poverty Thoughts,” it hit the front page of the Huffington Post , which hailed her as “the woman who accidentally explained poverty to the nation.” Millions read her essay. So many offers of financial assistance flowed in that Tirado set up a GoFundMe page where she raised over $60,000 for dental surgery—her teeth, which were damaged in a car crash, contributed to her difficulty finding good jobs, she said. She’d use the rest of the money to work on a book.

Inevitably, a backlash followed. Skeptics and cranks dug up dentally impeccable photos of Tirado taken years after her car accident as well as a July 2011 post detailing her unstable but privileged upbringing, which included private schooling—as well as a scholarship at the exclusive boarding school Cranbrook , alma mater of Mitt Romney (she never enrolled)—and ample cultural enrichment: “I had private music lessons from the age of four … I owned twenty-three instruments when I was twelve. I toured Europe as a featured soprano the summer after I graduated high school.” * Over Thanksgiving weekend, the Houston Press published an impassioned debunking of “Poverty Thoughts.” On Tuesday, Mediaite went so far as to declare “Poverty Thoughts” “a hoax.”

Tuesday was also the day Tirado posted her video in response to the doubters. This was not her first bizarre postscript to “Poverty Thoughts.” The first was a mystifying update she added to the essay after her GoFundMe account was already fat with donations: “Not all of this piece is about me. That is why I said that they were observations.” (Note to the children of America: Next time Mom or Dad catches you in a tall tale, try, “I wasn’t exaggerating; I was making an observation .”) She later described herself as “comfortably working-class,” contradicting her self-presentation in “Poverty Thoughts.”

It’s a decent bet, however, that Tirado’s story is largely true, thanks to reporting by The Nation ’s Michelle Goldberg, who interviewed Tirado and one of her former employers, Ryan Clayton (who attested both to Tirado’s diligence and her damaged teeth). And plenty of fair-minded people, including her GoFundMe benefactors, could readily accept the idea that Tirado—despite the house her parents helped her get, despite the advantages of social class and cultural capital that secure you a spot at Cranbrook or on the homepage of a Gawker Media site— believes herself to be “a poor person,” a thinker of “poverty thoughts.” But the fact is that Linda Tirado, the woman who explained poverty to the nation, is almost certainly not one of the 50 million Americans now living in poverty . “Broke” or “downwardly mobile,” maybe, but not poor. And that says less about Tirado’s credibility than it does about our stringent standards for defining poverty in America.

Even with just two low-wage jobs and her husband’s veteran benefits to get by, Tirado’s household income likely well outstrips the 2013 federal poverty guidelines , which top out at $23,550 for a family of four like Tirado’s. That may seem shockingly low, yet 16 percent of Americans still meet the federal definition of poor according to the Census Bureau’s supplemental measure of poverty (which takes into account tax breaks, necessary expenses, and geographic differences across states). And if you were to double that tiny family-of-four figure, you’d be only a few grand short of the median household income in the U.S., which is also lower than many might assume: just over $51,000 in 2012 . Pointing out these grim numbers doesn’t belittle the challenges faced by any hard-working family trying to pay for a home, child care, health insurance, taxes, and so much else even at $51k per year. But it does put the circumstances of the tens of millions with so much less in sharper relief.

Curiously enough, there are symmetrical blind spots in media outlets’ embrace of Tirado as the face of American poverty and in President Obama’s Wednesday speech in Washington, and that blind spot is unemployment. Obama talked about class mobility and income inequality and affordable health care, but he didn’t talk much about jobs for those who don’t have them. As my colleague Matthew Yglesias pointed out in his coverage of Obama’s speech, “The people suffering the most in this country aren’t the people whose wages are stagnating; it’s the people who don’t have any wages at all.” There are 20 million adults in the U.S. who are out of work. Again, it’s not that Tirado, with her exhausting pair of low-wage jobs, isn’t having a hard time. It’s that such a tragic number of people in this country would see that exhausting pair of low-wage jobs as a big step up.

So in an alternate reality, how would the ideal version of “Poverty Thoughts” have shed an empathetic light on the plight of impoverished Americans? I posed this question to one of America’s most renowned poverty experts, Kathryn Edin, a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School. “She should have written, ‘My life is a disaster and I’m only below the median—how can we even imagine truly poor people making it?’ ” Edin says. “Or, ‘I have a relatively privileged background and education, and yet my decision-making skills have been impaired by the stress of my situation—how on earth are the poor getting by?’ ”

Such scruples and perspective perhaps aren’t the stuff of a viral blockbuster or brimming GoFundMe coffers. But they are an admission that a person can absorb the terrible, traumatic impact of what feels like hitting bottom, only to look closer and see how far down the bottom really goes.

Correction, Dec. 5, 2013: This article originally stated that Linda Tirado attended Cranbrook. Though Tirado won a scholarship to the school, she did not enroll. ( Return .)


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Henrietta Lacks Essay On Poverty

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When you hear the word “immortal”, what automatically comes to mind? Do you believe in immortality, could somebody really live forever? What if they die, but part of them lives on… Henrietta Lacks died in 1951, but there is still a part of her that is alive today, her cells. In fact billions of her cells. In Rebecca Skloot’s novel, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, she discusses how after Henrietta dies a part of her lives on. The book summarizes her life and family, her cells, and their significance to science. Skloot successfully argues that Lacks’s cells became a scientific marvel, being used world wide, which her family had absolutely no knowledge of.

The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks Essay

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The lack of financial resources can be a big problem to access to health care. The lack of available finance is a barrier to health care for many Americans but access to health care is reduced most among minority populations. The irregular source of care is another reason why access to health is a disparity. Compared to white individuals ethnic or racial minorities are less likely to be able to visit the same doctor on a regular basis and tend to rely more on clinics and emergency rooms (News Medical Life Sciences).

Melanie Scheller's On The Meaning Of Plumbing And Poverty

A claim the author Melanie Scheller uses in her writing, “On the Meaning of Plumbing and

Sociological Imagination Examples

The term "Sociological Imagination" was introduced by C. Wright Mills in 1959. The definition of Sociological imagination from our textbook is “the ability to understand how your own past relates to that of other people, as well as to history in general and societal structures in particular”. In other words, Sociological Imagination is the ability to recognize that an individual's personal troubles are a product of public issues which aren’t always controlled by the individual. This concept can help to provide a better understanding about the current social problems our nation is facing. Sociological imagination helps an individual understand the society in which they live in by placing an individual away from reality and looking beyond the

Throughout the novel The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lack, the ideas of race and how it affected this medical revolution become quite prevalent. The issue throughout is the idea of the social construction of class being a primary reason why the doctor felt justified to take cells without consent. Discrimination and prejudice come into play as Henrietta is mistreated solely based on her race and status. The hidden reality behind medicine and racism is exposed, how doctors felt it was their job to do this and treat those of color with little to no respect. Skloot manages to immortalize Henrietta in a way different from her cells, her story, now known as one of the largest medical revolutions, allows for the world to get just a glimpse of the mistreatment

Summary Of Another Kind Of Poverty By Anna Quindlen

The thesis statement in “Another Kind of Poverty” by Anna Quindlen describes how poverty is effecting more than just the typical elderly man. The author mentions how families and young adults can now be found on the streets or in soup kitchens.

Persuasive Essay: Why Poverty Should Be Stopped

The world today is full of problems. It’s difficult work for people all over the world to solve these concerns. Why? Because each of these problems are related to one another. One of the problems playing a great role in this confusing web is poverty. According to the Oxford Dictionary, the definition of poverty is “the state of being extremely poor”. Now many people might think, “So what? Why should I care?”. Well one thing is for sure; we, people, should care. Everything going on in the world has cause and effects. Not only to a couple of individuals or community, but to everyone. And looking at poverty, it should be eliminated, or at least decreased because of the effects it has towards our society, health,

Poverty Is A State Of Mind Essay

Poverty still occurs across the modern world which we live in nowadays. While the majority of people would relate the word poverty with less developed countries the truth is that poverty is to be found everywhere you look. Yet the term, poverty, is brought up to discussion. Because would you consider yourself poor even though you didn’t know the better scenario existed? And isn’t it sometimes enough just to have a bed to sleep in, food to eat and people around who love you? Some might say that whether or not you consider yourself poor are simply up to your mindset. Because sometimes just being grateful for what you have and not trying to search for the unattainable are more than enough. Having all the riches in the world is not necessarily the key to happiness and

Poverty In Asia Pacific Essay

The term ‘Poverty’ reflects the meaning itself. Many philosophers often described it with statistical term by evaluating the population, income source, extreme to moderate levels, capital per income, family members, opportunities, employment and so on. But the exact meaning of poverty is being homelessness, discarded from schooling, foods and basic needs. Poverty is a state of life, affecting all of humanity (Meade, 2013). Although poverty is defined in several forms however, we cannot deny what exactly it means. Poverty is also associated with health. The poor are expanded to higher health risks, have less information and are less able to access health care even zero percent; thus, have higher risk of illness and disability. Apparently, it can reduce learning ability, reduce productivity, reduce household savings & income and suddenly lead to a diminished quality of life, thereafter even increasing poverty (WHO, 2016). As I think ‘poverty’ is something related to human beings and discarded from all the wants.

More about Henrietta Lacks Essay On Poverty

The Kenyon Review

In the wake of Claire Vaye Watkins’s “On Pandering,” there were many responses; notably, critiques of the essay’s failure to address the author’s white privilege. But no one addressed class privilege in the essay, which begins with a slam on rural Pennsylvania, a poor place Watkins says smells like pigshit, and which she described “to faraway friends [as] murdersome .” Watkins was in Appalachia for an academic job, which she left.

She was a tourist in what she calls “coal-Amish-fracking country.” I live there.

I’m a solo mother living with my son on a ridge in the foothills of Appalachian Ohio, where a fracking injection well a few miles away is maybe/probably to blame for my occupational asthma; where, for dinner, I defrost deer shot by a neighbor; where I can’t remember the last time I bought clothing not from Goodwill. We burn our trash here. We fix our cars with beer cans and hose. My black work boots I’ve worn since I was thirteen. I didn’t go to the dentist for seven years.

My grandfather finished the eighth grade. My parents, college (the first in both families to do so), and I made it through graduate school. But I pursued writing. And while the road to being a writer has been paved for me—as for Watkins, as for every woman I know—with sexism and harassment, it’s also land-mined with class barriers.

Art is not the class I was born into. It’s not only that writing doesn’t pay well; it costs a lot of money for the privilege of not being paid, even for the consideration of not being paid. It’s not simply that paying magazines’ submission fees is a luxury for me and for many others, but that being an unpaid intern—a funnel toward publication or an editorial position—is a pipedream when you’re juggling which of the bills to pay this month, wondering if water is more important than heat.

Writing connections are often class connections. It costs money to attend writers’ conferences, including job conferences, or to “take time off” from a job to attend a residency. These experiences have become important for a writing life, both for the competence they lend to resumes and for networking, which can lead to publication.

Art is not the class that most of the writers I grew up loving were born into, either. Not James Wright, son of a worker at Atlas Glass and a homemaker. Not Octavia E. Butler, daughter of widowed mother who worked as a maid.

But literary writing has become tangled with a higher class: academia. Watkins was an assistant professor at Bucknell University, adjacent to the “coal country town” which “On Pandering” disparages, and located in the small, privileged college town of Lewisburg, which her essay contrasts as “actually quite pleasant.” Though her essay acknowledges the vast class differences between the adjoining places, it presents no possible solutions to the poverty just outside the academic bubble, but only a mockery of it, including a joke about a nearby coal seam fire. Mine fires, caused by smoldering coal, are environmental disasters. They can burn for years, posing serious health hazards to people in already-exploited places—people who can’t afford, like Watkins did, to just leave.

But the coal disaster in Centralia, Pennsylvania, is presented in “On Pandering” as a joke: “That vein, by the way, is expected to continue burning for another 250 years. So if you haven’t visited Centralia, there’s still time.” The poverty of others is distasteful, something to laugh at. And then to run from.

Watkins now is an assistant professor at the University of Michigan. Indeed, if you look at the contributors’ notes of many leading journals or the finalist bios of prizes, you might believe that professors are the only ones who write anymore.

Teaching at the college level was traditionally a good job, if you could get it. But most of us can’t. Most creative writers in the academy now end up as adjuncts, not making ends meet (or having job security or insurance); not having the time, energy, or physical stamina to do their own work, while teaching four or more sections of English Composition a semester (that translates into grading, on average, about 300 drafts).

That was me, for a while. Then I was offered a section, and when I asked how much it paid—because I have to pay a babysitter for my young son—I was only told by the (male, white) department head: “We have adjuncts who will do it at any price.”

As disgusting as this statement is, it’s true. And it means that only writers with working spouses or families who support them, or who have independent wealth, can teach. And that most college English departments—we’ve long known this, but don’t seem capable or willing to do anything about it—run on exploitation.

So I work several jobs now. I work for a website for solo moms, I freelance write and report, I copyedit and tutor, and I have a lead on extra work selling corn chips at supermarkets on weekends. And while I love teaching writing and believe I could have made a difference in academia, and a better life for my son there, I also believe that contemporary literature’s heavy focus on the professor class is a detriment not only to writers’ lives but also to the work being produced.

It reinforces the damaging message that the only lives worth writing (or reading) about are the ones professors lead.

I think of Herbert Scott and his book Groceries , about working in a grocery store. I think of Kathy Fagan handing hot dogs out of a drive-up window. I think of Tyehimba Jess teaching high school. I think of David Dodd Lee on the night shift in a hospital storeroom. While these writers, like Wright and others, made the leap to academia, they certainly didn’t start there, and their work has a deepness of experience and empathy that is missing from the work of the privileged.

Making art is more than a leisure activity exclusively for the well-off. For some, including the poor, it’s a calling that cannot be denied. There is no stronger motivation than that. There is no brighter fire.

There are other voices beyond professors. Other kinds of lives, other struggles that are real, vividly imagined, and deserving of time. One of the ways of validating lives is by allowing them space to speak, by setting up your conference or your contest in a way that supports writers who are poor and less connected, in a way that actively looks for them.

This means no submission fees. This means paying your interns—and your writers. This means shorter residencies for writers who will be fired from their jobs if they leave for long, or who have children without nannies. This means searching for writers to celebrate beyond New York and outside of academia. This means putting up flyers for your journal and posters advertising your readings not just at the hipster coffeehouse and AWP elevator, but at community colleges and laundromats, at halfway houses and homeless shelters. This means recognizing that not everyone—including every writer—has internet at home, not everyone has a working printer, not everyone can apply for a grant early or at all, not everyone has an hour of free time, not everyone can write when they are not bone tired or hungry or cold.

While some progress has been made with regard to working for—or at least acknowledging the dire need for—gender and racial diversity in literature, thanks to the work of groups like VIDA and We Need Diverse Books, nothing has been done to champion class diversity in writing.

Why is it still okay, as “On Pandering” did, to make fun of the poor? Why is it still okay to forget them? And what voices are we losing out on when there is an entry fee to even being heard?

I think of Nora Piece working as a custodian, among many other jobs. I think of Donald Ray Pollock at the Mead Paper Mill. I think of Jane Hamilton farming in an apple orchard. And I think of Christina Baker-Jones.

You probably haven’t heard of Christina Baker-Jones (yet), because she worked three jobs at the same time: as a student worker during the day, at McDonald’s at night, and crushing boxes in Wal-Mart layaway department until well after dawn. You will hear of her, because her stories are sharp and aching, and because her drive is strong. She married a former co-worker at McDonald’s, went back to college in her early thirties—and graduated. That kind of spirit cannot be silenced. That kind of voice doesn’t pander. It prevails.

And I have to tell you: the smell of manure that “On Pandering” mocks? It comforts me. It reminds me of home. Of farmers, like my family. Once someone tried to insult my uncle by calling him a “dirt farmer.” But those are the people I come from.

Sometimes we can be activists. We can burn things. We can shout—and call out. Sometimes, for safety reasons, for not-starving reasons, for not-wanting-to-be-fired reasons, for not-wanting-to-be-abused-again reasons we cannot. I am scared about the ramifications of voicing this.

But as a poor white woman with an invisible disability (deafness), I have enormous privilege. It is much more difficult to be a writer of color, a writer with a visible disability, a trans writer. Those paths are not only land-mined, they are actively blocked , the bridges dynamited out, the directions sabotaged.

Though I am embarrassed and afraid, sliding into the rural poverty my parents worked hard to escape, I have family not far away who help out with my son when they can, and my county, though the poorest in the state, is supportive of those who are struggling. So every time I read a mischaracterization of the poor written by professors, I cringe. Because that’s not how it’s like.

Unless you publish the voices of the poor, how will you know about the basket of fruit by the doors of the grocery, free for any child to eat? How will you know about the night when someone anonymously paid for the entire town to attend the movies? How will you know about shaking creosote from woodstoves? Or finding hen-of-the-woods? Or how the ground jerks when the coal mine is dynamited? Or how the mechanic gives away free tires? Or how to steep nettle tea, or how to collect it wild by the river in your arms?

The experiences and imaginations of the poor are as rich as those of anyone born into privilege or tenured as a professor. Sometimes, imagination is all we have.

We are poor because we were born that way. We are poor because our husbands or girlfriends left us, or our families disowned us, or our partners abused us. We are poor because we are raising children and children need things, like food. We are poor because of illness or disability. We are poor because the city where we live is expensive, but we don’t have the savings to leave. We are poor because we spent those savings on rent. We are poor because our rent was raised. We are poor because our fifteen-year-old car broke down again. We are poor because of student loans. We are poor because there are no jobs, or there are not enough jobs, or we’re working three jobs, but none pay a living wage.

We are not poor out of lack of hard work. We are not poor because we “want it less.” We stay poor because of institutionalized sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, ageism, and classism.

We stay poor because doors stay closed.

137 Poverty Essay Topics

🏆 best essay topics on poverty, 👍 good poverty research topics & essay examples, 🧐 research titles about poverty, 🎓 most interesting poverty research titles, ❓ poverty research questions.

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StudyCorgi . 2022. "137 Poverty Essay Topics." September 8, 2022.

StudyCorgi . (2022) '137 Poverty Essay Topics'. 8 September.


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