Social Class, Social Change, and Poverty

Social Class, Social Change, and Poverty Photo Credit: Phillies1fan777, via Wikimedia Commons.


Use this sheet as you continue to examine poverty in the United States and how sociological research can add to our understanding of social class, social change, and poverty. You can use the resources on the Social Class, Social Change, and Poverty student esheet to help you answer the questions on this sheet.

Poverty’s Children
What is the first “face” of poverty described in this essay?



What is the face of poverty as described by Claude Brown in the 1960s?



How was it that Claude Brown was able to overcome poverty?



What is the culture of poverty argument as put forward by Oscar Lewis? What do you think about that argument?



What is the new face of poverty in the age of welfare reform?



Jerry's Story
What struck you the most from this short video about Jerry’s work day?



How much does he pay for his room?



What is his hourly wage? Do you think that’s enough to live on?



Do you know what the current, national minimum wage is? If Jerry has a hard time getting by on $12 an hour, what kind of struggles do you think someone who makes the minimum wage faces?



What are some of Jerry’s fears?



Why Poverty Persists in Appalachia
According to Dr. Duncan, what are the primary causes of chronic poverty, and how has government allowed it to continue?



List the effects of long-term underinvestment in people and communities, according to Dr. Duncan. How does this underinvestment reveal itself at the individual level in Chris’s and Cody’s lives?



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