Why are some groups more likely to experience Poverty?
There are two types of poverty: absolute and relative. Absolute poverty is the state or condition of having little or no money, goods and means of support. Generally it is a serious lack of means for a proper existence. This is mainly seen in third word countries and rare in the UK. Relative poverty is where the individual has the basics but cannot afford things that would allow them to fully participate in society, i.e., people living on or below the minimum wage or in a low standard of living. This essay focuses on relative poverty and how it affects two groups of people likely to experience it – Lone or single parents and the unemployed
A lone parent does not live with a spouse or partner, they have the day to day responsibilities in raising a child or children, the children reside with the lone parent for the majority of the time. Lone parents are a growing group and have one of the highest rates of poverty and receipt of social assistance. Single parents are widely now an accepted norm. 26% of households with dependant children are single parent families and there are 2 million single parents in Britain today. This has remained consistent since the mid-1990s. Children in single parent families are twice as likely as children in couple families to live in relative poverty. Gingerbread. (Online) Available from: http://gingerbread.org.uk (Accessed October 2013)
From the perspective of Marxism it can be argued that a system of capitalism prevents single parents from progressing out of poverty situations. The single parents role is mainly to provide for the children in the home, using their instincts to nurture them in everyday norms and values without experiencing or having the means for betterment, e.g. to ensure the child conforms and as a function goes to school each day. However for many children there is no aspiration, when they are older they will conform and go to work...