Thought Response to the Uses of Poverty The Poor Pay All by Herbert Gans

ThoughtResponse to the Uses of Poverty: The Poor Pay All by Herbert Gans


ThoughtResponse to the Uses of Poverty: The Poor Pay All by Herbert Gans


Accordingto Gans, (1971) poverty has functions that explain its persistence.Poverty has made it possible the expansion of renowned occupationsand professions like criminology, social work, and public health. Itis poverty that has offered jobs for social workers, socialscientists, and journalists. The author notes that poverty ensuresthat the dirty works of the society are done. This is because itoffers low-wage labor pool. In many societies, the poor are the oneswho are ready to do dirty jobs for low pay. Owed to the fact the poorneed to work at low pay, they subsidize many economic activities thatare beneficial to them. It is also good to note that the poor pay alarger share of sales and property taxes. This is related directly tothe symbolic interaction theory. This theory argues that change ofattitude is mediated by the judgmental process and its impacts. Thismeans that the position of a person will depend on the most preferredposition of the individual.


Thejudgment of an individual regarding alternatives will determine howthey are perceived by society. The way people judge themselves willspread across their acceptance, noncommitment, and rejection. This iswhy people need to know their worth and ego-involvement in the issue(Gans, 1971).


Becausethe poor are required to work for low pay, poverty has opened someoccupations that cater for the needs of the poor. They include,police, peacetime army, and gambling. According to the symbolicinteraction theory, society is socially constructed owed to humaninterpretation. This means that some jobs will be seen as to bebrought about by poverty owed to the way the people interpret thesejobs. Modern society tends to see the poor as the ones who buy goodsthat other people do not want. This is something that has prolongedthe economic usefulness of such persons. The result is social classesin society. For the rich, the poor should be identified and punishedbecause they are deviants of legitimacy and conventional norms. Thisis the reason the poor work hard, and thrift or else they will beaccused of being lazy.


Insociety, the poor take part in various activities where they aresupposed to participate. They are the ones that serve as culturalartifacts and heroes. It is poverty that helps to guarantee the poortheir status. In the society, there are people who should be at thebottom so that they hold up others. In this case, the poor are seenas the ones who aid upward mobility of groups that are above them insocial class. There are many people who have managed to enter themiddle class through offering the poor services and goods. It is thepoor in society who keep the political class stable as they vote morethan any other people in the society. Despite this role, they arestill powerless owed to their weak state. It is good to note that notonly does the deviancy of the poor reduce the moral pressure put onthe political class to reduce poverty. However, socialistalternatives can be seen as unattractive in the event of thosebenefiting from them are seen as lazy, promiscuous, dishonest, andspendthrift (Gans,1971).


Gans,R. (1971). The uses of poverty: The poor pay all. Issuesin Urban Education,63.