"Poverty is hard work"

Topics: Third World, Poverty, Homelessness Pages: 3 (1216 words) Published: November 9, 2013
Why does Mark Peel argue that “poverty is hard work”? Critically examine this claim in relation to poverty in Australia. Poverty affects people all over the world with some cases more extreme than others. Even in our modern, developing societies poverty still continues to exist, leaving many at a disadvantage. Poverty is best known as the term used to describe those whom are extremely poor. In an article titled ‘Poverty’ Mark Peel (2006) makes the claim that “poverty is hard work.” But what does this mean? Peel explains how poverty may affect some people and how it may be viewed as “hard work.” This essay endeavours to examine Peel’s claim and uncover the relationship that this may have to the poverty existing in Australia at this present time. Poverty is described in its simplest form in The Budget Macquarie Dictionary, as “the condition of being poor with respect to money, goods, or means of subsistence.” That is to say that to be poor is to have very little or no money, and to be unable to provide for yourself the necessities of living. Poverty exists worldwide. It is most clearly visible in third world countries where children and adults alike do not have the facilities or means to provide good healthcare, education, food or shelter. Many people suffer from these conditions which can result in illness or fatality. While poverty is most serious and distinct in these third world countries, poverty also exists in developing countries around the world, Australia included. A magazine designed to assist the homeless in Australia called The Big Issue describes poverty as stopping people “from having an acceptable standard of living.” That is to say that people suffering from poverty may be lacking the necessities and luxuries that most people in developing countries take for granted, such as, a good education, respectable healthcare, suitable shelter and even an acceptable amount of food required to survive. There are many factors which may be responsible for...

References: Peel, M. (2006) ‘Poverty’, in P Beilharz & T Hogan (eds.), Sociology: place, time and division , Oxford University Press: South Melbourne. Pp. 399-402
Brown, R.G. (1964) Poverty in Australia—The Evidence. The British Journal of Sociology, Vol. 15, No. 2. Wiley-Blackwell. http://www.jstor.org/stable/588297 accessed on: 2/10/2012
The Big Issue. http://www.thebigissue.org.au/Facts_Figures_Poverty_Homelessness_Australia.pdf accessed on: 2/10/2012
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