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Poverty Among Blacks in America

Poverty is a major social problem in the US and disproportionately affects the Black ethnicity. Scholars have advanced different theories about the issue, revealing the prejudices that exist between the rich and the poor. Definitions of penury determine society’s approach in addressing the situation.

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Researchers must pursue a more comprehensive understanding of destitution to understand its dynamics in human life. Blacks in America proportionally comprise the largest group of members living in impoverishment, and authorities must establish why this challenge persists in this group. Conley and other sociologists deviate from dominant approaches that blame the poor for their conditions as these propagate prejudice and diminishes intervention efforts. Neediness is a persistent obstacle in society, and society must explore its causes and consequences to enable permanent solutions to the problem.

Perspectives that define destitution based on heredity limit the intervention measures for the issue. Scholars must look at the problem from a broader perspective to enable comprehensive analysis. The “culture of poverty” theory proposes that the poor adopt practices that differ from those of the middle-class or the “mainstream” society to adapt to the challenging economic times. The perspective also compares with the concept of “Affluenza,” which posits that the rich have a definite culture distinct from society (Kawamoto n.d. b).

Such views apportion blame to the victims of impoverishment and limit intervention by authorities. The definition is stereotypical and propagates that the poor are responsible for their situation, and any advanced help cannot bring significant change. Besides, these views neglect the contribution of historical and institutional factors towards the economic deprivation of communities.

The perception that poverty arises from genetic factors promotes discrimination against poor communities. The Bell curve shows that destitution is endemic in individuals because of their genetic composition. This view is discriminatory and distances institutions from addressing the endemic causes of penury. As a departure from this perspective, Julius Wilson observes that poverty is a result of economic injustices and racism (Kawamoto, n.d. b).

The history of slavery in America explains the wealth disparity in America. Although the United States government has banned discrimination based on race, among other factors, Blacks continue to experience prejudice in access to opportunities, which exposes them to deplorable living conditions (Kawamoto, n.d. b). Authorities denied African Americans loan opportunities and access to economic opportunities. Analysts must examine the diverse causes of indigence to help institutions address these challenges.

Authorities must adopt the right poverty measurement strategies to capture its prevalence in society correctly. Most of the existing measures served humanity in the past but do not address the dynamics of economic disadvantage in contemporary society. The impoverishment line developed in 1965 helped governments identify the impoverished communities based on considering the low cost of the food budget. While this was a significant advancement to the measurement of the problem, it failed to account for the diverse contexts of families (Kawamoto, n.d. b).

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The approach, for instance, did not consider the differences between the urban and the rural poor, besides the tool focused on the family but did not explain how destitution rates vary based on the different family sizes. Authorities must consider alternative parameters to measure indigence to account for the changing economic situations in society today.

Absolute poverty measurements yield misleading results as they presume that its causes are similar in different regions. However, the disparities between the poor and the rich in America based on ethnic identity raise the need for alternative measurement parameters. The comparative approach to the measurement of penury derives from evaluating the standard of living in a region. In this regard, economists apply the mean and media to understand the position of families concerning the economic state of the area.

While the mean shows the average levels of wealth, the median determines the number of families living in relative indigence. However, the comparative assessment of privation only indicates the economic status of families in comparison to others in their area (Kawamoto, n.d. a). Economists can enable better analysis by defining the recommended wealth status to determine a better quality of life. Authorities can enhance impoverishment by developing destitution measurement strategies that align with the current economic realities.

The Back race in the US has experienced economic discrimination throughout the history of America and depicts higher levels of destitution. The American authorities must address systemic discrimination as a solution to poverty in society. Consequently, individuals leave their marriage partners because of financial strain (Williams, 2020).

The distinction between penury among different ethnicities may entrench the view that this scenario arises because of heredity. Proponents of the “culture of poverty” could also attribute the persistent deprivation among African Americans to behavioral adaptations. Scholars must appreciate the history of economic bias in America and its consequences on the Black race in America.

Institutional causes of impoverishment have adversely affected the health status of blacks in America. Blacks suffer poor access to healthcare because of a lack of access to health insurance. The out-of-pocket payment for medication is too expensive for families, and as a result, they suffer diminished medical intervention (Koch & Setshegesto, 2020).

Modern medical innovations have enabled the early detection of diseases to prevent their adverse impacts on communities. Nevertheless, these technologies are too expensive for most blacks that live in disadvantaged economic situations. The institutional discrimination in America has progressively denied Blacks in the US access to healthcare services and resulted in poor health conditions in this ethnicity. Poverty affects the health status of society because of limited opportunities for training.

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Doctors require extensive periods in educational institutions to practice in the community. Consequently, only families with resources can enroll their members for medical schooling. Blacks have few doctors to serve their populations because of their limited economic power arising out of institutional discrimination. American authorities must develop elaborate affirmative action methods to enhance the financial status of Blacks in the US for a better quality of life.

The various forms of healthcare services in American society disadvantage the Black community from access to quality treatment. The US government does not provide universal health coverage, and this arrangement adversely affects the quality of care among the poor in society. The analysis of the class notes indicates that Whites enjoy better health outcomes compared to Blacks because of a culture of institutional racism. An individual’s ethnicity in the US determines his access to socioeconomic status and access to education that emanate from racial discrimination.

The selection theory, drift theory, and social determinants theory attempt to explain the variation in access to healthcare. The selection approach proposes that while low income leads to poor health, the mediating factors include genetic factors. Proponents of the drift theory advance the view that poor health diminishes the opportunities for gainful employment. On the other hand, the theory of social determinants posits that social status affects an individual’s health status. Based on this view, married people tend to live longer.

The three approaches reveal why Blacks suffer poor health based on destitution, employment, and family stability. The poor access to healthcare among African Americans thus derives from their poverty.

Impoverishment among the Blacks in America mainly emanates from racial discrimination and adversely affects their quality of life. Scholars who connect economic disadvantages to genetic factors prejudice poor people. The existing methods of measuring impoverishment do not enable governments to address the issue comprehensively. Some scholars regard destitution as a congenital problem and ascribe it to behavioral adaptations. However, these perspectives promote prejudice and limit remedial actions.

Sociologists must deviate from the attribution of indigence to the lifestyles of communities and engender a broader perspective to appreciate its impact on the quality of life. Blacks experience higher levels of destitution because of historical factors associated with slavery. Besides, Blacks in modern America have diminished access to health insurance and are susceptible to infections.

The healthcare theories explored that destitution, lack of employment, and social factors negatively affect access to healthcare. Poverty is a social challenge that adversely affects the Black community in America, and authorities must explore its diverse causes to develop comprehensive interventions.


Kawamoto, W. (n.d) (a). Families. Zoom Meeting.

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Kawamoto, W. (n.d) (b). Poverty. Zoom Meeting.

Koch, S. F., & Setshegetso, N. (2020). Catastrophic health expenditures arising from out-of-pocket payments: Evidence from South African income and expenditure surveys. PloS One, 15(8), e0237217. Web.

Williams, A. C. (2020). Black American adult children of divorce. Walden University.

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