Poverty and Discrimination

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Part 1: Poverty and Discrimination

Introduction

Poverty and discrimination are two major social issues that have continued to have a big impact on the lives of many people in the United States of America. Poverty and discrimination are closely related and intertwined since one always leads to the other and vice versa. Poverty is a state of having little or no resources such as money, goods, or means necessary to sustain life. Those who are stricken by poverty do not live a comfortable live, but merely survive. Poverty occurs in almost in all parts of the world. There are two types of poverty namely absolute and relative poverty. Absolute poverty is due to lack of basic human needs such as food, shelter and clothing. It is a life threatening condition. Relative poverty is whereby a comparison based on resources is done to determine the level of poverty. Discrimination refers to the differential treatment of people based on various factors such as their economic status, level of education, race, gender or ethnicity.  Although America has undergone tremendous transformation since the era of Martin Luther King, discrimination is still very rampant in United States.

According to the American Psychological Association (APA) the socio-economic status is determined by considering three vital factors. These factors are occupation, education and income. A combination of these three components determines the social class of a person or group. There is so much inequity in the access and distribution of resources in America thereby contributing to poverty.  Research studies indicate that race and ethnicity are the major determinant of socio-economic status of a person. In addition discrimination based on race, ethnicity and socio-economic status is a common phenomenon.