You will prepare and submit a term paper on Poverty as a Widespread Phenomenon: Deprivation and Disparity. Your paper should be a minimum of 1250 words in length. Both perspectives will be presented along with different methods to address such models of poverty.
The individual theory of poverty purports that the individual is himself responsible for the poverty that surrounds him. There are multifaceted explanations for the individual causes for poverty but all are ultimately tied down to blaming the individual. This line of argumentations is typically taken by politically conservative theoreticians who state that the right choices by an individual as well as continued hard work could lift a person out of poverty. Moreover, they also state that most problems relating to poverty are themselves mere creations of the individual affected by poverty. Another set of ideas relating to individual poverty states that poverty is a result of genetic traits and as such, it cannot be reversed this easily as it is hardcoded into human nature and persona.
The idea that poverty is a result of human deficiencies has roots in history. Previously religious ideologies related that wealth was a result of God’s favor. Furthermore disabled individuals were seen as being punished by God for either their individual sins or for the sins of their parents. As the concept of inherited intelligence took root in the nineteenth century, the eugenics even proposed that such disabled individuals should be sterilized to prevent further generations of poverty and misery. Rainwater has discussed such perspectives in detail and states that the religious perspective on individual poverty ensures that certain people live in hell on earth because of their misdeeds. He further states that such perspectives have misaligned the actual reasons behind poverty to a very large extent. (Rainwater)
The rise of neo-classical economics only augmented the individual theories on poverty by arguing that only the individual can improve their state of being through making wise choices (and investments) through the use of sound information.