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Poverty Is Just a State of Mind

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Part of the Culture, Mind, and Society book series (CMAS)

Abstract

American dominant culture understands poverty as a defect of character, not a result of a structurally unjust economic system. People who are poor are not poor because they lack money. They are poor because, in America’s dominant culture, there is something wrong with them emotionally, morally, subculturally, or behaviorally. People in poverty in the United States are largely viewed as individually responsible for their own economic circumstances, and they must be punished in this view (see Ryan 1976 and Schneider 1999 for representative takes on the issue). This appallingly cruel perspective has a long history in the United States despite its patent falsity, going far beyond the “blaming the victim” nonsense furthered by allegedly liberal social scientists and providers of social services (including social workers, psychotherapists, counselors, and other purveyors of the “helping” professions).

Keywords

  • Middle Class
  • Minimum Wage
  • Poor People
  • American Culture
  • Poor Woman

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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  • DOI: 10.1057/9780230618350_3
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© 2009 Elizabeth A. Throop

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Throop, E.A. (2009). Poverty Is Just a State of Mind. In: Psychotherapy, American Culture, and Social Policy. Culture, Mind, and Society. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230618350_3

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