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ERIC Number: ED013278
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1967-Jun-22
Pages: 35
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
NEUTRALIZING THE DISINHERITED--SOME PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF UNDERSTANDING THE POOR.
RAINWATER, LEE
MEMBERS OF THE DOMINANT SOCIETY IN THE UNITED STATES, BOTH SOCIAL SCIENTISTS AND LAYMEN, PERCEIVE THE POOR IN WAYS WHICH ALLOW THEM TO RESOLVE THE ANXIETY THEY EXPERIENCE WHEN THEY RECOGNIZE THAT THE POOR LIVE A LIFE WHICH IS OSTENSIBLY UNLIVABLE. ONE MODE OF PERCEPTION, WHICH UNDERLIES SEEMINGLY SOPHISTICATED VIEWS, AND IS FOUND IN THE ATTITUDE OF THE POOR THEMSELVES, IS THE "MORALIZING" SENSE THAT THE POOR DESERVE THEIR STATUS BECAUSE THEY AND THEIR ENVIRONMENT ARE INHERENTLY FLAWED. THERAPY FOR THIS "FLAW" INCLUDES PUNISHMENT, CONTROL, OR "REDEMPTION." THE "MEDICALIZING" PERSPECTIVE VIEWS THE POOR AS "SICK" PERSONS LIVING IN A PATHOLOGICAL ENVIRONMENT, AND ADVOCATES PSYCHOTHERAPY AND THE ACTUAL REMOVAL OF CHILDREN FROM THE ENVIRONMENT. ACCORDING TO THE "NATURALIZING" PERSPECTIVE, THE POOR ARE GENETICALLY INFERIOR AND MUST BE EUGENICALLY WEEDED OUT OF SOCIETY, CONTROLLED THROUGH A CASTE SYSTEM, OR LEFT ALONE. IN CONTRAST, THE "APOTHEOSIZING" PERSPECTIVE VIEWS THE POOR AS HEROIC, AND SOCIETY AS VICTIMIZING THEM. ADVOCATES OF THE "NORMALIZING" PERSPECTIVE MAINTAIN THAT THE POOR, GIVEN A CHANCE, ARE LIKE "ORDINARY" PEOPLE, AND STRESS OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE POOR RATHER THAN ALTERATIONS IN THE DOMINANT SOCIAL STRUCTURE. BECAUSE THESE DIAGONSES OF POVERTY CAN AFFECT SOCIAL AND POLITICAL POLICIES THEY SHOULD BE MORE PHENOMENOLOGICALLY VALID BEFORE THEY ARE ACTED UPON. (LB)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: N/A