ERIC Number: ED057256
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1971
Reference Count: 0
The Culture of Poverty: An Exploration in Culture and Personality.
Kelley, Marjorie G.
By examining the relationship between culture and the formation of personality, this paper attempts to define and describe the "culture of poverty." While recognizing that many studies and findings exist which support the culture of poverty concept, the paper also recognizes that there are too many unanswered questions to state unequivocally that the lifeways of the poor actually form a unique cultural pattern. Valentine, for instance, argues that the concept of a culture of poverty was constructed by theorists who cannot escape their own middle-class bias. He also fears that analyzing problems of the poor in terms of a culture of poverty may result in too much emphasis being given to alleged motivational peculiarities of the poor at the expense of overlooking structural characteristics of the stratified system. Valentine therefore recommends, and the data in this report support, a full-scale ethnographic study of impoverished groups to determine whether a culture of poverty does in fact exist. In any case, it is widely accepted that life experiences of the poor have produced different modes of response. Therefore training programs need an imaginative approach which will discover and make optimal use of latent motivations and aspirations of the poor. (JS)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Center for Educational Research and Development (DHEW/OE), Washington, DC. Div. of Comprehensive and Vocational Education Research.
Authoring Institution: North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh. Center for Occupational Education.