"... My studies have identified some 70 traits that characterize the culture of poverty. The principal ones may be described in four dimensions of the system: the relationship between the subculture and the larger society; the nature of the slum community; the nature of the family, and the attitudes, values and character structure of the individual. The disengagement, the non-integration, of the poor with respect to the major institutions of society is a crucial element in the culture of poverty. It reflects the combined effect of a variety of factors including poverty, to begin with, but also segregation and discrimination, fear, suspicion and apathy and the development of alternative institutions and procedures in the slum community.

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Subota, 15 Maj 2021 10:49

Culture of Poverty by Oscar Lewis

The theory of a culture of poverty was created by the American anthropologist Oscar Lewis in his book, Five Families: Mexican Case Studies in the Culture of Poverty, first published in 1959. This theory states that living in conditions of pervasive poverty will lead to the development of a culture or subculture adapted to those conditions. Lewis uses his famous expression of poverty culture to describe it as the idea that poor people do not learn norms and values that can help them improve their conditions and therefore fall into a repeated pattern of poverty.

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