Sample Political Science Paper on Poverty


Poverty affects the social and human attributes of members of the community as the poor are often subjected to greater personal environmental health risks and malnourishment that may degenerate into illness and disability. In situations that individuals become sick household savings reduce lowering the ability of individual to access quality life, there is also a reduction in productivity and thus perpetuating poverty. “In some countries, poverty has been defined in terms of income making it a global phenomenon visible in low, middle and high income countries” (Pogge 44). Social theorists have opined that in certain situations poverty is in people because such people are lazy, uneducated, ignorant, or otherwise inferior in one way or the other (Pogge 48). Contrary to this argument, economists have elaborated that poverty is structural and thus people are in poverty because they find themselves in holes in the economic system that deliver to them inadequate incomes.

Evidence presented has indicated that poverty is a global problem and that its effects can be narrowed down to elements of lack of social organization in the family, lack of class consciousness, and the inability to delay gratification. The matrimonial structure focus of the family has been considered by many sociologists one a major effect as it is affirmed that feminine individuals in families may not assume masculine roles. If this happens then sociologists fear that male children from these families will have lower intelligence scores, less education, higher unemployment rates, higher crime rates, and a variety of other liabilities which combine to keep them in poverty. However, it is affirmed that if a female member assumes the responsibility of being the head of family and contrary to the poverty cycle concept; male children from female-headed families are more likely to be in an intact marriage than those raised in male-headed households (Pogge 56).

Feminist theory

This is a theory that supports equality for women and although all proponents of the theory believe that it strives to ensure gender equality many believe that the theory is more concerned with feminist ideas of achieving gender equality. Feminist theorists have put forward ideas to help advance arguments that it aims to increase equality, expand human choices, eliminate stratification based on gender and ending sexual violence while promoting sexual freedom. It is worth pointing out that arguments have also been put forward in respect to feminization of poverty that describes a phenomenon in which women represent a disproportionate percentage of those poor across the world (Pogge 77). This condition has been acclaimed to be associated with lack of income, lack of opportunities and fixed gender roles in respect to women. It has been established that situations that women find themselves deprive them of opportunities of pursuing their education or careers and are sometimes linked to the beliefs that women are responsible for childbearing (Pogge 86).

The dominant theme of this theory is that women increase share of poverty across the world and is due to the rising instances of single mothers in households. The theory argues that there are several factors that increases chances of women to be poor than their male counterparts. It is believed that lack of income is believed to deprive women of basic needs of food and shelter and thus limiting their chances of succeeding (Banerjee et al 125). The skewed income of women earning less than men also deprives them of basic education and health care and in the process stifling their economic attainment and success. The theory also pin points that responsibilities associated with motherhood increases the risks of poverty because of the less income that cannot be sufficient in providing full financial support to the family. Studies have discovered that single mother households relate to gender inequality issues as women are more susceptible to poverty and lack essential life needs in comparison to men (Lebow 108).

The worldview points of this theory on poverty is that women in this state have a considerable reduced chances of accessing quality healthcare services due to the childbearing toll on them and hence inflicts poor health outcomes. With poor health, women have reduced chances of earning incomes across the globe and thus increasing health services to women would be helpful in mitigating poverty. Moreover, sociologists have confirmed that providing education to women would create greater opportunities to help women in climbing out of poverty and increase their societal positions. In some countries across the world women are denied and discriminated limiting their chances of accessing basic education limiting their employment opportunities.

Contrary to other theories, this theory holds that women are deprived of their opportunities to climb out of poverty and materially control their environment due to unequal access to profitable and fulfilling occupational opportunities. Despite few women accessing employment opportunities most of them find themselves in informal employment where they are unable to address their safety and legal working conditions and thereby increasing incidences of poverty across the world.

Constructivism theory

In the modern social setting, constructivism theory has provided the platform in which people are able to discuss their experiences and ideologies and therefore delineating the ideologies and interests of people towards state.  Proponents of this theory have pointed out that poverty is a social construction based on how people have interpreted it. According to their arguments poor people are always construed and often despised to the point of being considered out of existence (Banerjee et al 133).  It is clear that poverty is a reality for poor people though in most cases they tend to hide their predicaments of the day-to-day difficulties that they experience. According to theorists, in the context of political governance those individuals who are poor are those whose talents have been wasted through bad government and leadership. In providing solutions to eliminate poverty and to better use talents of the people, it is important to liberalize markets and reduce corruption and wastage of resources.

The dominant theme of this theory in respect to poverty is that the poor individuals lack social capital to assist them in tackling the problem and therefore turning them into twists of social construction of poverty (Banerjee et al 166). In view of this, anthropologists have established that poverty is simply socially constructed and may also be real. This means that those individuals running governments should try to eliminate the social construction of poverty through focusing on real social differentiation to avoid generalizing policies. However, it has been established that the focus would be a good advice though it does not do justice to the need for a radical overhaul of dominant conceptions of poverty.

The worldview point of the theory in respect to poverty is that the problem is not new since it has been a longstanding problem across the world. It is believed that poverty and other social problems have been important in current politics together with other social problems like crime and welfare issues. According to constructivism theorists, poverty has degenerated to clearly become an important element in politics with others pointing out that it often crosscut- the usual liberal-conservative divide over the role of government. Since the notion of poverty is construed in mind of people, crime and other antisocial disorders are often linked to poverty with experts asserting that the public may be unwilling to transfer more money to the poor, but it is also unwilling to abandon them (Pogge 124). Historically, it can be remembered that poverty blocked liberal social reforms after 1970 in United States, but it also blocked Ronald Reagan from gutting the welfare state. In providing solutions to the problem of poverty, public wants government first to work better in elemental ways, to achieve work and law-abidingness in the cities better than it has, this is quite different with what feminist theorists believe.


Social irregularities on poverty have prompted individuals to come up with theories to explain the concept. However, it will be important to analyze the poverty problem in geographical terms and stipulate how the different levels of government across the world would help in mitigating the vice. This should also entail construed notion of poverty and how it affects the way in which people view themselves, and the poor (Banerjee et al 135). The disparities in income and gender inequalities have also been blamed as one of the cause for poverty; the society should help bridge the inequalities existing (Pogge 78).


Works cited

Banerjee, Abhijit V, Roland Benabou, and Dilip Mookherjee. Understanding Poverty. Oxford:

Oxford University Press, 2006. Internet resource.

Lebow, Richard N. Forbidden Fruit: Counterfactuals and International Relations. Princeton:

Princeton University Press, 2010. Internet resource.

Pogge, Thomas W. M. World Poverty and Human Rights. Cambridge: Polity, 2008. Print.

Viotti, Paul R. and Mark V. Kauppi. International Relations Theory, 5th Edition. Princeton, NJ:

Princeton University Press, 2012. Internet resource.