Advocating for Social Change to End Poverty

Published: 2023-01-06
Advocating for Social Change to End Poverty
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Health and Social Care Justice Career
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1219 words
11 min read

A Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland estimates that one in four children in Scotland lives in poverty. That is approximately 230,000 children in the country that is economically stable compared to other areas in the world (Butler, 2019). An article by Patrick Butler of The Guardian illustrates these facts. He adds that the Institute of Fiscal Studies forecasts that in the year 2022, a third of the UK children population will be in poverty. Poverty means that children will grow up without proper diet, resources to learn, and poor health among other maladies. The social issue is also related to increased insecurity and incarceration. Then again, this situation is only for the UK, an industrialized country. The figure for Americans living in poverty is at 13.5 percent, and even more cannot afford insurance (Butler, 2019). When it is put on a global scale, poverty is a serious social problem that needs to be analyzed and addressed. There needs to be social awareness on the issue because it is possible to bring about change to address poverty.

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Majority of the world population are living in poverty, and many have cited that the poor are responsible for their predicament by making poor decisions and being less hardworking (Hong, et al., 2013). Nonetheless, governments have not increased development through effective policies. The root cause of poverty is known, but it is, unfortunately, less discussed. The rich and elite people in society, including multinational corporations, influence the policies, decisions, and practices that govern the rest of the people (Butler, 2019). It means that there are external influences that are typically out of the reach of poor nations and the majority of people. As a result of this circumstance, the poor keep getting poor while the rich increase their profits. The majority are left to struggle while the few elites benefit from the world order.

High levels of inequality are evident in all areas across the world. While the rich live in extravagance, there are many people in society that have less access to services such as education and healthcare. It has been a common headline for many years of problems such as diseases, malnutrition, and hunger caused by poverty (Butler, 2019). The marginalization of the poor has made it difficult for them to affect any changes in legislation that can help them escape their predicament. Hong et al. (2013) lament that it is impossible to believe that in the face of poverty, governments spend the majority of funds on financial bailouts and on the military.

Individualistic theory blames people on their choices that make them poor. Choices such as lack of hard work, drug and substance abuse, and poor planning on their part. These reasons are valid when one blinds him or herself and becomes oblivious of the world structure. The Marxist theory better explains the structural forces in society that have been produced and reproduced to bring about the social problem that is poverty (Hong, et al., 2013). Poverty is present in both rich and poor nations. Poor nations compete amongst themselves to attract investors, and in so doing, they offer cheaper resources, reduced wages and they lower their standards. The unequal rules of trade are there to ensure that there is inequality among people and increased poverty. Around the world, poverty is driven by poor individual responsibility, exploitation by powerful people and businesses, poor government policies, and often corruption. Social inequalities lead to increased violence and crime. The World Bank estimates that close to 1.4 billion people live below the poverty line. There is a need for change.

Social change is necessary to enable people to understand the historical and environmental events that have shaped up poverty as opposed to the misguided concept of individual failings. People's lives can improve when the root cause of poverty is tackled. Solutions can be agreed upon when everyone agrees to address the inequality in society. Poverty entails lack of resources that foster sustainable livelihood (Hong, et al., 2013). It also includes limited access to basic services, the manifestation of malnutrition and hunger, lack of education, marginalization, and exclusion. A social perspective on development demands attention to all of the dimensions of poverty. There are limitations to the current efforts that are there to address poverty eradication. There is a dire need for social movements that demand fair access to resources for the poor that can empower them economically.

There is a need for some changes in how society functions, and for this reason, the type of social movement required is reformative. There are existing structures that try to combat poverty, and some changes on how they are implemented can help in their effectiveness. Welfare is there and homeless shelters as well in many industrialized countries to help the poor and needy (Butler, 2019). Similarly, there are aid groups in developing nations that have tried for years to end poverty. Truth is there is still poverty in the societies across the world, and it is still projected to rise. Social movements can help change some of the policies that can bring about the required result.

Social movements go through stages with the first one being the emergence stage. It is a preliminary stage where there is widespread discontent of the efforts in place to tackle poverty (Ibrahim, 2015). Few people can begin to bring up the issue in discussions with friends through social media. The discussion can be picked up by the local media and discussed in the radio and television stations. It will help bring awareness to the social problem while means to end poverty are still being discussed. The second stage in the social movement is the coalescence stage where the movement will have overcome the idea that poverty is individualistic and that indeed some changes are necessary. Here people will complain collectively about the widespread homelessness, unemployment, and inequality in the society that contribute to poverty. On the next stage, bureaucratization, there would be coordinated efforts with policymakers and influencers that will demand change in the functions of the existing organizations that tackle poverty (Ibrahim, 2015). There can be organizations that demand to know how the institutions work to end poverty and also contribute to ideas. The last stage of the social movement is decline that can either be in the success or failure to eradicate poverty.

Change begins from one individual and then the collective efforts of many. Individuals can help bring an end to poverty by first showing compassion and stopping victimization. Many people look at the poor as lazy and immoral. Changing this view can help to view the impoverished as equal society members that can be productive when given a chance. Contributions to organizations that help the needy is another step people can make. They can then follow up on the organizations' output and also volunteer. Organizations such as those that offer aid and welfare can handle the poor as students that need to be guided. They can offer them help with conditions that they have to work hard to show commitment to improving their situation.


Butler, P. (2019, May 15). Child poverty above 50% in 10 UK constituencies. The Guardian.

Retrieved on 15 May 2019 from <>

Hong, A., et al. (2013). Poverty: Its Causes and Solutions. International Journal of

Humanities and Social Sciences, 7(8), 2471-2479.

Ibrahim, J. (2015). Bourdieu and Social Movements: Ideological Struggles in the British

Anti-Capitalist Movement. Palgrave Macmillan.

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