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Sample Essay

Words 1,320

This essay discusses the underclass. The underclass is usually the result of a mixture of causes. These causes can be considered as concentrated multiple deprivations that result in pockets of concentrated poverty.

The underclass is usually the result of a mixture of causes. These causes can be considered as concentrated multiple deprivations that result in pockets of concentrated poverty.  In general, the concept of underclass is typically applied to people who live below the poverty line regardless of how they came to be there. In the United States there are also racial connotations that may or may not be part of a cultural myth. As well, what is designated as the poverty line varies from country to country as noted earlier in this paper. The underclass is comprised of the disadvantaged and deprived and deprivation is as noted above relative to the local community or the wider society or nation to which an individual, family or group belongs.

The European concept of the underclass is somewhat different. There the underclass is more of a societal structure issue. It is a social exclusion. Some of the factors that create this social exclusion are the labour market, the failure of intergenerational upward mobility, societal marginalization, crime, substance abuse among the young, low educational achievements are among the features of an underclass.[1]

Regardless of where the underclass concept comes from and where its constituents come from, the underclass exists. Whether the underclass is comprised of racial components in a place where race can be problematic, of the elderly, the chronically unemployed, the educationally disadvantaged, or some other form of social marginalization, it is an identifiable social reality.  What is important to understand is that the underclass is not a category of people who are in a temporary situation of social deprivation. The underclass has one main characteristic and that is that it is a result of cultural and social attitudes of haves and have nots and the underclass are those who have not.


[1] Peterson and Jencks, 1991.

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