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When you are looking at poverty there are several concepts to consider. First there is the idea of the culture of poverty, which is the idea that each socioeconomic group has its own internal social structure.
There are also structural functional theories which believes that each member of society has a purpose and those who are in poverty serve to benefit those of higher socioeconomic standing.
Conflict theory believes that while different socioeconomic groups do not work to benefit each other (higher standing groups benefit more than lower standing groups) each relies on each other to profit. Higher socioeconomic groups own the companies but require lower socioeconomic groups to do the work and lower socioeconomic groups do not earn as much but need the jobs provided by the higher socioeconomic groups.
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