How do social institutions contribute to the problem of poverty?How do social institutions contribute to the problem of poverty?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Sociologists argue that there are five types of institutions in any society.  These are family, government, economy, education and religion.  So the task now is to think about how one or more of these could contribute to the problem of poverty.

In the United States, our system of education clearly contributes to the problem of poverty.  This is because schools are funded on a local basis.  This means that schools in poor areas are poorly funded and are, therefore, typically substandard.  Students from poor families go to substandard schools and are therefore more likely to remain poor themselves.

In this way, the US educational system is one social institution that contributes to the problem of poverty.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
I agree completely with number 2. Schools are a big part of the problem with it comes to the perpetuation of poverty. Unfortunately, safety net programs can also have that effect. Welfare is important for helping poor mothers, but unfortunately single mothers or poor mothers have been known to have more children to get more welfare money. This is the type of abuse that gives the system a bad name. Most agree that the welfare programs don't do enough to help the poor enter the workforce and lead independent, productive lives.