Families in Poverty Free Essay

A Look at Poverty Through the Prism of Families in Poverty by Karen Seccombe


Chapter 1

  • How do these three case studies confirm or conflict with your own personal idea of who is poor and the reasons for their poverty?

In her book Families in Poverty, Karen Seccombe sheds light on the reasons and outcomes of poverty in the United States. The described events are rather distant from nowadays. However, some of the ideas are still actual. In many cases, I totally agree with the author. I strongly agree that poverty is a significant problem which leads to chronic illiteracy and poor health in the majority of cases.

  • The author suggests that poverty is a structural problem. But are not individuals responsible for their own economic plight? Why or why not?

The reasons for the poverty are also described clearly and in details. Low employment rate, low wages, and improper governmental support are the critical aspects which must be considered. Once I read an expression, that people get used to being poor within the five years period. Poverty swallows personalities, and they stop struggling against it. Even though in many cases poverty is a structural problem and must be solved on the federal and state levels, each individual is responsible for being poor or falling into poverty. Many people must rethink their attitude to life, labor, family, their personality and find out the ways to uproot the poverty out of their minds and environment. Each person can restart their life and find possible ways to overcome the negative living conditions, help themselves and their families.

  • What are you doing in your own life to ensure your life circumstances are different than those of Dee, Kate, Robert, and Maria? Can individuals really prevent poverty?

First of all, I consider myself a strong and ambitious person with high moral qualities. Throughout my life, I have been reading many literature pieces and discussed them with my family and friends. I have set goals and dates when I must achieve each of them. I evaluate my skills and knowledge gained at school and from people I value and respect. If I do not know what to do in a certain situation, I always ask myself what I want the final result to be. I learn how to be a decent person by watching and reading information about the most outstanding people on Earth. I learn how to be a person and how to bring value to myself, my community and my country. This value can be measured both in moral and in money equivalents.

Chapter 2

  • Speculate of the direction of Pearl’s life today. Do you think she found a job? Is her employment helping her take better care of her family?

As a true optimist, I think that Pearl has got a job, and her life got improved. According to the Obama Care Act, she received insurance, and now she and her family members can finally get quality healthcare. However, since her job is not paid high, because she does not have proper education and training, she is forced to balance at the edge of poverty. This makes her feel unhappy sometimes. She is looking for better opportunities and explains her family members about the value of education on the way to gaining higher wages and living conditions improvements.

  • Evaluate the official federal poverty measure. What do you see as its strengths and weaknesses? How would you design a “better” measure?

The poverty threshold is designed according to the norms of food consumption per each person. For a family, each member gets its minimum. However, we must not forget that people do not limit their needs only in food. We need clothes, warmth, and other aspects described in Maslow’s pyramid to satisfy our needs and feel worthy personalities. I do not claim that people below the poverty line should be subsidized to satisfy all those needs. However, they must get enough food, health care, and education to be able to overcome the problem of poverty in their family. Thus, the official federal poverty measure must include all those needs for the good of the whole nation.

  • The author reports that there is little substantial upward social mobility; people usually live out their lives in the same social class from which they came because the norms learned, and the constraints and privileges they experience. What norms have you personally learned, and what constraints and privileges have you experienced?

In my case, I grew up in a family that sometimes faced issues of being at the edge of poverty. Sometimes, my parents did not have enough food to eat. Thus, we all learned how to labor in a garden and grow their own vegetables and fruits. I am not afraid of any kind of work. I respect people, and I know the value of education. I am entirely sure that working hard physically is not what brings much money. However, people of all professions are needed that is why if you are not lucky in one sphere you should not hesitate to switch to a different form of work. The main is not to occur at the edge, because you are responsible for yourself, your family and community.

Works Cited

Seccombe, Karen. Families in Poverty. Families in the 21st century, v. 1. 2007. ISBN-13: 978-0205502547


The terms offer and acceptance. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from

[Accessed: February 4, 2023]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016.

[Accessed: February 4, 2023]

freeessays.club (2016) The terms offer and acceptance [Online].
Available at:

[Accessed: February 4, 2023]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: February 4, 2023]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: February 4, 2023]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: February 4, 2023]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: February 4, 2023]
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