本文是一篇Assignment代写范文，题目为：Research on poverty，供留学生参考学习写作格式和内容。这篇Assignment主要讨论了关于贫穷的研究。混合方法研究被认为是进行贫困社会学研究的最佳方法。贫困是一个复杂的社会问题，它不仅涉及数据和事实，而且还涉及对物理现象背后的人类意图的解释。方法论对贫困研究的影响更为直接，但它不能脱离指导认识论。认识论观点的采用不是中立的，而是由社会科学家如何看待不同社会因素之间的联系所决定的。总体而言，混合方法研究被发现是社会科学家研究贫困问题的最佳选择。
Poverty has been a disease of the human society for centuries.In the modern world,poverty is granted with more complex meanings than starving.People suffering from poverty are often deprived of equal social opportunities.They are more susceptible to poor living conditions,lack of material supply,emotional disturbances,alcohol and substance abuse,and a much lower life expectancy than the rich.Meanwhile,the deprived opportunities include the chance of quality education,the chance to improve their society status,and the chance to enjoy traveling,dining,watching movies,reading,participating in sports activities,and going to concerts.These lost opportunities make it extremely difficult for the poor to get rid of poverty.In this essay,several different schools of thought regarding the origin and implication of poverty will be analyzed,with functionalism thoughts identified as the most valid one.
The structuralism(conflict)view of poverty believes that the true nature of poverty is deprivation and exploitation of the poor.A natural conflict exists between the powerful and the weak,or between the rich and the poor.The powerful want to maintain their social status at all costs,and poverty has become the most effective weapon for them to do so.Structuralism view argues that capitalism has created an unequal relationship between the capitalists and the workers(Patnaik,2012).The surplus values created by workers have been grabbed by the capitalists,leading to the unbalanced distribution of social wealth.Meanwhile,it is extremely difficult for the poor to become capitalists themselves,with no accumulation of wealth or experience.Meanwhile,the wealthy also have other means of influence over the poor,by providing them only with partial information.This is supported by the increasingly monopolized mass media in the modern world.Lack of information and opportunity thus become the major obstacles for the poor to get rid of poverty.
In the age of globalization,such class conflict and deprivation happen not only within countries,but increasingly in the international level(Patnaik,2012).Poorer countries have little choice but to sacrifice their environment and natural resources to provide cheap labor for the developed countries.Although the structuralism theories present valid points,they have failed to acknowledge the countless cases of success rising from the lower social classes.The people who have been rich a century ago may not be the richest nowadays.In the case of the post-communist Poland,the rising new elite class in the society shows that rather than a systematic flaw,poverty is more of a result of individual pathology(Ost,2015).This diminishes the claim that poverty is an effective tool of stratification.Poverty should not be viewed as an intrinsic characteristic of capitalism,especially in the age of information and technology,where more opportunities are presented not only to the rich,but all members of the society.
The functionalism theories consider poverty as both necessary and inevitable for society stability.Poverty is necessary because in order for those who are talented to make contributions to the society,they must be properly rewarded.By properly it means personal interest will always be the most effective motivation of individuals(Mackenbach,2017).Poverty is also inevitable,because it is natural that only a partial of behavioral patterns will be most handsomely rewarded under one social mechanism(Mackenbach,2017).And such patterns are always the ones that are the most contributive to the development of the sustainment of the society.Preference thus leads inevitably to poverty.Poverty is necessary for the current degree of development of the human society,since there has to be someone to do the less honorable and well-paid jobs,and there has to be someone to consume the low quality but cheaper products.The social hierarchy created by poverty is found to be contributive in certain ways:it improves collective decision-making and coordinate individual actions towards a common goal(Mackenbach,2017).However,the functions of poverty do not mean that poverty is desirable.Poverty is merely an inevitable stage of the current development of human society,to be replaced by something superior and more just in future developments.
There is also the interactionism and culturalism views of poverty.These theories emphasize not on the definition or origin,but the lived experiences of the poor and the rich.The common emotions induced by poverty include the sense of frustration and feelings of social exclusion,as demonstrated by the poor youths from Northern Ireland(Horgan,2011).A sub-culture of poverty has been formed among these young people,that they are trapped in a cycle of non-constructive,even self-harming behaviors.Being the outsiders and disadvantaged groups of the society,the poor often have no alternative to poverty,since it has already become part of their mentality and lifestyle.The interactionism and culturalism views pf poverty are effective in explaining specific cases,but they fail to establish an overarching generic rule regarding poverty.
In conclusion,the functionalism theories are found to be the most successful in explaining poverty,due to the powerful logic they offer.Provided with the current physical conditions,the equal distribution of social wealth seems completely impractical:it diminished the motivation of the talented individuals and reduces the social coordination by breaking the existing hierarchy.In the current stage,poverty still contains important social functions keeping the society relatively stable.Meanwhile,it is not impossible for poverty to become obsolete,once the human society enters the next phase of development.After all,poverty is still acknowledged as the enemy of civilization and equal human rights.
Horgan,G.(2011).The making of an outsider:Growing up in poverty in Northern Ireland.Youth&Society,43(2),453-467.doi:10.1177/0044118X10383543
Mackenbach,J.P.(2017).Persistence of social inequalities in modern welfare states:Explanation of a paradox.Scandinavian Journal of Public Health,45(2),113-120.doi:10.1177/1403494816683878
Ost,D.(2015).Stuck in the past and the future:Class analysis in post-communist Poland.East European Politics&Societies and Cultures,29(3),610-624.doi:10.1177/0888325415602058
Patnaik,U.(2012).Capitalism and the production of poverty.Social Scientist,40(1/2),3-20.
Portfolio Theme 4.
Poverty has been a topic of interest for social scientists all over the world.both the developed and developing states have an interest in exploring the nature of poverty.In the process,social scientists have adopted diverging paths to study poverty.When approaching a problem related with poverty,researchers often face the tough choice on the most appropriate way to study.Epistemology is the part of philosophy that deals with knowledge,and methodology is the set of methods and principles applied to obtain knowledge.In this essay,the relationship between epistemological and methodological approaches to poverty will be explored,followed by an analysis on the implications of the two methods,and the mixture of them,on social science results.
In general,epistemology serves as the guide for methodology.Poverty is the study of both numbers and phenomenon.Therefore,both qualitative and quantitative approaches are necessary to fully understand poverty in social science.This leaves a complicated situation for researchers to pick the optimal alternative among the numerous ones,and epistemology it the basis of such selections(Balarabe Kura,2012).Different epistemologies correspond to different methodologies,and different styles of research.One fundamental difference between the styles can be the aim of research:some researchers are trying to prove the existence of objective rules and laws governing the society.Based on these rules,they can apply the same theories to multiple case studies of poverty and gain validity.For example,the functionalism view of poverty is considered a way of generalization,to find the common rules behind poverty.Others try to explain a phenomenon,instead of finding the more generic rules behind it.For example,the interactionism theories regarding poverty is an attempt to explain,with the most comprehensible(relatively)features of poverty presented.Finally,there are also researchers who tend to criticize existing phenomenon,from the logical and ethical perspectives.The social conflict and class segregation view of poverty is an example of this style.Based on the different aims and styles,different approaches have been taken by researchers,arriving at distinctive results.Comparing epistemology and methodology,it can be observed that methodology has a more direct impact on the knowledge production and theory formulation process in social science.However,the basis of the methods adopted is epistemology.
The two major epistemological perspectives are positivism and interpretivism(Bryman,2012).Positivism emphasizes on the importance of paralleling social science with natural sciences.Naturally,it involves more quantitative research methods.Common methods associated with positivism include experiments,data collection,operationalization,and deduction.Meanwhile,it also involves inductive strategy,by gathering facts to provide the fundamentals of a generic rule or social law.In positivism,only the phenomena and knowledge that are verifiable through the sense are considered valid.This means that positivism is the strict performer of objectivity(Bryman,2012).The personal values and emotions of the researchers are often forbidden in positivism.Such requirements would inevitably increase the size and scale of research,since more empirical evidence or data must be gathered in order to prove a hypothesis.The number of selected research participants is also significantly larger,with an emphasis on breadth over depth.The outcome of social research guided by positivism principles are laws that are generic and logically sound.Meanwhile,these laws and rules must be able to be scrutinized by anyone and still hold true.In comparison,the interpretivism approach is the exact opposite of positivism.It promotes the distinctiveness of human nature,which requires more than explaining social phenomena,but understanding of them.It is common for researchers to adopt an empathetic attitude towards the research subjects,which is not common for positivism.As a result,interpretivism adopts the qualitative research methods much more frequently,including quasi-experiments,descriptions and in-depth studies of single subjects.This allows researchers to narrow down the size and scale of research,reduce the number of participants.The product of interpretivism can be highly subjective,with strong value or ethical elements contained in it.
Epistemologies and methodologies do not necessarily distinguish from each other absolutely,leading to the formation of a series approaches of mixed methods research(Bryman,2012).There are multiple ways of integrating quantitative and qualitative research for poverty studies.The triangulation of two approaches is also known as the integration among the two,to provide more reliable results.By applying two approaches at the same time,the validity of a theory can be tested two times,making it more credible than either approach alone.For instance,the theory of the social class conflict as the origin of poverty can be further enhanced with historical evidence from different countries.Failing to provide the deliberate attempt of the richer social class to deprive and exploit the poor,the credibility of the theory is significantly diminished.In addition to the ability to validity and increase the credibility of the results,the mixed methods research will also contribute to a more complete answer to the research question(Bryman,2012).It is common for gaps to be left when only one type of approach is used in research.Mix methods research aims to achieve a balance between objectivity and subjectivity,between values,attitudes,and facts,so that the final theory created can be accepted by more audience.
The attempt for researchers to hold different approaches as fundamentally different is quite meaningless.Both quantitative and qualitative approaches have some distinctive positive qualities,and the combination of the two only makes the study on poverty more complete.For example,in the research about“Capitalism and the Production of Poverty”,the author applies both approaches in deriving how poverty is formed in the capitalism context(Patnaik,2012).Since this study involves the international scale of research,data collection becomes inevitable for the result to be valid.The author uses the output and consumption of cereals for different purposes in different regions of the world,to demonstrate the degree of poverty in these regions.Numbers are indeed an honest and direct way to present the facts to the readers.In addition,the social conflict theories of Marx have also been used by the author to aid the argument.Both qualitative and quantitative approaches are necessary for the author to derive the conclusion,that poverty is a struggle between the deprived people and the ruling class.In a way,statistics and deduction theories complement,instead of contradicting each other.When people are trying to measure poverty,data collection is inevitable.However,the data collected cannot lead to effective results without qualitative analysis(Schwartzman,1998).The latter provides data collection with directions,on what are the right questions to asks,and which data are truly valuable to the results.
In conclusion,mixed methods research is considered the optimal way to conduct sociology studies on poverty.Poverty is a complex social issue that involves not only data and facts,but also the interpretation of human intent behind physical phenomena.Methodologies serve as the more direct influence on poverty research,but it cannot be independent from the guiding epistemologies.The adoption of epistemological perspectives(either positivism or interpretivism)is not neutral,but determined by how social scientists envision the connections between different social factors.The determination on whether to integrate quantitative and qualitative approaches in one research should be determined by the epistemological perspectives of the scientists,the nature of the topic,the objectives of the researchers,and multiple other factors(Balarabe Kura,2012).Overall,mixed methods research is found to be the optimal choice for social scientists in studying poverty.
Balarabe Kura,S.Y.(2012).Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches to the Study of Poverty:Taming the Tensions and Appreciating the Complementarities.The Qualitative Report,17(20),1-19.Retrieved from http://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol17/iss20/4
Bryman,A.(2012).Mixed methods research:Combining quantitative and qualitative research.Social Research Methods.Oxford University Press;4th edition.
Bryman,A.(2012).Social research strategies.Social Research Methods.Oxford University Press;4th edition.
Patnaik,U.(2012).Capitalism and the production of poverty.Social Scientist,40(1/2),3-20.
Schwartzman,S.(1998).The Statistical Measurement of Poverty.Brazilian Institute for Geography and Statistics.