Deviance: Poverty and Welfare

Laws that support people living in poverty and the people utilizing welfare, are perceived as helpful to the capitalistic system that we function under. The policies offer basic necessities for people who are not able to care for themselves yet are part of the working class and trying to be a functional part of society. The majority of people utilizing these services are within a class of people lacking status and value. People in this class are also perceived as lazy, unintelligent, “unable to pull themselves up from their bootstraps”, and deviant. In other words, we equate human beings to monetary value, a product to be capitalized on over time, rather than human value. 

Similarly, African Americans were made slaves and perceived as less than human–a fraction of a being–without value and without a legacy to pass on. Our modern economic system has adopted this same ideology; however, this value ideation is no longer directed explicitly towards African Americans. It also includes other minority groups as they appear to fit this category of deviant, such as Mexicans or Latin-X people and Muslim or Islamic groups. These groups make up a large portion of the American middle to lower-class population, and the ideas that these groups are below-standard based on their income levels bolsters the unequal paradigm under which we have functioned. The class system instigates deviancy yet blames the deviant for their heavy need for support.

For the American economic system to be consistent and withstanding, trends and norms must be taken into account and sufficiently assessed. The majority group typically acts as the determinant of norms and trends. What would it mean to understand the needs of all human being’s? Explicitly speaking, basic needs for all humans, such as food, water, shelter, healthcare, and sustainability are all a part of our human norm, rather than a class norm. Poverty and welfare are a part of a deviant nature because the people making up these groups are lacking in the things that help them balance their human norm. People who can quickly obtain these basic needs are more focused on developing other areas of their identity; such as family, wellness, education, anthropology, career, stock, investment, and traveling. These facets are what make up American society. These facets dig into the deep roots of American society. What would happen if the deviant ideology was considered with a different lens?

With Intention,

Sarafina