If not among the first, American sociologist Robert K.Merton is seen as the first sociologist to use deficiency as a perception to the understanding of deviance using Durkheim’s idea of anomie as a starting point. Argument that relative difference in economic wealth is more important than absolute levels, have been made by some sociologist giving Karl Polanyi as instance, this argument brought about social policy, particularly on the theory of poverty elimination using total wealth raising or if egalitarian measures are also necessary.
Thoughts of deprivation come from an assessment to seeming social norms that may change over time and place, not to absolute standards. This leads to the differences between relative deprivation “which implies people with fewest chances” and objective deprivation, therefore while there are possibilities of decrease in absolute deprivation relative deprivation might not likely change as long as some human remain better than others. A precise outline of relative deprivation is relative poverty. A measure of relative poverty defines poverty as being below some relative poverty line. An instance is when poverty is defined as households who earn less than 25% of the median income is a measure of relative poverty. Notice that if everyone’s real income in an economy increases, but the income allocation stays the same, the number of people living in relative poverty will also stay the same. Relative poverty is contrasted to the measure of absolute poverty – one that quantifies the number of people below a poverty line, and is sovereign of time and place.
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