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In an effort to understand the development of poverty in the U.S., Koppelman begins by looking at an earlier time, the latter part of the 1800’s. He asks a number of questions including “Why were people who had a job so close e to poverty?” (p. 263) Barbara Ehrenreich, in her article “Serving in Florida” (Uchmanowicz) attempts to understand many of similar issues about low wage workers in contemporary society. Compare the information Koppelman provides about the working poor in the late 1800’s with the information Ehrenreich provides about the low wage workers of today. Are the reasons for poverty today similar or different than they were a century ago? Has the improved for low income workers in America since the late 1800’s? Why or why not?
Both Koppelman and Ehrenreich presents agree on the reasons that poverty continues to be profound both today and back in the 1800s. One of the major reasons for the continued poverty is the fact that low income earners are not willing to stand up for themselves and they do not integrate their efforts. Lack of cooperation among the poor implies that there is no one to stand up for them. It also means that they will continue to earn the low incomes because they are not willing to combine efforts and fight for their rights. If only they could come together, they would be in a position to voice their concerns together as one. This would help them in attaining their goal of living their lives comfortably without having financial strain. Due to the continued lack of combined efforts, they continue to be oppressed without being able to afford necessities such as housing. Therefore, the reason for poverty today is the same as it was back in 1800s (Koppelman, 2002).
There is minimal improvement in the lives of low income workers today as compared to the 1800s. This is because people are more sophisticated today and are willing to go a step further to voice their rights. However, though not entirely successful, life seems to have improved a little bit more for the low income workers. For instance, there is health insurance to cater for medical needs among other improvements.
Explain why some individuals do not believe that people with disabilities should be considered a minority group, and the arguments offered by those who insist that persons with disabilities encounter similar problems as other members of minority groups.
Disability is not lack of ability. This has been the phrase that has been constantly used in regards to the people with disabilities. Many scholars argue that they ought not to be considered as a minority group. This is because they are able to do almost anything that an entirely able person would do. The only difference is the way that they do it. However, the most important thing is that they are able to do similar things. This has been the basis of the argument that disabled people ought not to be considered as a minority group.
On the other hand, some scholars are of the opinion that disabled people should be considered as a minority group. This is because of the challenges that they face. Particularly, the issue of discrimination due to the speed of doing certain things as compared to the able people. For instance, if an organization was searching for a handy man, it would be less likely that they employ a disabled person as opposed to an able person. This is because the handy man will need to do all sorts of jobs within a timeline. This could be difficult for a disabled person. As such, this implies that the completely able person has an advantage over the disabled counterpart. Therefore, they believe that disabled people should be considered a minority group.
Identify examples from the many words, phrases and labels used for people with disabilities that are negative, explain why they are negative and how this language may lead to negative behavior. Finally, explain why you agree or disagree with those who think that creating more positive labels and words regarding disability will have a significant impact on society's attitudes toward people with disabilities.
There are certain terms that are deemed insulting when used in reference to the disabled individuals. These terms include; wheelchair bound, retard and lame among others. When one is referred to as being wheel chair bound, it gives the impression that they will never get any better. It also leaves the impression that they can never be independent. This is degrading and can lead to negative behavior. This can especially affect the disabled person because they may be left to think that they will never get any better from their situation. This applies to those that refer o others as being lame (White, 1999).
Also, referring to someone as being a retard could is negative. As such, this could cause the person emotional distress due to the fact that others think of him or her as being less in capabilities as compared to them. The impacts of using these phrases are especially large in the affected individuals. They tend to lose their self-esteem. These degrading words leave with no hope of being better in the future. Also, the society at large remains negative towards the abilities of the disabled people on the realization of the phrases that are used to refer to them.
Adaptation of positive phrases in reference to the disabled people could have a large impact on how the society views the disabled people. This is because perceptions are the basis on which behavior is made. Therefore, positive labels should be adapted in order to influence positive attitude in the society (Read, 2008).