Feminization of Poverty? Living Conditions of Women in the United States

Feminization of Poverty? Living Conditions of Women in the United States

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Introduction No novelty in the United States struck me more vividly during my stay there than the equality of conditions. (Alexis de Tocqueville) With this statement, the European aristocrat Alexis de Tocqueville, who came to the U.S. in 1831, took up one of Americaa€™s well-known founding myths: that of equality. The view of America as the land of unlimited opportunities and equal chances, where everybody can try his luck and pursue his own happiness, is still widespread today a€“ inside as well as outside of America. The paradox with this myth is that today, the USA is the Western nation with the greatest percentage of the worlda€™s rich and with the widest gap between rich and poor. A closer look into the statistics reveals that certain groups and minorities seem to be more disadvantaged than others since they are stronger represented among the poor. This fact seriously calls into question the image of America as the country of equal living conditions. Nevertheless, most Americans strongly trust in their equal opportunities for economic advancement: 72% believe in their own chance to raise their living standard a€“ a share that is disproportionately higher than in other countries. In Germany, for example, only 41% of the interviewees estimate their opportunities in such an optimistic way (cf. Rode 1992: 192). This picture of the United States is also often predominant in the minds of adult learners of English as a foreign language. My intention with this paper is to show them the a€œother Americaa€, that one far away from the rags-to-riches stories told in numerous Hollywood films. The other America shows high and persistent poverty rates for certain population groups and minorities. During my preliminary reading, I repeatedly came across the term Feminization of Poverty. I wondered what this term exactly embraces, how this phenomenon can emerge in one of the richest industrialized Western nations and why the U.S. government is not ablea€“ or not willing - to counter effectively to that phenomenon. As, in my opinion, the issue of the Feminization of Poverty in the United States needs further explanation to understand its complex nature and with it, some particularities of the American society, I decided to dedicate my thesis to poor women and their living conditions in the United States.As, in my opinion, the issue of the Feminization of Poverty in the United States needs further explanation to understand its complex nature and with it, some particularities of the American society, I decided to dedicate my thesis to poor ...


Title:Feminization of Poverty? Living Conditions of Women in the United States
Author: Anja Villinger
Publisher:GRIN Verlag - 2006-03-01
ISBN-13:

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