Poverty may be defined as a lack of resources necessary to adequately meet basic needs for
nutrition, shelter, education, clothing, recreation, and health care and lead a life of dignity.
It may appear that this definition asks for too much to overcome poverty. However, since
there is extreme poverty as well, poverty should be defined as living above the extreme
Based on this definition, the focus of poverty alleviation would be providing resources to
ensure that people have their basic needs met. For example, possible solutions to poverty
include providing universal health coverage or universal benefit. Another possible solution
is raising minimal wage. These solutions would focus on ensuring that all the people have
resources or/and access to services necessary to lead a minimally good life of dignity.
Relational poverty means a lack of a social support system and being poor in one’s
community. Spiritual poverty means being caught up in thinking that one is less than
human and his personhood is of a lower value. Spiritually poor feel that they have very
little to contribute to society and cannot be productive members of society. Based on the
discussed poverty definitions, the focus of solutions seeking to alleviate poverty would
change to include counseling, integrating the poor in community life, and providing
A solution to poverty that addresses relational aspects of poverty is integrating relational
agenda in health care (Feldman, 2018). Practical examples of such solution include
normalizing the relations between the poor and others living in the same
neighborhood/community and engaging the poor in community initiatives that give them
an opportunity to connect with other community members, expand their social network,
and build social capital (Feldman, 2018). In particular, health care providers can connect
their poor patients with nonprofits and community projects providing free counseling,
screening, preventive interventions, and other health care services to uninsured and
underinsured individuals or educate the poor how to apply for health coverage under the
Affordable Care Act.
Feldman, G. (2018). Towards a relational approach to poverty in social work: Research
and practice considerations. British Journal of Social Work, 2018, 1-18.
Different Forms of Poverty
Hi, I liked your post since clearly explain the different forms of poverty and how they can
be solved. Like you, my definition of poverty before learning the new concepts was centered on
the inability to attain basic needs. However, after learning about relational poverty and spiritual
poverty, I now see that poverty also related to a person’s psychological state. Mainly, you
explain that relational poverty results from the lack of a social support system. From this
DIFFERENT FORMS OF POVERTY 2
definition, I can infer that the lack of support system limits a person’s quest for self-fulfillment
since human beings are naturally social animals (Spikcer, 2020). When it comes to spiritual
poverty, you describe it as being caught up in the thinking that one is less human. Also, this
definition is related to psychology since poverty results from a person’s state of mind. Overall,
your post enabled me to get a better understanding of poverty.
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Spicker, P. (2020). The Poverty of Nations: A Relational Perspective. Policy Press.