SS144 Unit 8 Assignment What is Poverty in America

What is Poverty in America?

Purdue University Global


I formulated a research questionnaire to give two perspectives on the definition of poverty in America. I gave an unstructured interview to the two individuals I constructed this questionnaire to. An unstructured interview involves open ended questions, which give the individual the opportunity to express their own opinions in their answers (Henslin, 2019). The three questions I used were, do you believe there is poverty in your town/city, what do you think makes these people continue to live in poverty and who does poverty affect? All of these questions give the individual being interviewed an opportunity to express their feelings on what poverty is.

I interviewed my boss who is a middle-aged male who works in the human services field. My boss has been in this field for years and has made a good living from it. This interview took approximately 3 minutes to administer with introducing the research and them answering the questions. We conducted this interview over the phone after work hours. The second individual I interviewed was my fiancé. My fiancé is a young adult female who works from home and is currently going to school to further her career in daycare. My fiancé has worked with children and adults with developmental disabilities for about 5 years. Her soci-economic status is lower than my bosses.

The results were similar in some ways and different in others as the knowledge of the idea of poverty is between the two. Both individuals answered the first question with a yes. My boss added that it is in smaller pockets than in most places. My fiancé answered yes with the idea that the cost of living is so high in our community, that people don’t have the ability to have the things to get them out of poverty. The second question was answered with people feeling stuck due to ties in the community they live in, regardless of the cost of living. It was also brought up that the lack of jobs is keeping people in this situation. Finally, the third question was answered similarly, both individuals said everyone. My fiancé did elaborate, and seek out specifically the elderly population due to the lack of college education in the past and how jobs look for that. My boss said that anyone with any kind of debt, injuries, families they can’t afford to support and even the crisis of addiction, lands people in poverty without them realizing it until it is evolved. From the questions I conducted, and the answers given, I have found that poverty happens anywhere and to anyone. Poverty does not discriminate when it chooses its victims.

Poverty is rising all over the world, and there are many views on what this population is. There are people who look down on those in poverty and think they are lazy or not trying hard enough. But this could happen to the next person who is in a severe car accident and lands in the hospital for six months. Why do people in poverty have such a strong stigma to them?


Henslin. J. M. (2019). Sociology. Vital Source Bookshelf. Retrieved from . Retrieved on June 11, 2019.