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Deserving VS Undeserving Poor

July 26, 2017

Adora Myers

The following terms are drawn directly from Victorian Era British Law, but continue to be utilized here in the USA when addressing poverty in relation to society, politics, and resource options. If you are sensitive about stereotypes, Class Discrimination or Classism, the following descriptions may be hard to read; however, survival is dependent upon a clear understanding of reality, and this is what poverty survivors face today.

Deserving Poor

The Expectations: Words and phrases are commonly used to describe the ‘deserving’:

  • Connected: Has family or community support or socially acceptable human connections.
  • Entertaining: Fun. Makes people laugh. Useful at a social function or a party. Good source of entertainment.
  • Complimentary: Makes people ‘feel good.’
  • Polite: Makes people feel comfortable. Not scary. Does not swear or get angry.
  • Good Person: Has well behaved children. Lives a socially acceptable lifestyle

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