Extension orientations toward poverty : bootstrap, culture of poverty, systemic : an empirical study Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/zc77sv40h

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  • This study describes Extension field staff orientations toward poverty. Expressions on origins, solutions and definitions of poverty were elicited from informants. Responses were then classified by categories, coded and analyzed using the Statistical Interactive Programming System (SIPS). Orientations were then measured by identifying modal categories. A category was identified as modal if it held either a plurality or majority of responses per informant. Consistency measures were also made to determine percent of responses by modal category. A spectrum of three orientations were discovered to be extant among Extension field staff. About one-third the staff view poverty as a function of personal or cultural characteristics. Another third view poverty as a function of personal and cultural characteristics also, except that these characteristics are adaptations to depreciative situational factors. Within this orientation, poverty is "a way of life." The other third Extension staff perceive poverty as a function of political, social and economic systems. Conclusions of the study call into question some common conceptions. Female staff, for example, tend to view poverty as a function of personal or cultural traits. Men, however, lean slightly toward the view that poverty is a function of political, social and economic realities. Moreover, field staff in the 40's who were trained in agriculture and had agricultural responsibilities also tend to hold this view.
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