And poverty affects society in many ways, often it brings out negatives in people, not just those who are living in poverty either. People looking in on poverty tend to be hard, cold and uncaring people who assume it is their faults. So it has created this stigma around being less fortunate, that somehow it is always their fault. It also has a noticeable impact on crime, take Merton’s theory, for example, those who want something, but cannot get it, go against societal norms (which is often crime) in order to attain what the rest of society has. Also, there is a correlation to drug and alcohol usage in poverty-stricken areas, but can you really blame them…if you were subject to the stereotyping and the awful conditions of poverty, would you not look for an escape also.
It's a very very big can of worms that you open with a question like that, it all depends on what school of thought you come from. You could ask a historian, a legal scholar, a police officer, an economist, a politician etc. and they would all have different answers. My theory is that it is a mix of too many things
- Unfair trade between richer and poorer countries
- Debt, as poorer countries borrow money to pay off debt and the money they borrow has interest added on to it
- Natural disasters, such as earthquake destroying peoples house/ infrastructure leading to the government having to spend lots of money
For how it influences society,
- You can say that children have to work instead of going to school for education
- Poverty can also lead to an increase in crime.
- Poverty can cause social tension if the money is not evenly distributed in a country e.g. most of the money is shared between the top 20% in terms of wealth (not an actual statistic just giving an example)