Poverty in America: The Welfare Dilemma

By Ralph Segalman; Asoke Basu | Go to book overview

POOR LAW AND THE POOR 2

Community (Gemeinschaft) and Society (Gesellschaft)*

AS THE POPULATION moved from the gemeinschaft to the gesellschaft pattern of community (Tonnies), it became necessary to service and control the poor. In the gemeinschaft there were no poor. All members of the community or tribe were provided for, usually as equals, either through the family or through the feudal social structure of which the family was a part. Table 2.1 shows how the social structure of the gemeinschaft lent itself to caring for the poor.


TABLE 2.1 Aspects of Gemeinschaft Society and Aid for the Poor
GEMEINSCHAFT SOCIETY
(ASPECTS OF)
RELATED AID
1. Inherited statuses 1. Noblesse oblige on the part of upper
echelons.
2. Occupations static 2. No unemployment unless all unemployed.
3. Agricultural, manual or primitive
manufacture
3. In-kind aid predominant
4. Closeness of members, affective
relationships
4. Mutual Aid (little or no stigma)
5. Social control by kinship relations 5. Social responsibility for those aided
by donors
6. Local production of most local
consumption and vice versa
6. Sharing by all of production and
consumption
7. Subsistence economy 7. Periodic feast and famine
8. Strong boundary control 8. Xenophobic reaction to nonmembers
and little or no aid to nonresidents
9. Sentiments expressed spontaneously
and not for ulterior effect
9. Aid provided with little or no associated
control of these aids
SOURCE: Gould and Kolb, pp. 281-82.
____________________
*
Hoult (p. 142) says that the gemeinschaft denotes social situations "wherein those involved treat one another as ends rather than means." He lists the gesellschaft (p. 144) as social conditions "wherein those involved treat one another as means rather than ends."

-57-

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Poverty in America: The Welfare Dilemma
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Sociology Series Editor: Don Martindale ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Copyright Acknowledgements iv
  • Contents vii
  • Tables ix
  • Preface xi
  • PROGRAMS AND BILLS xv
  • 1 - The Parameters of Poverty 3
  • References 48
  • 2 - Poor Law and the Poor 57
  • References 88
  • 3 - Programs of Public Assistance and Social Insurance in America 91
  • References 129
  • 4 - Social Interventions Against Poverty 131
  • References 181
  • 5 - Income Maintenance Proposals and the Question of Poverty 188
  • References 227
  • 6 - Medical Services for the Poor 232
  • References 266
  • 7 - Housing Assistance 271
  • References 305
  • 8 - Work, Education, and Poverty in America 309
  • References 363
  • POSTSCRIPT 369
  • References 375
  • Bibliography 377
  • Index 399
  • Vita 419
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