Material Type:
Community College / Lower Division
Ohio Open Ed Collaborative
Poverty, Sociology
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
Media Formats:
Downloadable docs, eBook, Video

Education Standards

Compare and contrast explanations of poverty from a sociological perspective


OER Text Material

Economic Inequality and Poverty in the United States

Sociology: Understanding and Changing the Social World: Chapter 8 Section 4. This source explains how poverty is measured. Individual and structural level explanations of poverty are provided. Also included is a discussion of the effects of poverty.  

Instructors could supplement with this resource:

Lumen Learning - Poverty

This OER textbook provides an overview of poverty and a brief discussion of government assistance programs. The section on feminization of poverty is great.

Supplementary Material (Videos and Reading)

Absolute and Relative Poverty - Khan Academy (Video)

This 7.5 minute video from the Khan Academy explains the difference between absolute and relative poverty. This video provides a basic definition of relative and absolute poverty. It is a bit detailed for an Introduction to Sociology course.

Food Stamps, Public Policy, and the Working Poor

Great information from The Society Pages on who using welfare programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (i.e. food stamps). It clearly illustrates that many people using public assistance are working.

How is Poverty Measured in the United States?

From the Center of Poverty Research University of California, Davis. A great explanation of how poverty is measured.