From the very second I was born, until this very day, I had understood life to be a certain way. Life had taken its course and my family, as well as myself, have suffered ups and downs. We ” ve been through times which were good and which were the worst of the worst – all families do. What I didn’t know is that regardless of the good and the bad, that the life I lived was sheltered to the point where I couldn’t fathom the idea that all people had not lived a life similar to ours.
Sure, I understand that some were more fortunate and some were less fortunate, but to which extent? Within my circle of influence, our friends and family, there was a certain level at which we enjoyed our lives in a comfortable sense. We’d occasionally see a homeless person on the subway or in the city, but I never knew that there was a whole class of people in between. I’ve always heard of poverty and didn’t know much more about it except for the fact that people existed that were less fortunate, those who lived in this supposed poverty. Jonathan Kozol’s book “Amazing Grace” depicts the issues that face families who are living in a world of poverty, homelessness and in a world where less fortunate is an understatement. Kozol writes about his experience in the South Bronx where he comes across some of the most disturbing facts about our fellow human beings. He speaks of families who live in an undernourished, impoverished society where a great majority of the inhabitants have been faced with disease.
Values MATT HEALTH OCT. 21, 1996 Three important values that I hold, are hard work, family, and friendship. These are values that I think will make life better and easier for a person. They make me feel secure and prepared for the future. Without these things I probably wouldn't care about anything at all. My values were all influenced by my parents. The only one that I had to figure out mostly by ...
He visited a building in which one particular family has contracted the HIV virus. A woman contracted AIDS from her husband who she thought was faithful. Her daughter later contracted the deadly virus when she was raped by the father. In fact, in his conversation with a nurse who takes care of Alice Washington, a woman that Kozol interviews, in this building there are “Including the children, maybe 27 people” (Kozol p.
13, in Amazing Grace) She continues to say “There’s lots of other people have it but don’t know.” People are so under-educated and under-privileged in the society where they live, that they are afraid to even find out if they have contracted the disease. This brings us to another problem that the families here are faced with, deprivation of help from the government. Although Jonathan Kozol implies that there may be an effort on the part of the government and other public entities to overlook issues faced by these unfortunate people, but my personal belief is that regardless of the inability to gain public aid, which they should receive as entitled to it, but rather, they should get up and go work. It is very true that although some families are born into poverty, other have fallen into this classification due to various circumstances they endured during the course of life’s twists and turns. According to a conservative remark by Thomas J. Surgrue as noted in “American Families” by Stephanie Coontz, “the wages of two underemployed workers barely pull families above the poverty line” (Surgrue, p.
With this in mind, it makes us wonder if there is any hope to rely on for those who live in this area, whether it’s two underemployed parents or just a single mother or father. There is barely a difference between those who are suffering because they are unemployed and so it seems that’s it even worse for those who are working two dead end jobs and still not breaching the poverty line. Jonathan Kozol speaks of a local high school in the South Bronx when he says that “Morris High School is, after all, one of the most beleaguered, segregated, and decrepit secondary schools in United states” (Kozol).
I understand the argument that they are uneducated and do not have a great ability to apply for numerous jobs, but what I don’t understand is if they even find a minimum wage job, they are better off that where they are currently. In addition, there are numerous programs which allow people to get a GED at no charge and definitely programs which provide financial aid to those who qualify to attend college, I highly doubt these people don’t qualify.
1. – Describe how social, economical and cultural factors can impact on the outcomes and life chances of children and young people. Social Factor Lack of social/friendship groups Possible Impact: Children who don’t socialise a lot tend to become isolated and therefore isolate themselves more. They may suffer insecurities about themselves and be withdrawn and shy. They struggle to communicate, ...
So if they are set on not working, they should at least take advantage of the free education that we have in this great country so that eventually, they can go out and work to find a better life for themselves and their families. In reporting on this matter, Jonathon Kozol has employed a liberal framework. He is basically reporting is as he sees without much criticism of his own. Kozol talks about how children are raised in the Bronx and what is life like it for them. Many families in the Bronx are suffering they don’t have real jobs to support them selves namely Puerto Ricans. He mentions “depression is common among children in Mott Haven” (Kozol, p.
You normally don’t expect to hear things like that. Children living in poverty don’t get to enjoy life the way children should. Instead they mature too quickly and their childhood just passes them by so fast that there are no happy memories to remember.
In her book “Keeping Women and Children Last,” Ruth Sidel explains about how the concept of poverty is treated as wolves which were bread in captivity. She explains that this dehumanizing defamation of the character of these suffering individuals, “in the words of one observer, it ‘shatters the capacity for empathy,’ on the part of the majority towards the denigrated group” (Sidel, p. 8 in Keeping Women and Children Last).
Perhaps this is the whole purpose of the way this issue is approached by those in congress who are regardless of any decision they make going to receive a pension of $15, 000 monthly for the remainder of their lives. What they should think is that with what they would make in two weeks, these poor families live with for an entire year. Jonathan Kozol in his book “Amazing Grace,” of the toil and trouble that residents of poverty and the truly underclass people of this country live in, namely the South Bronx in New York City.
Foster children refer to minors or young people who have been removed from their custodial adults or birth parents by governmental authority. These children are placed under the care of another family either through voluntary placement by a parent of the child or by the relevant governmental authority if the birth parent has failed to provide for the child. Family resilience on the other hand, is ...
Stephanie Coontz also portrays a more conservative view of the issue at hand while Ruth Sidel focuses mostly on the oppression of women and children in poverty through her liberal point of view. The impact that poverty has on the families in the South Bronx area is that it leads to a society in which the children have learned to accept what is dealt to them and know not of a better way of life. In addition to the pain and suffering these people are going through, the city appears to want to cover up the poverty that exists here. So much so, that Kozol recalls a time when a woman took him to a highway overpass to show him a very disturbing scene: “pictures of flowers, windows shades and curtains and interiors of pretty-looking rooms, that have been painted on these buildings on the sides that fact the highway” (Kozol, p. 31).
What is disturbing is the fact that the side of the abandoned building on which this “decoration” is painted is not facing towards the people living in the neighborhood, leaving only the implication that it was drawn there to gratify the people who drive home on the highways to the suburbs.
This ever present problem is here and worse than we know, especially for those who live the life of distress and poverty. It’s apparent that although the authorities are aware of the situation, they dislike paying attention to and helping rectify the situation. Instead of assisting in rebuilding abandoned buildings so that people can live in nice homes, they draw pictures of pretty homes on the backside for passersby to see. From any standpoint, whether it is a liberal, conservative or democratic view – this is a serious problem that shouldn’t be avoided, but taken head on. In reading the sources for this paper, I see that Jonathan Kozol writes from a more liberal perspective.
The framework of his book includes, to me at least, the concept of equality. I feel that his goal is to bring about a level of fairness amongst New Yorkers as well as equal opportunity for all. Stephanie Coontz seems to follow a similar perspective with her liberal views. Ruth Sidel appears to also depict a liberal framework in her work.
In her book, she speaks about the problems with women who have children out-of-wedlock. Although she defends the fact that they shouldn’t be judged as a whole because of that fact, it seems to me that she feels strongly about traditional family settings including a two parent, heterosexual household. Sidel also comes across as someone who has a hint of religion in her values. Personally, I agree more with the liberal standpoint. I feel that all people should be equal, especially since we ” re all citizens of the same city, nation, and world. I believe we should have the same opportunities, almost as much as I believe that those who want to achieve something in live – will take the initiative and shape their destiny to reach their goals.
Based on a year Kozol spent interviewing the poorest of New York's poor, Amazing Grace unveils the truth about squalid living conditions, gutted educational facilities, crime, disease, and pandemic depression that plague these neighborhoods where the city effectively conceals its underclass, keeping them out of sight and out of mind. Kozol says the crucial questions we should be raising are not ...
Bibliography Kozol, Jonathan. Amazing Grace. New York: Crown, 1995. 1-24.
Kozol, Jonathan. Amazing Grace. New York: Crown, 1995. 27-54. Sidel, Ruth.
“The Enemy Within” Keeping Women And Children Last. New York: Penguin, 1998. 1-32. Surgrue, J. Thomas. “Poor Families in an Era of Urban Transformation.” American Families.
Stephanie Coontz, Maya Parson, Gabrielle R ailey, Routledge, 1999. 243-257.