Prepare for class discussions by answering the discussion questions.
1. Do you think there’s any merit to the idea of social control? Are there ways in which the programs we have in place to assist the poor actually serve to keep them in poverty?
2. Do you know what political ideology you most align with? How good of an understanding do you have of what the different parties stand for? Would it be useful to have more information and publicity given to the so-called “third parties” like the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, or the Constitution Party?
3. In what ways do the concepts of “deserving poor” and “undeserving poor” continue to exist today? Whom does society consider to deserve welfare benefits, and whom do they see as unworthy?
4. It can often be emotionally difficult to apply for welfare benefits. Ideally, what do you think it should be like for people to apply for welfare benefits? Are there other rights to which you are legally entitled that often make people who access them feel ashamed?