Answer the following questions based on your textbook reading, videos, and personal experience. • Question 1 – What does the Old Testament reveal about God’s plan that continues to have relevance today? • Question 2 – What is the relationship of the Old Testament to the New Testament? Can you have one without the other, why or why not? • Question 3 – What makes Jesus different than every other religious leader and the Bible different than every other religious writing known to man?
Critically evaluate the research evidence in support of the contention that Britain developed an “underclass in the 1990s? What are the main differences between the use of underclass and the concept of social exclusion and why is the distinction important? Introduction The idea that society was stratified and inhabited by different classes of people dates back to the thought of Karl Marx. Marx saw capitalist society as exploitative and oppressive. Marx maintained that the conflicts between those who rule and those who are ruled, would eventually lead to changes in the economic system of a society (Marsh, I et al.2000). According to Marx the blame for class exploitation does not lie with individual capitalists but is inherent in capitalist systems . Conflict and tension are also evident in capitalist systems. These are especially evident between between different groups of wage earners and between the ruling classes these would intensify due to a number of developments, namely polarisation, homogenisation, and pauperisation (Marsh, I et al.2000). Polarisation, Marx believed, would occur as a result of increasing tension and hostility between the ruling class and the working class, within the groups individuals would become more like each other resulting in homogenisation, capitalists in their desire for expansion and workers in their reliance on work in factories rather than on traditional skills. The success of capitalism meant that wages need to be kept down and the gap widened between employers and workers. In this way workers are made poorer, or become unemployed and are pauperised. Marx believed that this would result in social revolution and the setting up of a new social system (Marsh, I et al.2000). This did not happen and such pauperization, it might be argued became the basis for what Charles Murray (1990) has termed the development of an underclass. This paper will evaluate evidence to assess whether and in what ways an underclass may be said to have developed in Britain during the 1990s. It will also look at the main differences between the concept of an underclass and the concept of social exclusion and why this distinction is important. Charles Murray and the Underclass Charles Murray is an American and his theory of the underclass was originally developed in over there. He saw an increase in violent crime, a rise in the number of illegitimate births and people dropping out from the labour force, it was on this basis that he formed his theory of a developing underclass. He then attempted to apply this theory to the UK where he observed similar phenomenon taking place. Some of his views led to heated debates, particularly with regard to single mothers, during the Thatcher and Major governments and under New Labour. Unlike America, Britain is more of a welfare state, or was at the time, and he believed that the over provision of welfare services encouraged welfare dependency and a decreasing desire to work for a living (Murray, 1989). Greater welfare provision, he argued encouraged young girls to have children out of wedlock because they no longer had to rely on a man to support them and their child. The culture of dependency that Murray identified, did, he argued, have a generational aspect. Young males growing up without proper role models ran wild and fathered illegitimate children themselves thus continuing a dependency culture. Debates in England His arguments were welcomed by the then Conservative Government who had already vowed to roll back the welfare state. Claiming themselves to be the party of the family (Giddens, 2001) they agreed with Murray that those who did not work should not have children. Those who did have children out of wedlock and could not support them should have their benefits stopped and be forced to give their children up for adoption. Throughout the 1990s this view was espoused by a number of British politicians who aired their views on television debating shows. Although this did not happen, successive Governments have tightened their hold on benefits purse strings and made life much harder for those who have to live on welfare benefits. This had further repercussions in policy making in the UK. The Housing Act of 1996 was seen by many as a result of these debates and deleted some groups from local authority housing lists those people e.g. single mothers, who had been a priority when it came to local authority housing allocation, thus reducing the responsibility towards the homeless for local authorities. It also brought in the Single Persons Homeless Register, thus reducing responsibility for those who would have been seen as in priority need (Bramley et al, 2005). During this time increased unemployment left large numbers dependent on benefits. The number of those who are long-term unemployed also rose. Social changes and successive government policies has widened the gap between rich and poor. Field (1996) has argued that the actions of the Conservative Government in targeting benefits through means testing, actually increased welfare dependency and put people into an inescapable poverty trap. Field further maintains that these policies were a major factor in the development of an underclass in Britain. However, in Field’s view the blame rests squarely on the shoulders of the Thatcher and Major governments. The Underclass and Ethnicity Some of Murray’s views might be considered racist, in that he claims that black people are less intelligent than whites and black women are more likely to have illegitimate children and live on benefits. Giddens supports Murray’s ideas of an underclass and (albeit for market reasons rather than the reasons given by Murray) also argues that a dual labour market is in operation and as a result of discrimination the underclass contains a high proportion of people from ethnic minorities. Much of what he has to say pre-empts Murray’s work as it was written in 1973. Where ethnic differences serves as a disqualifying market capacity, such that those in the category are heavily concentrated in the lowest paid occupations, or are chronically unemployed or self-employed, we may speak of the existence of and underclass (Giddens, 1973:112). Gaillie (1994) has questioned the arguments of Murray and Giddens. He disputes the idea that the underclass develops a specific culture and maintains that there is little evidence to support the existence of a dual labour market. He does however, acknowledge that the position of many people in the labour market has been weakened to the point where they are working for slave wages. While this does tend to support the existence of an underclass, Gaillie refutes the notion that such groups are forming either a class or a culture. Murray’s Later Work>GET ANSWER