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A Critical Review of Poverty Studies in Social Policy

KIM KYO SEONG 1

1중앙대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The main purpose of this study is to critically review existing studies of poverty in social policy. The study examines 246 articles which were published in “Korean Journal of Social Welfare”, “Social Welfare Policy”, “Korean Journal of Social Welfare Studies”, and “Social Security Review” from 1998 to 2010, using quantitative content analysis. Although the number of poverty studies has shown an upward trend, there are also some limitations as follows. First of all, there is a strong tendency to rely on income-based poverty, rather than considering multi dimensions of poverty measurement. Secondly, many studies stick to outdated ways of explaining the realities of poverty, based on observations of householders or heads of family. Third, although a variety of methodologies has been observed, this has had little impact on the results. In addition, the analyses also indicate some limitations, such as otherization of the poor, symbolization of the analytic realities, and too much emphasis on the individual unit of analysis, mainly due to the predominance of quantitative research. These repeated research patterns present a serious impediment to exploring distinctive or creative policy alternatives. Poverty studies have reached a limit and are seemingly unable to come up with an effective counter plan to recent poverty problems that are more composite and itemized.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.