Essay On Poverty In Australia Its Effect On Children

Poverty is intolerable because it negatively affects the lives of the poor, threatens the foundations of our society, and denigrates those who are not. Poverty evokes a sense of moral outrage and calls for action. This is especially true in the case of child poverty, due to the fragility and blamelessness of children and the effect poverty has on their future life as adults. Australian poverty is typically defined in terms of relative rather than absolute poverty, and is frequently used to describe circumstances where standard of living is unreasonably low, socially regarded requirements cannot be met, and suffering is likely to be visible. Poverty not only affects the lives of the adults but it also affects the lives of the children. The main aim of the essay is to analyse the issue of poverty in Australia with special reference to the group of children. The paper will also take into account various theories related to social inequality which would be helpful in analysing the aspects of poverty in Australia.

According to Australian Council of Social Service, despite sustained economic growth over the last 30 years, poverty still affects 1.2 million children in Australia. According to the Sydney Sunday Herald, one out of every six Australian children aged 0-14 live below the federal poverty line (Gillan, 2022). The. Research by the National Children's commissioner shows that children with a single parent are three times more likely to be in poverty, as compared to children in couple families. ACOSS study indicated that in 2020, the percentage of children living in poverty (17.7) was higher than any age group, which clearly explains where poverty has the highest incidence (The Smith Family, 2022).

This poverty, according to Habibis & Walter (2015), is the result of increasing social inequality in Australia. They also contend that social inequality in Australia is expanding, based on big population studies on income and family wealth as well as societal acceptance of minority groups. According to the study by Davidson et al (2020) suggest that in a country like Australia, most of the negative effect of social disparity on parents is due to the stress and alienation that comes with having a low income; the constant juggling of funds, financial insecurity in certain situations, and the very frequent feeling of being less valuable. Stress (and sadness) may have a direct or indirect effect on children via their parents' experiences and actions. According to Morley, C., & Ablett (2017) this economic disparity further demonstrates that childhood poverty is linked to less favourable socioeconomic outcomes in early adulthood in terms of educational achievement, labour market performance, health, and even general life satisfaction. According to research conducted in the United States by Chase-Lansdale and Brooks-Gunn (1995) claimed that child poverty affects cognitive development, social-emotional adjustment, and physical health of the child. Many of these challenges may lead to long-term problems, such as poor academic performance and a lack of social support from peers, high drop-out rates, depression and criminality, and an increase in morbidity and developmental disorders. As a result, early adulthood is more likely to be plagued by health issues, poor productivity, and dysfunction.
The problem of poverty's impact on children, and how poverty can keep on reproducing itself can be explained through Pierre Bourdieu's theory of habitus and different forms of capital. Bourdieu's economic capital is something which can be monetized easily, while social capital refers to the social connections built by a person. His most important form of capital, namely, cultural capital consists of two things: First, disposition and tastes gained by a human being through initial learning, as well as being influenced by his surroundings (Huang, 2019). Second, his educational credentials or qualifications, whose monetized value is inversely related to the inequality in the same. Bourdieu's famous habitus refers to the ingrained, embodied and durable, person specific knowledge which relates to how he views and understands the world. It is gained via the culture he lives in. For example, the difference between how a working class and a middle-class individual views the world, the type of people they will be comfortable interacting with (Huang, 2019). This habitus and the mixture of the three capitals leads to social distinction and the prestige associated with a, structurally formed, high social position. The dominant class has the power to shape its identity due to its superior forms of these capitals, which the lower class doesn't, leading to inequality. The cultural capital which gets transmitted to children at home through their parents leads to the passing on of social position to the new generation. In simple terms, a child's educational opportunities become dependent on the parents' economic, cultural and social capital (Habibis & Walter, 2015). This is the way in which, according to Bourdieu, poverty or social inequality keeps reproducing itself.
From the above perspective it could be emphasized that there is significant child poverty in Australia and social justice policies must be taken by the Australian government to achieve parity and equality. According to a study by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, social exclusion/inclusion is the fundamental problem leading to poverty, which must be addressed by policy (, n.d.). It also notes that intervention in the early years of a child (0-5) may help reduce the long term educational and productivity repercussions caused due to poverty, because of how crucial those early years are to brain development. Improving the immediate living conditions of children from low-income families is a priority, and this can be done by increasing the levels of income support available to all families, regardless of the financial situation of the parents, as well as increasing access to low-cost services like housing. According to Lade et al (2017) the government must take steps to keep families with children from falling into poverty, in particular through lowering unemployment, avoiding low-wage poverty, and giving greater aid to unemployed and jobless parents in their search for work. Thus, in order to reduce child poverty, it is essential to reduce unemployment rates. The community must acknowledge that poverty and inequality not just affect those at the bottom, but the whole society through reduced productivity, the economy not reaching its full potential, conflicts due to inequality which places a huge cost on society through justice and welfare. According to the findings of an econometric model established by the ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods, additional investment in social security spending will result in strong reduction in poverty and financial stress (Maskiell, 2021).

In conclusion, the risks of increased inequality in Australia as a whole must be highlighted in the conclusion when discussing strategies to minimise child poverty. The community must acknowledge that poverty and inequality affect all of us, not just those at the bottom. A large body of research and news reports have revealed that there is a major mismatch between Australia's policies and the inequality that causes child poverty. Bourdieu’s theoretical stance might also serve as a diagram to identify the issue of child poverty. His conclusion regarding the persistence of the social inequality across children and thus generation is a crucial issue that the government has to tackle, so as to ensure upward social mobility among the poor. Thus, income support can help in improving the child's health, as well as cognitive, social and behavioural development, which will be key in building a strong future for Australia.

References Chapter 11 - Children in poverty. Retrieved 29 July 2022, from
Brooks-Gunn, J., & Chase-Lansdale, P. L. (1995). Adolescent parenthood. In Portions were presented at a conference entitled" Outcomes of Early Childbearing: An Appraisal of Recent Evidence," Bethesda, MD, May 1992.. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
Davidson, P., Saunders, P., Bradbury, B., & Wong, M. (2020). Poverty in Australia 2020-part 1: overview.
Gillan, K. (2022). Inside Australia’s child poverty crisis. Retrieved 25 July 2022, from
Habibis, D., & Walter, M. M. (2009). Social inequality in Australia.
Huang, X. (2019). Understanding Bourdieu-cultural capital and habitus. Rev. Eur. Stud., 11, 45. DOI:10.5539/res.v11n3p45
Lade, S. J., Haider, L. J., Engström, G., & Schlüter, M. (2017). Resilience offers escape from trapped thinking on poverty alleviation. Science Advances, 3(5), e1603043. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1603043
McClelland, A. (2000). No child…. Child poverty in Australia, summarized by Bette Moore in Child Poverty: the facts, Brotherhood of St Laurence, Fitzroy, Victoria.
Morley, C., & Ablett, P. (2017). Rising wealth and income inequality: A radical social work critique and response. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 29(2), 6–18.
Phafoli, L., & Khotso, P. (2020). Poverty and economic challenge in Lesotho as reflected in Sesotho accordion music.​. American Research Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 3(4), 48-57.
The Smith Family. (2022). What is Poverty | More than 1.2m Australian Children Living In Poverty. Retrieved 25 July 2022, from
16 Nov 2022
Assignment, Deadline: 5 hrs 19 mins ago

This is an excellent service provider. Work done before deadline. Quick response for any query. Direct response from expert 24/7....

16 Jul 2022
, Deadline: 20 days 15 hrs ago

pretty good overall. it was a team assignment. I felt some of my work was corrected by the team....

16 Jul 2022
Course Work, Deadline: 1 months ago

I have such a hard time beginning my assignments for fear of not doing a good job on them. This service gives me that push that I need to get my assi...

review image
review image
review image
review image
All Reviews

Hurry and fill the order form to say goodbye to dreadful deadlines for good

order now