Dulcia Tsai’s Blog 3: Distrust as another form of inequality


   Low wage and poverty can lead an individual or family into many rippling effects that will either keep them where they are at or pull them down even further. We would normally associate the outcomes of poverty to be linked to economic and material aspects of life like housing, education, food, clothing, and etc but we rarely think of the possible, and in fact very common, effects it has on those individual’s mental health and psychological well being which then in turn effect their performance in the work field and industry which then trickles into many other aspects of their lives. Fear and distrust were aspects that Judith A. Levine was discussing about during her interview with senior producer Barbara Raab of NBC News on how women in poverty are not only kept in poverty by the economic and money aspects of income.

     “Distrust is really yet another form of inequality,” Levine said in an interview with NBC News. “Those who are better off have more reason to trust those around them. And that trust brings benefits.” The fact that poverty limits an individual’s access to certain benefits, jobs, education, and housing location is already a dead given, but rarely do we stop to think why this seems to perpetuate. The fact that low income single working mothers already have to juggle working tough hours at a low price, caring for their children, meeting rent payment, feeding themselves as well as their children, and possibly car or loan payments, the prejudice view that society labels them with puts additional weight down upon them. They are discouraged to apply for jobs they think they would not qualify for and they are sometimes falsely labeled as a lazy, unwilling, and unreliable worker when they really missed work because they cannot afford a nanny or the hospital bills so they have to look after their sick child by themselves at home.

     The comfortable middle class and upper class have the affordability to pay for more reliable child care and other family related services that allow those mothers to focus other things like work which would then bring in more income to support the family. Middle and upper class mothers also have the luxury of speaking up about their concerns and complaints along with access to resources to see their needs to be put into change or policy while lower wage working mothers form a sense of distrust towards people, like social workers, due to the mothers not taken seriously based on their socioeconomic status. In turn, poor mothers distrust the people who are supposed to give them a helping hand from the common and repeating cases overtime of them not receiving the help that they desperately need. The distrust poor mothers have formed leads to them being reluctant to do more to change their state of being due to fear. Poverty is not only about money. Levine’s study and extensive interviews with over ninety low wage working mothers has brought to surface their issues of distrust and fear that came along with all their financial life struggles.

Judith A. Levine’s interview at NBC News: http://inplainsight.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/26/18936818-distrust-is-really-yet-another-form-of-inequality-when-poor-moms-dont-trust-anybody?pc=25&sp=25


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