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“Others” in the Other America, by Michael Harrington

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Who are the sub-groups that ended up in the "other America" ? This questions has to be answered from the book "the other America" from Michael Harrington.

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In Michael Harrington book The Other America, his aimed to give an account of the poverty in America in the 1960s when approximately 20 to 25% of the population was characterized as low-income, the poverty riddled class.

Harrington writes about these sub-groups with condescension and sentimentality. According to him, the majority of these American poor happen to be white also the majority of them live in cities. As he pretty clearly pointed out, more people were living in slums than on farms in America. These sub-groups who were particularly at a disadvantage included non-white minorities who suffer "the most intense as well as concentrated impoverishment", migrants, workers, the aged senior citizens, children, families which had a women as the head, industrial rejects as well as people who lacked proper education. Roughly a 3rd of the “others” in The Other America came from one sub-group: kids below eighteen years of age.


In the book Harrington writes, the "key subcultures . . . of the aged, the minorities, the agricultural workers, as well as the industrial rejects" (p. 185). These sub-groups were often overlapping since the large number of characteristics the of the poverty culture tend to be in the type of a cluster. These factors include poor jobs, blighted opportunity inadequate medical care, improper diet and bad housing.

Harrington sought to identify those sub-groups of society who were left out of the system during the growth after the 1930s. This group of progress-immune Americans numbered between 32 and 50 million in the time of John F. Kennedy when the book was written.


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