Hays, when she writes about the cultures of poverty says that these cultures are connected to the bigger patterns of Mainstream American culture meaning that there is a big connection between the adjacent culture and the economic wellbeing of a population. People in a culture of poverty usually have feelings of marginalization. They feel helpless as if they do not have a sense of belonging. For example, the culture of poverty in America is connected to the mainstream cultural patterns.
For example the much of the Negro community in the United States of America lives in poverty which has become cyclical. Most people are poor mainly because their cultural predecessors were poor and poverty becomes part of their culture and identity. Piven and Cloward help us understand the concept of cultures of poverty by linking it to a social theory. According to these authors, the poor have a unique value system and the culture of poverty advanced by these authors suggests that the poor people remain in poverty because they have become adapted to the burdens of poverty.
These burdens of poverty from the social theory perspective are imposed by the members of the society and this has led to the development of an autonomous subculture where the children of the poor are socialized into cultures and attitudes that prevent them from escaping from the state of penury. According to O’Connor, unrestrained accumulation of capital and change in technology creates social and economic imbalances because they engender capitalist which puts a strain on the economies and also creates imbalances between different industries and sectors of economy.
These imbalances therefore disrupt the social lives of the people (O’Connor, 1973). According to O’Connor, monopolistic fixing creates social inequality that leads to the development of what Hays calls cultures of poverty because this inequality creates cyclic patters of social imbalances that socialize people into cultures that they have already been adapted to.