Moynihan Report

How the Moynihan Report was skewed to focus on the culture of poverty regarding community of color

Culture of poverty is model that explains the poverty cycle. Moynihan David wrote the Moynihan Report also called The Negro Family: The Case for National Action in 1965 (Geary 2015). His writing included a significant focus on culture of poverty within the black community and resulted controversially. He argued that the as a result of the increase of families with single mothers will eventually impact the political, economic equality of the African Americans. He stated that the unemployment of the male dominance had a high impact in marital stability Moynihan stated that black families with single mothers did not increase as a result of unemployment but as a result of the ghetto culture that was located during slave periods and hence led to discrimination. He asserted that the existence of the gap between the Negro including other groups in America was increasing significantly. According to his argument, the increase and persistent of the gap between the Negro families was as a result of subsiding of the black nuclear family hence it would favor other groups (Geary 2015). He also discussed on the concepts of discrimination and racism and stated that they were significant contributors towards culture of poverty.  The report summarized that the black community nuclear family induced a “tangle pathology” which initiated the capabilities of being responsible on its own perspective without the inclusion of supportive initiative from the white people. Therefore if the Negro society is impacted economically, then the Negro family will also be impacted negatively as a result of single mother hood.

Summarizing the article

According to the National Poverty Center article on reconsidering “poverty and culture” provides a significant aspect of reconsidering culture of poverty. The poverty center states that there is need to reconsider the culture of poverty in order to debunk the existing myths that surround the cultural orientation of the poor people. There is need to acknowledge the conditions that sustain and create poverty therefore, to achieve this there is need to analyze the sensibility made by the poor people and how they strive to illustrate their current decisions, options and situation.  The National center of poverty strives to acknowledge the approaches by which people are in a position to respond to poverty. Cultural lens is a mechanism that assists people to understand the way poor people respond to poverty and the specific strategy they apply in order to respond to poverty. Therefore, the national poverty center includes the aspects of how low income individuals make their options and experienced. On the other hand, it also focuses on how to improve the social policy effectiveness.

The national center of poverty states that culture has now established its grounds on the agenda of poverty.  It states that black joblessness is one of the main causes of poverty. It is a fact that many African American men are at high levels of poverty as a result of high rates of unemployment. Additionally, education is one of the proven initiates that can lead out of poverty but there are some children able to achieve the educational goals while others fail. The article considers Vaisey Stephen report on the functions of expectations and ideals in enhancing education effectiveness. According to the reports states that low income people possess lower ideals that enhance to high achievement in education than poor respondents who have lower expectation on what they attain. therefore, including the significance of this aspect, the reports concludes that there are different cases that needs to be integrated in order to acknowledge both the cultural and social aspects that lead to culture of poverty as education is one of the fundamental aspects.

Additionally, the article addresses responsible parent hood and child hood support.  The article is highly related on Moynihan report that illustrates that poverty is enhanced mostly in the black American families as a result of many families being raised by single parent. According to the national center of poverty  indentifies some significant non economic aspects that many single mothers find as significant to the role of the father for instance financial support, role modeling. The national center of poverty acknowledges that poverty is common in many households with single mothers. The prevailing aspect is illustrates that in the black community nuclear family are breaking down and hence imapcti0ng the economics of the black community significantly.  This relates to Moynihan on his report where he states that there are high chances of poverty in Negro communities as a result of single parenthood (Geary  2015). This breakdown results to drug abuse, early pregnancy, inability of mainstream values in the type of children the black community up brings due to single motherhood.  Where by many black people consider the ghetto lives hence getting trapped in poor neighborhood.

The article finalizes by including the importance of culture in understanding the dynamism of poverty. The article recognizes the importance of the policy framework toward clear understanding of how culture is connected to poverty.


Geary D. (2015) The Moynihan Report: An Annotated Edition; A historical unpacks The Negros Family: The Case For National Action its 50th anniversary, Retrieved from


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