Summary of “Changing the Face of Poverty” by Diana George
In “Changing The Face Of Poverty: Non-Profits Problem of Representations,” Diana George discusses how nonprofit organizations such as Habitat for Humanity misrepresent poverty, and how this adversely affects the goal of the organization. At the beginning of the article, George shows that the nonprofit organization asking for donations during the holiday season and describes multiple examples of the depiction of poverty. For instance, the author describes the distinction between families in New Delhi and New York in order to reinforce her argument.
The second part of George’s article focuses on Habitat and how its advertisements affect the public by misinterpreting poverty. George sees that the Habitat for Humanity misinterprets the issue of poverty, and this is the main problem since it does not represent all sides of poverty. Poverty is not just about damaged houses and starving people, it can also be felt in other different ways. In addition to this, George also argues that nonprofit organizations represent poverty as an individual problem that can be solved by individual people. Furthermore, the Habitat for Humanity presents poverty as an issue that can be solved by volunteers’ assistance, which she argues is incorrect because poverty is a much more complex issue. It is such an issue that would allow a person to actually get involved it completely. It is a problem that would be solved if one completely gets involved in it and gives out everything. It is not a type of problem that would be solved individually but needs everyone to work for it.
In the conclusion, the author suggests several solutions to the problem. For instance, George asserts that nonprofit organizations need to focus on the knowledge of the actual consequences of poverty rather than relying on the images they present to the public through the media. This is because, as long as people continue to support the poverty elimination programs, the images do not matter. Secondly, the author asserts that there is need to check on the wages paid to most workers because it is important to assist individuals so that they can elevate themselves up out of poverty, and at the same time address the large structural problems affecting these individuals.
Bullock, Richard H., Maureen Daly. Goggin, and Francine Weinberg. “Changing the Face of Poverty by Diana George.” The Norton Field Guide to Writing, with Readings and Handbook. New York: W.W. Norton, 2013. 667-78 .