The class analysis of poverty finds its origin in the writings of Karl Marx on the functioning of capitalist society. Poverty, as it is known today, is different from poverty in the feudal system and requires knowledge about the dynamics of the capitalist mode of production. This knowledge stands on the following assumptions: (1) poverty is the result and condition of the capitalist mode of production; (2) every worker is “virtually” poor; (3) “real” poverty refers to the existence of a working population that is excessive to the needs of capital accumulation, and therefore fails to satisfy its needs with a salary; and (4) poverty is relative because it can only be determined in relation to socially produced wealth.

One of the more generalized conceptions of ...

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