media analysis article 1-Shurong

Views Journalism article 1 by ShurongLi

Items on the following social justice, civil liberties, and human rights related issues: poverty and social disadvantage

Article 1

Poverty and social disadvantage – move over folks, you’ve had your go

Article 2

Living standards, working poverty and social mobility


In this task, two articles about poverty and social disadvantage will be discussed. Although the two articles reflect the situation of different countries, their basic stances are very close to each other.  Both of the articles advocate that an effective and a quick response to the issue of poverty and social disadvantage are necessary. Moreover, two articles mentioned about the lagged behind reaction and limited effects of the efforts that have been made.


In the first article, the primary stance of the writer is that the political response to poverty is full of cliché and lack of effective actions. The Privileged and wealthy people have been leading lives far better than people with social disadvantages. It seems that they are living in a totally different world. Government and different communities are seemingly unaware that actions speak louder than words. The argument above may characterize as interpretative or evaluative which is presented by largely in the form of complaints. Complaint of the author is an evaluative argument about the ineffective strategies in combating poverty. The writer is tired of the method, and it hasn’t worked. This is evident by the fact that there are some people who only care about the interest of themselves and are nonchalant about the situation of others. Furthermore, the justification that appeals to social norms, which the author assumes that the readers share the same value as he does, has even made these concepts easier confirmed by the wide scale existence of poverty and social injustice. As it is mentioned in the article, the author, as an individual who has been involved in social reform for four decades, has heard a lot about the cliché. The example of these includes “We all agree we could be doing better”. “We are all struggling to find solutions.” “It’s all very hard.” “We’ve got a long way to go, but this stuff takes time.” Then the article supported it with point-scoring, the inevitable tiresome nonsense from two sides of politicians. These kinds of words are like “The other side doesn’t care”. “Our policies are better.” “No, their policies are crap – ours are the best.”  It can be seen that the author is very dissatisfied with the words from police figures by using strong emotional justification. In this case, the substitute irrelevant judgments of an individual for reasonable evaluation of the issue that author use show an Ad hominem kind argumentation. There is no doubt that there are also other justifications that the government of Australia and related communities lack effort in solving poverty and disadvantages. The argument of the author is based on his past 40 years experience, which it’s authority appeal can easily arise the resonance of others. It is not difficult to list the ineffective strategies from the governors. Also, there are also a lot of areas and aspects of poverty stricken works that have not been done enough by the communities in Australia. For the purpose of making the justification effectively justify the claim of the author, a strong warrant is essential. The key function of a warrant is to support the justification and makes it reliable and true. A warrant can be presented in two forms, which means it can be either explicitly stated in the text or implied from the article. In the first article about the issue of poverty and social disadvantage in Australia, warrant mainly refers to the reliability of words from others and information sources. This kind of warrant has not been clearly stated in the first article; it can only be found in some text with hints, which means the author make an assumption of like-minded reader who share the same worldviews and value systems with him. Thus, there is no need to state the underlying warrant clearly.

The author despairs at the lack of empathy for others and the shameless way that millions are spent on re-working policy, funding and defunding programs and constantly changing the goal posts with only the minimum dribbling to those most left out. The author would contribute to our world if we just recognized all they can do. People are not diminished by their disability or their culture, but by people who have the power of cultural imperialism.


This argument, however, has an informal fallacy in it. The major fallacy is that the article failed to provide sufficient warrant to the justification. To support the primary claim of the article, the author used words for his own exercise, and the subjective complaining sentiment in the justification, as the result, the whole argumentation is not only evaluative but also ad hominem. In addition, the article failed to provide the warrant with detailed and indisputable facts. Information and data are also lacked to support the justification for the first claim.


It makes people suspect that community-based programs rather than any political force will continue to chip away at the rights and welfare of people with a disability in Australia – while politicians repeat they are now dated and tiring rhetoric. They should, however, look to a country like Japan who mandates that the corporate sector employs persons with a disability with set minimum quotas. Japan demands that Companies modify workplaces where necessary to accommodate the needs of persons with disabilities and that they treat such people with the same dignity and respect that is provided to able-bodied employees.


Apart from the above claims, other claims are also made by the author. The author maintains that there is better way to deal with poverty and social disadvantages. A lot of successful cases are used to justify his point; the justification is backed by cases and precedents. The case of efforts from Australia’s most socially disadvantaged communities in North Adelaide is true and in detail.


In the second article, it is about Living standards, working poverty and social mobility. The article argues that disadvantage and advantage cascade down from generations to generations and the Britain has struggled to provide a fair opportunity for people and give them an equal chance in life. The author argues that there is lack of social mobility in the British society, which means poverty and social disadvantages lack of chance in promotion their position in social ladders. Though the whole article, the author assumes readers will agree with his viewpoint by targeting readers are British and using the term “we,” demonstrated by the following example paragraphs: “Over decades we have become a wealthier society, but we have struggled to become a fairer one.”, “We believe the UK Government deserves credit for sticking to these commitments and making new ones.”


In this article, the justification for this claim is explicitly stated after the claim; the justification can be clearly seen in the following paragraph. The following paragraphs justify the problem with sufficient data that strongly appeal fo facts and argument. The article provides justification from various perspectives, which is to justify the claim from social, economic and historical perspectives. From the justification, it can be easily concluded that the mobility of people in society is far from satisfaction. The goal that everyone should have a fair chance in life is not easy to achieve, though it has been part of Britain’s DNA. Therefore, the justifications in this article are carried out in an explicit manner.


In the third paragraph, the author provides authoritative justification by the annual state of the national report from Parliament, “It is all too easy for Government to abandon the aim of ending child poverty by 2020 and to avoid the long hard haul of making progress on social mobility.”


Justifications provided in the second article are very sufficient. In the seventh paragraph, data was provided to support the factual and authority justification, quoted as “The proportion of 25-34-year-olds owning their own homes has fallen from around 60% to 40% in just a decade.” The data well reflect that many families have been struggling with falling household income and rising property price.  In a society that lacks opportunities, people in poverty suffer from more disadvantages.


In the eighth paragraph, the author provides further justification from the perspective of the wealthy people.  Again, it is very explicit and in the form of statistical data. “One-third of MPs, half of senior doctors and over two-thirds of high court judges all hail from the private schools that educate just 7% of our country’s children.” This data is a stark contrast to the above data. The sharp comparison leads to a shocking result, which is a very strong support for the justification.


In terms of the working condition, data, and researchers that appeal to authority are also provided in the following paragraph. Based on the findings of Resolution Foundation, “there are 320,000 workers, overwhelmingly women, who have been trapped at the minimum wage pay level for five years or more and 140,000 for ten years or more. “For the middle class, they are also facing the same challenges.” From the quote, it can be found that the author uses many justifications appealing to facts and authority to more persuasive


After a large amount of factual and authoritative justification statements, the author ends up the article by empathizes recommendation claim and ethical appeal justification. For example “extending early years’ education; closing the gap between better-off and less well-off children in schools; ensuring fair access to higher education and vocational training; opening more doors to a career in the professions.”  The recommendation primary claim uses assumed to be widely held values and beliefs to lead readers to support that the four key steps above are very much needed to be taken to make sure people from all social classes can enjoy fair chance in the process of economic growth.


If we do a detailed analysis of the two articles, we can imply about the worldview and value system that are deeply held by the two authors, although they are not explicitly stated. Throughout the first articles, the author has been arguing about the inefficacy of     Australian society in combating poverty and disadvantage. In the second article, the author express that disadvantages are passing down from generation to generation and justified it from the social, economic and political perspectives. Regarding readership and targeted audiences, both articles seem to be focusing on making their government officials from Australia and the UK relook into the current societal issues and improve on their policies to produce better results. But Australia and the UK have different social contexts, so different measures have to be taken to ensure societies’ well-being respectively.

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