Locus of control and culture of poverty. An appraisal of Lawrence M. Mead’s ideas in ‘Culture and Poverty’

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.7336/academicus.2022.25.14

Abstract

Lawrence M. Mead presented an interesting argument as to why poverty exists in the United States. He problematizes the culture of the poor of which ethnic minorities over-represent. By referring to the geographic regions from which these ethnic minorities came from, he globalised the question of poverty in the US. This invites a global policy debate rather than a US-centric policy debate. Indeed, Mead so freely made references to Africa and the African culture severally throughout his commentary. It is against this backdrop that I show that Mead was right to a large extent on the question of inner-driven individualised orientation. However, he overestimates its influence and misreads what culture is. He presented the culture of poverty as the antecedent of poverty. It was concluded that manipulating both internal drive (internal locus of control) and the structure of society is a more effective way to tackle poverty.

Keywords:

locus of control, culture of poverty, personality, poverty,

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

  1. Bandura, A., Barbaranelli, C., Caprara, G. V., & Pastorelli, C. (2001). Self-efficacy beliefs as shapers of children’s aspirations and career trajectories. Child Development, 72 (1), 187-206. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8624.00273.

  2. Caliendo, M., Cobb-Clark, D., & Uhlendorff, A. (2010). Locus of Control and Job Search Strategies. Discussion Paper No. 4750. Available at: http://ftp.iza.org/ dp4750.pdf

  3. Campos, F., Frese, M., Goldstein, M., Iacovone, L., Johnson, H. C., McKenzie, D., & Mensmann, M. (2017). Teaching personal initiative beats traditional training in boosting small business in West Africa. Science, 357, 1287–1290. https:// doi.org/10.1126/science.aan5329

  4. Ferrarotti, F. (2014). Culture and Counter-culture.Ferrarotti, F. (2014). Academicus International Scientific Journal, Special Issue, DOI: https:// dx.medra.org/10.7336/academicus.2014.special.03

  5. Fitzgerald, C.S., & Clark, S. (2013). Work Locus of Control and Perceptions of Practice. Journal of Public Child Welfare, 7 (1), 59-78. http://dx.doi.org/10.108 0/15548732.2012.738185.

  6. Furnham, A., & Henry, J. (1980). Cross-Cultural Locus of Control Studies: Experiment and Critique. Psychological Reports, 47(1), 23–29. https://doi. org/10.2466/pr0.1980.47.1.23.

  7. Goodman, A., Joshi, H., Nasim, B., & Tyler, C. (2015). Social and emotional skills in childhood and their long-term effects on adult life. Institute of Education, University College, London. Available at: https://www.eif.org.uk/report/social- and-emotional-skills-in-childhood-and-their-long-term-effects-on-adult-life

  8. Heaven PCL (1989) Economic locus of control beliefs and lay attributions of poverty. Australian Journal of Psychology, 41 (3), 315-325. https://doi. org/10.1080/00049538908260093.

  9. Hofstede, G. (1991/1994). Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind. London: HarperCollinsBusiness.

  10. Hui, C. C. H. (1982). Locus of control: A review of cross-cultural research. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 6 (3), 301-323. https://doi. org/10.1016/0147-1767(82)90036-0.

  11. Huizing, R. L. (2015). Who’s Controlling Locus of Control? Cross-Cultural LOC Usage. International Journal of Leadership Studies, 9 (1), 76 – 88. Available at: https://www.regent.edu/acad/global/publications/ijls/new/vol9iss1/3-IJLS. pdf

  12. Kluchhohn, C., & Kelly, W. H. (1945). The concept of culture. In R. Linton (Ed.), The science of man in the world crisis (pp. 78 – 105). New York: Columbia University Press,

  13. McCarty, M. K., & Ramlakhan, K. (2018). Locus of Control. In V. Zeigler-Hill and T. Shackelford (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences. Cham: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_1799-1

  14. Mead, L. M. (2020). Poverty and Culture. Society. Available at: https://doi. org/10.1007/s12115-020-00496-1 (accessed 25 July 2020). Retracted on July 31, 2020.

  15. Medinnus, G. R., Ford, M. Z., & Tack-Robinson, S. (1983). Locus of Control: A Cross-Cultural Comparison. Psychological Reports, 53(1), 131–134. https://doi. org/10.2466/pr0.1983.53.1.131.

  16. Nasser, R., & Abouchedid, K. (2006). Locus of Control on the Attributions for Poverty: Comparing South Africans and Lebanese University Students. Social Behavior and Personality, 34 (7), 777-798.

  17. Ng-Knight, T., & Schoon, I. (2017). Can locus of control compensate for socioeconomic adversity in the transition from school to work? Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 46, 2114–2128. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-017-0720-6

  18. Oppong, S. (2014). Psychology, economic policy design, and implementation: Contributing to the understanding of economic policy failures in Africa. Journal of Social and Political Psychology, 2 (1), 183 – 196. https://doi.org/10.5964/ jspp.v2i1.306

  19. Orth, U. (2018). The family environment in early childhood has a long-term effect on self-esteem: A longitudinal study from birth to age 27 years. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 114, 637-655. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/ pspp0000143.

  20. Osei-Tutu, A., Dzokoto, V. A., Adams, G., Hanke, K., Kwakye-Nuako, C., Adu- Mensa, F., & Appiah-Danquah, R. (2018). ‘My Own House, Car, My Husband, and Children’: meanings of success among Ghanaians. Heliyon, 4 (7). https:// doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2018.e00696.

  21. Ross, P. H. (2018). Ancestral Roots of Locus of Control. Available at: http:// barrett.dyson.cornell.edu/NEUDC/paper_482.pdf.

  22. Rotter, J. B. (1966). Generalized expectancies for internal versus external control of reinforcement. Psychological Monographs, 80 (1), 1–28.

  23. Spencer-Oatey, H. (2008). Culturally Speaking: Culture, Communication and Politeness Theory (2nd ed). London: Continuum.

  24. Spencer-Oatey, H. (2012). What is culture? A compilation of quotations. GlobalPAD Core Concepts. Available at: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/al/ globalpad/openhouse/interculturalskills/global_pad_-_what_is_culture.pdf.

  25. Stocks, A., April, K. A., & Lynton, N. (2012). Locus of control and subjective well- being – a cross-cultural study. Problems and Perspectives in Management, 10 (1), 17 – 25.

  26. United States Army Military Personnel Center. (1979). A Study in Procedural Manipulation of Locus of Control. Available at: https://ia800805.us.archive. org/10/items/DTIC_ADA068658/DTIC_ADA068658.pdf

  27. Van Elk, M., & Lodder, P. (2018). Experimental Manipulations of Personal Control do Not Increase Illusory Pattern Perception. Collabra: Psychology, 4(1), 19. http://doi.org/10.1525/collabra.155

  28. Wang,Q., Bowling,N.A.,&Eschleman,K.J.(2010).Ameta-analyticexamination of work and general locus of control. Journal of Applied Psychology, 95(4), 761- 768. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0017707

Downloads

Published

2022-01-16

How to Cite

Oppong, S. (2022) “Locus of control and culture of poverty. An appraisal of Lawrence M. Mead’s ideas in ‘Culture and Poverty’”, Academicus International Scientific Journal. Vlora, Albania, 13(25), pp. 226–234. doi: 10.7336/academicus.2022.25.14.