Different schools of sociological thought would approach the problem of poverty from different perspectives. From a structural-functional point of view, poverty would likely be the result of one of society’s mechanisms of wealth distribution not performing their functions properly. If poverty is perceived as a problem, then maintaining a stale and cohesive community would require addressing the shortcomings of corresponding social institutions. The symbolic interactionism respective would likely focus not on why poverty exists but on how people experience and frame it within their discourse. Finally, the conflict theory would explain poverty as a result of social tensions between the groups competing for wealth and power. In specifically Marxist terms, this theory would argue that poverty is the result of the existing property structures that ensure greater wealth for the dominant class at the expense of the subordinate class.
From the conflict theory perspective, the solution to the problem of poverty would lie in uprooting the socio-economic relations that lead to its emergence and existence. According to this theory, poverty emerges because the ruling class structures social institutions to its favor, ensuring that it gets a larger share of wealth and, thus, depriving the subordinate class of said wealth. Hence, solving the problem of poverty in a given society would require the destruction of the property relations that solidify the ruling class’s power. One necessary component to it is challenging and bringing down the legal and political structures that frame the ruling class’ dominance, y revolutionary means, if necessary. Another necessary part of the solution is challenging and debunking the ideological justifications of poverty, such as explaining it with a lack of ingenuity and determination rather than fundamental social determinants.