Culture of Poverty Law and Legal Definition

Culture of poverty refers to a social theory that explains the cycle of poverty. It is based on the concept that the poor have a unique value system and the poor remain in poverty because of their adaptations to the burdens of poverty. The concept was made prominent in the civil rights debate by Daniel Patrick Moynihan in 1965 that contends poor African Americans perpetuate a culture that is pathological and that the negative social behaviors are passed on from generation to generation.