On January 28, 2021, Lehigh College of Business posted a video titled “3 Myths Concerning Poverty” by economics professor Frank Gunter. It was shared as a brief “explainer” to help viewers understand the causes of poverty. As we listened to feedback from the community, including criticism regarding the selective use and manipulation of the available data which framed the findings with racist context, it was clear we needed to do more. The College of Business removed the video Feb. 2 to review the content and consider the community feedback, then subsequently responded on social media.
The original video is reposted here alongside a new video created at our request by our colleagues in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. This new video takes a closer look at poverty using the premises put forth in the original piece and modeling how our colleagues who study sociology and anthropology would analyze those arguments.
We acknowledge that such a complex issue was not well suited to a brief single-viewpoint video. Our hope is that Lehigh Business can be a platform for more robust examination that encourages further learning on this topic along with the recognition of the need for disparate voices.
The original video posted with the intent of examining the common myths that poverty is a matter of race, that poverty is a generational curse and that the poor have no agency.
The follow up video published less than three weeks later that takes a closer look at poverty using the premises put forth in the original piece and modeling how to analyze those arguments.
Here is a small sample of the conversations and debate that are taking place around this topic by faculty, students, and the general public.
Below is a list of resources for the 3 Myths Concerning Poverty video.
Below is a list of resources organized by each of the four sections for the Misunderstanding Poverty video.