Poor Kids Movie Review



The film “Poor Kids” shows the harsh reality of what many American families face daily. Through the stories of several households, the film gives an inside look on what it looks like to be poor in the United States as a child. One of the main complications that all of these families had in common was their difficulty to gain any sort of social mobility within the country’s class system. 

Within the United States’ three-class system, the families in the film fell into the lower class category. Each household’s members struggled to gain traction in the workforce, causing them to consistently make little to no wages. Many of them experienced downward mobility, a lowering in social class. Downward mobility can be caused by misfortunes such as losing a job, falling ill, or, in the case of 2020, a global pandemic. Such social setbacks can result in a loss of income, furthering their descent into the lower class. While in our country it is possible to experience the “American Dream”, climbing the ladder of success is much more difficult than people imagine. Children that come from poor families can only do so much to change the generational pattern their ancestry has created. They often have to work exceedingly hard to break the cycle of poverty, and move upward in the class system. It can be very challenging to overcome the obstacles stacked against children living in poor communities. 

Moreover, sociological theories can easily be applied to the film in order to further analyze exactly what is occurring. For example, functionalism would see the parents of the children in “Poor Kids,” and explain that because the parents are working “low skill” jobs (cleaning windows, working in a hardware store, etc.), they should receive smaller pay compared to other “high skill” occupations. On the other hand, conflict theorists would argue that the people in the film are unfairly treated, and that these inequalities only allow the rich to keep their money, and the poor to have none. The film allowed for differing views to be applied.