来源:上外培训网   发布时间:2015-09-15   作者:


  来源:经济学人标题:Poverty, crime and education.

  The paradox of the ghetto.THE poorest people in Leicester by a wide margin are the Somalis who live in the St Matthews housing estate. Refugees from civil war, who often passed through Sweden or the Netherlands before fetching up in the English Midlands, they endure peeling surroundings and appalling joblessness. At the last census the local unemployment rate was three times the national average. But Abdikayf Farah, who runs a local charity, is oddly upbeat. Just look at the children, he says.

  第一段开篇点题,介绍文章主题为穷苦的难民在英国面临的艰难处境。出现的词汇多为当下国际热门词汇,如“refugee, joblessness, civil war, unemployment”。

  Close to Mr Farah's office is Taylor Road Primary School—which, it turns out, trumps almost every school in Leicester in standardized tests. Its headmaster, Chris Hassall, credits the Somali immigrants, who insist that their children turn up for extra lessons at weekends and harry him when they seem to fall behind. Education is their ticket out of poverty. Poor district, wonderful school, well-ordered children: in Britain, the combination is not as unusual as one might suppose.


  Britain has prized the ideal of economically mixed neighbourhoods since the 19th century. Poverty and disadvantage are intensified when poor people cluster, runs the argument; conversely, the rich are unfairly helped when they are surrounded by other rich people. Social mixing ought to help the poor. It sounds self-evident—and colors planning regulations that ensure much social and affordable housing is dotted among more expensive private homes. Yet “there is absolutely no serious evidence to support this,” says Paul Cheshire, a professor of economic geography at the London School of Economics (LSE).


  And there is new evidence to suggest it is wrong. Researchers at Duke University in America followed over 1,600 children from age five to age 12 in England and Wales. They found that poor boys living in largely well-to-do neighbourhoods were the most likely to engage in anti-social behavior, from lying and swearing to such petty misdemeanors as fighting, shoplifting and vandalism, according to a commonly used measure of problem behavior. Misbehavior starts very young (see chart 1) and intensifies as they grow older. Poor boys in the poorest neighbourhoods were the least likely to run into trouble. For rich kids, the opposite is true: those living in poor areas are more likely to misbehave.

  第四段佐证了第三段作者的质疑。“And”这一连接词的作用,表明前后观点一致。前文质疑比邻而居的好处,该段则用实际数字和案例证明,贫富相互依靠而住,有高概率引起不良行为与少年犯罪。段落中出现了如 “anti-social behavior,” “vandalism”, “misbehave”等社会、法律词汇。

  The researchers suggest several reasons for this. Poorer areas are often heavily policed, deterring would-be miscreants; it may be that people in wealthy places are less likely to spot misbehavior, too. Living alongside the rich may also make the poor more keenly aware of their own deprivation, suggests Tim Newburn, a criminologist who is also at the LSE. That, in turn, increases the feelings of alienation that are associated with anti-social conduct and criminalbehavior.


  Research on England's schools turns up a slightly different pattern. Children entitled to free school meals—a proxy for poverty—do best in schools containing very few other poor children, perhaps because teachers can give them plenty of attention. But, revealingly, poor children alsofare unusually well in schools where there are a huge number of other poor children. That may be because schools have no choice but to focus on them. Thus in Tower Hamlets, a deprived east London borough, 60% of poor pupils got five good GCSEs (the exams taken at 16) in 2013; the national average was 38%. Worst served are pupils who fall in between, attendingschools where they are insufficiently numerous to merit attention but too many to succeed alone (see chart 2).


  Mr Cheshire reckons that America, too, provides evidence of the limited benefits of socialmixing. Look, he says, at the Moving to Opportunity program, started in the 1990s, through which some poor people received both counseling and vouchers to move to richer neighbourhoods. Others got financial help to move as they wished, but no counselling. A third group received nothing. Studies after 10-15 years suggested that the incomes and employmentprospects of those who moved to richer areas had not improved. Boys who moved showed worse behavior and were more likely to be arrested for property crime.


  In Britain, this pattern might be partly explained by the existence of poor immigrant neighbourhoods such as St Matthews in Leicester. The people who live in such ghettos are poor in means, because they cannot speak English and lack the kind of social networks that lead to jobs, but not poor in aspiration. They channel their ambitions through their children.

  Another probable explanation lies in the way that the British government hands out money. Education funding is doled out centrally, and children in the most indigent parts tend to get the most cash. Schools in Tower Hamlets receive 7,014 ($10,610) a year for each child, for example,compared with the English average of 4,675. Secondary schools also get 935 for each poor child thanks to the “pupil premium” introduced by the coalition government. Meanwhile Teach First sends top graduates into poor schools. In America, by contrast, much school funding comes from local property taxes, so those in impoverished areas lose out.

  “In Britain”, “Another”, 属并列结构,两段为并列段落,主题句皆为第一句话。

  As the Duke University researchers are keen to point out, all this does not in itself prove that economically mixed neighbourhoods are a bad thing. They may be good in other ways—making politicians more moderate, for example. But the research does suggest that the benefits of such districts are far from straightforward. Patterns of social segregation reflect broadersocial inequality, argues Mr Cheshire, who has written a book about urban economics and policy. Where mixed neighborhoods flourish, house prices rise, overwhelmingly benefiting the rich. Spending more money on schools in deprived areas and dispatching the best teachers there would do more to help poor children. Assuming that a life among wealthy neighbors will improve their lot is too complacent.


  第二部分question and answer的三篇文章,前两篇为美国社会问题的探讨。第一篇为美国孩童在没有父母监控下单独玩耍,美国警方未通知孩子家长的情况下,就将孩子逮捕入狱,揭示了美国警方的冷漠强硬。




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