Extra Credit Essay
The contemporary social problem I have choose to discuss is homelessness throughout our country. As of 2017, 554,000 people were reported to be homeless. People who are homeless are unable to maintain housing, and usually have income. Homelessness can be hereditary, or self-imposed, the reasons people are homeless differ between their personal life stories of how they got there. This number has increased since previous years making homelessness a major issue in our country, especially in large cities such as Seattle, Los Angeles, and New York City. Throughout this essay we will discuss the interpretation of this issue throughout a sociological perspective, and how it differs from an individualistic perspective.
Sociological perspective is understanding human behavior by perceiving it from the picture within a social context. It looks at the connections between individual’s behavior and the social structure they are a part of. The issue of homelessness from a sociological perspective looks at the social issue of homelessness as a public issue of social structure. The sociological perspective is better understood by the concept of sociological imagination, which is the ability to look beyond individual issues and see how society leads to certain outcomes. It is being able to realizes that these issues are not formed from personal experiences or decisions, but from the public social issues in the world that shape the way we view our personal problems.
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From this view, homelessness is such a growing issue because in societies, homeless people are not given opportunities to fix their situations. Societies are not finding solutions to prevent and stop homelessness. Homeless people rarely get the opportunity to get jobs, which would allow them to make money, which would allow them to get off the streets. But since the way society is set up, this cycle is impossible to beat for people on the streets because society does not make opportunities for homeless people. This issue goes along with the fallacy of hard work. Many homeless people are probably willing to work hard for a better life, but there are not jobs for them, so they cannot succeed. Since there are no organizations that help homeless people start a better life by offering such jobs, this cycle of homelessness is a problem within society.
On the other hand, is the individualistic perspective. Through this perspective the main focus is on desires of individuals over the needs of groups within a society. This perspective focuses on just a view realizing one’s goals and desires, while opposing most external interference upon those objectives, by society, or any outside agency. From an individual perspective, someone who is homeless might say they are homeless because they were born and raised on the streets and have no option. From someone who does not possess a sociological perspective, they would assume that a homeless person is in that situation because of their own bad personal decisions and issues in their life. Rather, from a sociological perspective, one might say that they are homeless because society doesn’t allow them opportunities to not be homeless. When some people discuss homelessness, they assume it’s because they are lazy and don’t want to get a job. Yet, people do not see the sociological side that includes all the external issues that influence homelessness, poverty, etc.
A sociological perspective for a solution for this issue is to focus more on improving social conditions. A sociological perspective on solutions for this issue disregards all individual issues and comes together as a whole to improve the way society is. Bettering the society in which homeless people live in. Donating supplies, such as blankets, clothing, and tents, starting a fundraiser, and donating food are all solutions to help homeless people. Making homelessness an aware issue to all that the government needs to take serious action to help these people, no matter what their background to give them an opportunity to a better life.
There are many benefits from looking are this issue from a sociological perspective. It offers a unique way of seeing a contemporary issue in the social world. It looks beyond normal views of people, disregarding indicial bias, an gives a deeper understanding to society and the social norms. It makes us think about these issues from a different way then we usually would see an issue such as homelessness.