Societal social segmentation in the urban has been in existence in the past and having its social and economical impacts to cities and towns. The great Australian dream of owning a house is an iconic culture of every Australian. Housing being one of the social acquaintances of development both has a factor and a cause of development. There is therefore a need to analyze the real trends of social polarization in Australia. The essay seeks to address the developmental process of polarization and its impact in Australian cities and towns.
The concept of polarization and its evolution
Social polarization is a process involving the segmentation that may exist within a society arising from among others economic restructuring and income inequalities resulting to distinction between various social groups from low income earners to higher income earners. This generally is the dynamics of economic growth whereby the groups at higher social status expand their earnings and wealth while the lower social status group also grows economically but the social status gap still exists (Hill, 2012). Wealth usually accumulates at the top as poverty prevails on the bottom. Over the last few years the economic status difference between the poor and the rich has been increasing with continuity in social polarization.
The most common variable in existence of social polarization is income. Social polarization can possibly occur through the process of having certain groups being barred from accessing potentially viable economic activities and national resources and the labor market. As a result there is a reduction in the numbers of individuals from the lower status levels in the labor market as the higher status groups are opportune and have easy access to the labor market. The lower level groups will always be unemployed and some end up becoming dependant on public assistance or even get off the labor market by resigning. Gender discrimination is more common in this as women form the highest number of drop outs of the labor market. The labor market restrictions at times seem too biased on low level economic status groups while being favorable to those above. This widens the existing segmentation in the society thus the formation of social groups with reference to economic status and at times even ethnic status (Burnley, 1980).
The main two resultant effects labor market access as a cause of social polarization, revolve around increase in the number of differential social groups more so the numbers of members in the social class grouping as the middle class group get eradicated as the gap widens. In Australia for instance over the past ten years of polarization process advancement homelessness, single-parent families and unemployment has not been a phenomena since single-parents families, unemployment and homelessness have been increasing tremendously. It is because of the above dynamism in the Australian society that has called for research and thorough investigation on what this has to do to the towns and cities of Australia (Beer, 2007). In reality, if the groups that are homeless will apply for public social and economic assistance and may be simultaneously the unemployed and single-parent families do then the budgetary allocations of Australian cities and town will be stretched beyond the threshold.
The spatial dynamics in the division of labor are among the key associates of the hierarchical differences that are more pronounced in the urban areas and global financial cities are usually top placed in this hierarchy. Sharp associate polarization in income composition and occupation are connected to the rising social segregation and housing market polarization though these dynamics are contingent locally (Burnley, 1980). Global economic restructuring has given polarization a new viewpoint that has effected continued ethnic discrimination and growing social tenurial polarization in cities and towns mostly know for business and financial service oriented industries unlike the other which are manufacturing oriented. The new era polarization is as a result of states or cities convergence leading to rise in global cities that play major role in the new polarization in the name of the new international division of labor. This kind of polarization is rampant in Australia as home ownership is the key economic recognizable thing that every citizen is striving to accomplish.
The Australian people belief that housing ownership serves to reduce economic inequalities brought about by the uneven distribution of rewards in the job market, this because of the recognition of housing as a social institution. Housing in this case will serve to bring up the living standards of the people at the lower levels in the economic status hierarchy. The economic status of such groups without housing would be otherwise at their worst ends. Importantly this occurs though horizontal redistribution of income from active salary earning to retirement benefit payment.
Urban poverty has always been in existence and since then it has been advanced overtime as a result of the rich and the professionally qualified getting richer while the poor and the under qualified get poorer and poorer and the middle class splitting apart. Polarization has been developing together with the various advancements that affect the income structure and the labor market. This in particular include, the economic restructuring being global or regional and the lack of capacity of nations to adapt new changes either in the redefinition of education system or the gender division of labor (Troy, 1995).
The Australian life course survey conducted a research survey over the telephone featuring 2685 respondents spread across Australia. Majority of the people were aged above 25, though 1% was below that age bracket. The aim of collecting Tenant, occupations and monthly income data was to find out the distribution of household. The tenure subdivision of the individuals who were renting a house their house was reflecting they total monthly income. The Australian Life Course Survey (ALCS) findings were the total number of housing units cannot be distributed among the high number of individuals who seek to rent or purchase a new house every year. With this study, all household with nobody participate in the labor market or earning an income per month was excluded from this study.
Economically active households and all households by tenure
According to the above the chart, there are tenures within the Australians society who have more advantages than others do, thus causing the big difference in tenure locations. The analysis conducted by ALCS used tenure hierarchy that gives advantages to tenures according to their ability. That is mortgages, incomes, lack of alternatives and price of housing consumptions. This divides the tenure into three categories, purchasers’ occupiers, owner investor and owner-occupier. This helps clients to identify and choose a house according to what their can afford.
Tenure hierarchies, showing the proportion of economically active respondents in each tenure group
The above figure is calculated using active economic houses that were featured in the analysis in 2010. Throughout the study, there were general careers that the candidates possess, which also play a role in determining they ways the household are distributed.
Percentage of each tenure group by highest occupation in household
The above chart show how groups were categorized according to their analysis reflecting on the household price where they lie. Low-income earners were estimated to live in house worth no more than $4,000, while middle-income earner can afford to live in a house worth $5,500 same as the high-income earner. However, their choice of house was influenced by nearness to the cities or town. Those whole lived near the cities and town faced the challenges of paying more than who lived in rural areas by 28%.
In conclusion, social polarization requires a balance in both ends in order for living to be fare to all human. Introducing a cluster between the high-income earners and low-income earner will help reduce the problems associated with class differentiation among Australians. Polarization should be focused on polices that govern our towns and cites in order to bring a balance that will allow both high and low class to co exist together in a society where the poor can find a position among the rich. These policies should also focus on our employment systems by reducing the gap between salaries of top management and junior workers.
Investors should target different types of clients since it is evident that our communities are built of different classes. This will help close the gap of number of individual who own or rent a house by allowing more low-income earner to have the chance to rent or buy one.
Minimizing polarization decision by putting in place policies that will help curbs the issue of social classes amongst Australians, this will allow low-income earner to have the ability to purchase or rent a how in any location of the country.
Educating the public on the need of budgeting for their future since their play a role in development of the country, this will help increase the number of house owners by a big percent.
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