In the class of sociology, we talked about social issues and social problems. These two categories of sociological challenges share similarities and differences as well. One of the main differences is that the social issue might be good or bad thing, while the social problem is most of the time a bad thing (DERELİ-İMAN 492). Another difference is that the social issue might be a non-issue for some people, while the social problem is usually viewed as a problem that affects the entire society. One of the similarities is that both social issues and social problems are sometimes multifarious (Loseke 19). Another similarity is that considerations, causes, and solutions are often changeable in both social issues/problems. In the previous writing project, a huge social problem was discussed, which is homelessness. Homelessness is an old social problem that has been increasing rapidly for many reasons. The reasons why this problem has been increasing are numerous. The three major reasons are joblessness, poverty, and low income. Homelessness is a social problem and not a social issue because the entire world agrees that it is a bad phenomenon, which means this is a problem not an issue. These are some of the differences and similarities between social issues and problems and an example on the social problems. (Lecture Notes)
During the class, we talked about the four sociological theories. The social conflict theory is the closets to the social problem I have chosen, which is homelessness.
Homelessness exists because of the social inequality, which makes people different according to their class and race. For example, high-class people are able to afford good education for their children, which empowers them to earn great jobs in the future, but poor people cannot afford to pay for quality education because of their economic situation, which lessens the chances of their children getting high salary jobs. Homelessness is increasingly continuing worldwide. Since jobless and life expenses rates are increasing, homelessness rates are increasing as well. That is the only one theory most close to the social problem I have chosen.
The film Thin Blue Line comes close to depicting how social problems are likely to increase for an individual who is considered low class. In the documentary film produced to depict the true-life story of Randall Adams, a male-aged 28 years convicted for life imprisonment for a murder he did not commit, we see that he led a vulnerable life because he did not even own a home. In the film, Adam is depicted seeking shelter at a motel rented by his brother. A juvenile shoots and murders a police officer. However, Adam is offered as a sacrificial lamb because he is poor and the Texas law can sentence him to death unlike the Juvenile who truly committed the murder, but instead lied that it was Adams who did it. Since he is poor, Adam cannot even afford to hire the services of a good lawyer to defend his innocence. Concisely, the movie highlights how the poor and homeless in the society are vulnerable (Loseke 39).
These two causes and their effect or consequences are going to be described in this part of the article. The first cause, which is joblessness, is one of the main causes of the bigger social problem called homelessness. Most of the people who are suffering this problem are uneducated or at least they do not have an academic degree of education such as bachelor or master. That is a big reason why they are unemployed. The entire world is required to solve the problem of unemployment or joblessness since it is spread in every nation, though the problem is more rampant in the third world countries. They can solve this problem by lowering the education expenses and offering more jobs that do not require a high degree of education. This is the most practical way we can get rid of the problem of homelessness. The second cause, which is class level, is also another major cause of the problem of homelessness. When we observe our societies, we see that most of the high-class people are from wealthy families, while the low class people come from low-income families. The two causes discussed earlier on are the major causes of being homeless because of various reasons. First, being unemployed makes the person disadvantaged and unable to afford descent housing, a car, and education expenses since they do not have a stable income. Second, when a person is classified as a low class, they would find it difficult to make their life good especially in the developing countries. Low class people mostly cannot afford the basic wants needed for survival; therefore, they are forced into not having a place to live. These are two causes of homelessness and their effects.
While writing this project, sociological imagination helped me a lot especially with the social problem that I had chosen to dwell on. Since the sociological imagination is changing personal problems to social issues, I effectively imagined the homelessness social problem from a personal perspective to a wider social perspective. Sociological imagination helped me to see how the problem is affects a single person and how it affects a whole society. How it is hard for the person who suffers this problem and the whole society. This also allowed me to realize that a person who suffers homelessness is really struggling to survive and the society is trying to help them surviving. That is how the sociological imagination helped me while writing this writing project for my sociology class (Macionis pg. no).
Lessons learned are that the problem of homelessness is increasingly spreading especially in the urban areas. Governments are indebted and are unable to support social programs such as welfare because of the ongoing financial crisis. Consequently, the problem is likely to continue growing because presently even educated and qualified professional are finding it hard to secure descent jobs. Efficient use of resources and a shift from extreme capitalism towards social democracy is encouraged to help in the fair distribution of resources to avoid scenarios where a few individuals own up most factors of production, while millions languish in poverty (Henslin 72).
DERELİ-İMAN, ESRA. "Adaptation of Social Problem Solving for Children Questionnaire in 6 Age Groups and its Relationships with Preschool Behavior Problems." Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice 13.1 (2013): 491 - 498. Print.
Henslin, James M.. Social problems: a down-to-earth approach. 8th ed. Boston, Mass.: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon, 2008. Print.
Loseke, Donileen R.. Thinking about social problems an introduction to constructionist perspectives. 2nd ed. New York: Aldine de Gruyter, 2003. Print.
Macionis, John J. Society: The Basics. Pearson, 2012. Print
Guzzo, Gaetano R. Class Lecture. Intro to Sociology. Wright State University, Dayton,
OH. Fall 2012.