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Investigate a Social Issue - Essay Example

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Name: Title: Course: Tutor: Date: Issue 1. Describe the social issue in which you are interested. Be specific. The sociological issue to be considered in this paper would be poverty in light of social stratification and inequality. Giddens (2006) defines poverty as a situation where people find great difficulty in satisfying their basic needs of food, shelter and clothing…
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Download file to see previous pages Relative poverty would relate to overall living standard in a particular society. Approximately 37 million Americans are considered to live in poverty based on society’s consideration of the minimum adequate living standard, also referred to as relative poverty standards. 2. Determine how your issue fits into the field of sociology. Which sociological theories and terminology from the text apply to your social issue? The issue of poverty fits well within the field of sociology because when sociologists study social stratification systems, they aim at explaining the ranking of people on social worth scale and the effect of this ranking on life chances. To put this into perspective, this paper borrows the definition from Ferrante (2011) who considers social stratification as the systematic people ranking system based on a social worth scale such that this ranking unequally influences life chances. The functionalist theory perceives social stratification as necessary for the stability of the society. Life chances from a sociological perspective describe the probability of one’s life following a given path and turning out in a given way. Since life chances are not uniform across board, social inequalities result where the valued resources and the desired outcomes would be distributed in such a way as to be available unequally. Social stratification leads to poverty since inequality forms the basis of stratification. Basing social inequality in a system that would more likely reward an individual depending on where one starts as opposed to such a person’s abilities as dictated by the conflict theory leads to classes with the poor and the rich living distinct lives (Platt, 2011). 3. Discuss what is known and unknown about your particular issue. Urban poverty has its origin well documented by Curley (2005) as the major economic shifts that increased joblessness and changed the socioeconomic composition of urban residents. Between the 1940s and 1960s, the researcher observes the existence of integrated neighborhoods of working lower and middle-class African American families in the inner-city. But in the period between the 1970s and 1980s, the middle and working classes left the inner city with the most disadvantaged residents, labeled as underclass being left behind. Social problems further increased with the 78% increase in inner-city African Americans aged between 14 and 24 in the period between 1960 and 1970. It is known from research that poverty largely disadvantages the minority groups. Platt (2011) has for instance documented higher poverty rates among the Blacks and other minority ethnic groups as opposed to the rates among the majority White population in the US. Employees from such minority groups would be paid less in their workplaces than their dominant counterparts despite having similar job qualifications. According to the social capital postulate by Curley (2005), whereas these disadvantaged few would have strong ties, the ties would only provide social support as a form of social capital. What they lack would be the bridge to give a social leverage in connecting them to the outside world. Curley (2005) seeks to explain this observation in a research on urban poverty and public housing policy. According to the scholar, even in these minority groups, there would be a proportion of those doing ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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