Social Problems Paper
Macionis (2010) tries to give a political side of most social problems facing the American society today. Although these social issues have their political side, there are those issues that affect most people consistently as compared to others. They have also been a concern to the government since they take up a significant amount of the government’s finances. The three social issues that are top in terms of the effect they have on the Americans today are security, divorce and healthcare.
The government sets aside a large part of its finances for dealing with health related problems. Chronic diseases take a significant part of these funds. Billions of dollars are used annually in order to take care of chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart diseases, amongst other diseases (Mooney, Knox & Schacht, 2010). Some of these fatal diseases are mostly caused by the eating habits of the Americans. For example, most heart related diseases, diabetes and some cancers are caused by obesity. The people’s lifestyle is the most influential when it comes to health issues and healthcare. For example, a high percentage of lung cancer is caused by nicotine which is mostly found in tobacco. Obese women have higher risks of getting breast and cervical cancers as compared to non-obese women (Mooney, Knox & Schacht, 2010).
The security threat is both internal and external. The high crime rates in neighborhoods are a major concern to the people of America today. Although the crime rates in some areas are going down as compared to the situation in the 1990s, they are still a significant social problem in America today. Drug abuse and alcoholism, unemployment leading to joblessness and lack of job qualifications due to low education levels, are all causes of this crime rate. The external security threat comes from terrorist attacks from other outsiders although they can also be from American citizens. The terrorists attacks, especially after the 9/11 attack is a concern to both citizens and the security departments.
Berens (2004) found out that the divorce rate in America was 50% by that year. This rate has not gone lower since then. There are 6.8 marriages out of a total population of 1000. Concurrently, there are 3.4 divorces out of the same population. Domestic violence and infidelity are some of the highest causes of divorce in America (Berns, 2004). The violence is caused by alcohol and drug abuse, infidelity, insecurities just to mention but a few.
As depicted in the above information, there is coalescence between one social problem and another. This is why presidential candidates mostly use such tactics as healthcare and security policies in order to reach out to the people during their political campaigns (Macionis, 2010). Drugs and substance abuse leads to crimes committed to the people internally. Some of these people who are in drugs do not finish school thus it makes it heard for them to get well paying jobs. This leads to poverty. Poor eating habits that are caused by poverty levels or the hectic working hours lead to health problems. Drugs and frustrations make some people abusive thus leading to divorce. Dysfunctional homes or children from divorced parents have higher risks of engaging in drugs or alcohol abuse thus putting themselves at the risk of crime and poverty. In this way, the politicians get policies to rectify these problems that the problems are given a political twist.
It is clear there is coalescence in these problems. However, there is formalization. Each problem can be resolved independent of the other. For example, people can be taught to have healthy eating habits using a simple budget, whether they are drug users, poor or divorced. Programs can be put in place in order to educate people on how to deal with family issues without necessarily engaging in alcohol. Although drug use cannot be eradicated completely, schools and community social programs can have effective programs that guide the people when it comes to drugs issues. Whether poor or divorced, such children can avoid engaging in drugs. If social groups and organizations could implement the programs effectively, then the politicians would have no option but to implement what they promise to do during the campaigns instead of fulfilling these promises halfway so that they may have something to promise during the next campaigns.
Berns, N. (2004). Framing the victim: Domestic violence, media, and social problems. Hawthorne, N.Y: Aldine de Gruyter.
Macionis, J. J. (2010). Social Problems, Fourth Edition. New York, NY: Prentice Hall.
Mooney, L. A., Knox, D. & Schacht, C. (2010). Understanding Social Problems. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.