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Homelessness Assignment Essay

My parents own couple businesses in the city, so I see homeless people a lot. I have to walk a few blocks to get to the store, but I always see the same person. The homeless man is nice and says hi when I pass him, he never asks me for money. But the few times I been to NYC, the homeless people won’t stop begging for money. They would say something back if you just ignore them. Other homeless people I see around is when I drive and stop at a red light, they come up to my window and ask for money. I sometimes feel they are scamming everyone for money and it’s their act. Overall I do feel bad for them, when it’s cold outside, raining, and snowing, they don’t have a roof under their head.

I feel the issue of homelessness is inherently individual because if you’re homeless you brought it on upon yourself. It’s no one else’s fault you can’t afford to live where you want to live, or that you don’t have a job it’s your fault. Society even has programs to help the homeless and our tax money goes towards those programs.

Well society as a whole looks down upon them which effects how they think of themselves and keeps them from trying to make something of themselves. On the other side there are specific organizations out there aimed at helping homeless by getting them back on their feet. Whether it’s by feeding them, giving them a warm place to sleep at night, and even helping to get jobs so they can be self-reliant again.

Functionalist theory emphasizes the importance of stability and integration in a society. It also is about social organization and how this organization is maintained throughout the society. They suggest that many in the ranks of the homeless population can and do sustain themselves and, in most cases are able to survive the severities of daily life. Getting cardboard box to make a small roof over their head, finding discarded food from dumpsters, washing themselves in rain filled ditches are all simply beholden to the ways that some in humanity take care of themselves. Functionalist would say it is important to bring all members up to minimal standard of living so that all individuals in society can play a greater, productive role.

Conflict theorists view the society from an objective and hierarchical point of view, individuals are subordinated to society. Social class is very important in this perspective for it defines your place in the pyramid of power. They approach that homeless people are too weak and unable to climb up the social ladder to achieve higher social status. Conflict theorists see themselves as kings and queens, and they think the homeless are just rodents that roam around doing nothing because they are incapable of doing anything. Overall the higher social class dominates the homeless and has the power in political, economic and social resources.

Symbolic interactionism theory tells the role of individuals in giving meaning to social behavior, which in turn creates society. The society is viewed as subjective and social status and inequality is demonstrated through status symbols. This perspective approaches the homeless people through symbols. These symbols can be anything from, the way they look, what clothes they wear, the place they live, and the food they are all symbols they represent.

Postmodernist believes that more people are becoming homeless due to the recession in the U.S. People are losing their jobs and can’t provide for their family. The economy has gotten worse over the past years and will continue to do so, this will separate from the poor to the rich in society. Also the middle class would decrease due to the homeless. It’s not a choice they want to be homeless and it will keep on increasing until the recession is over.

These four sociological perspectives provide different types of views and play a very important role in our society. Neither of these types is perfect and neither of them is bad but it helps us view the issues we have in the world. Homelessness is a major problem now and it will continue to be a problem in the future, we all need to act on it and do something about it.

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