A person’s fate is not only said to have been the result of one’s decisions in life; but on a larger perspective, resulted from the influences of societal forces. “Social forces are shaped by human interaction and have a direct effect on life chances and life experiences. ” (Conyers, J. L. ) Such is the case of a couple, named Ted and Zelda. There are several societal forces I’ve seen in this case and among them are: social structure, employment opportunity, education, the healthcare, and the criminal justice system. The first social problem is Ted and Zelda’s place in society, which is their social structure.
They both belong to the working class, which is the middle class, neither rich nor poor. I viewed this as a social problem, because it influenced Ted and Zelda’s decision to become doctors one day. It is, indeed, very expensive to pursue medicine yet it became the dream of the couple. Since it is a standard for a middle class couple to pursue medicine, it will be a shame if they can’t pursue that course. They have to pursue it no matter what. The next social problem I’ve seen is the education system. This social problem has been the most prominent all throughout because it greatly affected them in many ways.
First, due to the medical course’s very expensive tuition fee, they were compelled to use up their savings after using up the maximum amount for student loans. Probably the reason why their student loans were used up was due to the fact that their present tuition fees kept increasing and they have to pay for it. They are very fortunate, though, that they have the privilege to get student loans to help them with their tuition fees, because other countries don’t have that option. Ted was accepted in three medical schools, while Zelda didn’t. The education standard was forcing Zelda to take up nursing instead.
Being a female she is, the education system convinced her that she would be better off as a nurse because since she will be a wife and a mother some day. The next social problem is the employment opportunity. When Ted lost his job, it became a huge obstacle for him to pursue medicine. This forced Zelda to seek a job in order to help Ted. Remember that Zelda is not a college graduate, so that means that her chances of getting a higher wage are poor. Whatever she’s earning from her job wasn’t enough to help Ted. This lack of greater employment opportunity due to outsourcing led the couple to despair.
Isn’t it true that when you feel like the world is crushing you, you will tend to seek comfort somewhere? Well, where do you think Ted and Zelda will gather their strength to move on? Of course, they get the comfort from each other. Since both of them are unemployed, they don’t have anything to focus on except themselves. They got more time for each other, thus, more time to have sex. Zelda, of course, eventually got pregnant. This led to another social problem. There was a great stigma to society for her to become pregnant out of wedlock. Instead of getting more help or support from her family, she was disowned.
This probably had emotionally tormented Zelda a lot when she was pregnant, which could explain complications in childbirth. Healthcare played a vital role to Ted and Zelda’s life. The complications of birth led them to get huge bills from the hospital. Since Ted and Zelda’s employment doesn’t cover health insurance, this forced Zelda to look for a second job, and eventually led the couple to seek somebody who could take care of their baby. Their baby mysteriously died. Finally, the last social problem they encountered was the criminal justice system. Ted was incarcerated for the assault which led him to become unemployed again.
The stigma of this event had greatly affected both their opportunities to get jobs, therefore, in great despair; Zelda chose to commit suicide instead. Things will be different if these social problems weren’t present. If Zelda was accepted into medical school, she would’ve had higher hopes and would’ve pursued it well. On employment opportunity, if Ted’s employer didn’t outsource, then Ted will still have a job enough to pursue his studies and will eventually prevent Zelda from becoming pregnant. Zelda won’t have to be disowned, and the couple would’ve been doctors one day. Conclusively, social factors indeed affect anybody’s decisions.
It should not be blamed alone on the individual on whatever happens to his life. Family support and great understanding plays a good role in order to prevent social problems occurring from one stage to another.
Conyers, J. L. 2003. “Afrocentricity and the Economy. ” Jefferson: North Carolina. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 28. October 11, 2008 [http://books. google. com/books? id=pDE4LXoIcP8C&pg=PA28&lpg=PA28&dq=social+forces+and+life+chances&source=web&ots=954jbjCFPA&sig=-UlWUATNeIcpp55RjFCHb4oWlW0&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=6&ct=resulthttp://www. youtube. com/watch? v=139NEANvig4&feature=related].