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Understanding Homelessness and the Homeless from a Sociological Perspective

by | Apr 10, 2022 | Sociology | 0 comments

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Due 3/28 Monday – April 4 Monday (2 points off Late April 7 Thursday)
Understanding Homelessness and the Homeless from a Sociological Perspective
INSTRUCTIONS
Form Instructions:
No more than two (2) Paragraphs maximum, totaling 1/2 – 1 pages
(250 maximum word count) Repetitive paragraphs will lose points.
Paragraphs mean you organize all the elements into a cohesive whole where there is a logical flow from one point to another. Separate lines or short paragraph is not organized thinking and a bad habit for your future in college.
Instructions Goals:
In this short essay, you are demonstrating your own ability to discuss homelessness sociologically as you critique Natasha and Stephen’s writings. You are focusing on what kind of light sociology sheds on homelessness while looking at how Natasha and Stephen use specific facts in explaining homelessness.
Update: how to steer yourself to avoid common pitfalls:
1. Paraphrasing is copying, see Syllabus on the SMC definition of cheating. The words come from you always.
2. Avoid the temptation to be focus on judging Natasha and Stephen as would a judge on a contestant show. You are not a judge, but a social scientist who looks at facts and adopts the sociological poitns of view in the process of discussing the writings of two students.
3. Be as specific as possible.
Here is help only after you read these instructions above a few times
1. Reread “Sociological Thinking: A Reminder ” in Week 6 which was the basis of the MiniQuiz4.
2. Only AFTER you read these instructions, you can choose or not to listen to the auditory lecture about sociological thinking.
Prompt: Steven and Natasha are writing a term paper for their sociology class .on “Homelessness from a Sociological Perspective” Mrs. Socio asked them to apply what they have learned about sociological thinking to analyze “homelessness” using the facts she has given them. She reminds them to be sure to set aside them own beliefs as sociological do. The point of sociology is to look at the larger context of society and how the social and economic issues affect individuals and of course to use facts and data. She tells them that they are to “use sociology” which is different from using psychology or other lenses. The goal is to think about society’s impact on the individual. Below is the list of sociological facts provided to them to explain homelessness in California from a sociological viewpoint
1. Steven wrote: The causes of homelessness are the homeless themselves. Most do not want to work, and appear to like to sit around and talks and smoke. I know this because I observed it for several days, speaking to them. They say they want a job, but I do not see them looking for one. Homelessness has increased over the years, with more and more people becoming lazy, this seems to parallel the introduction of digital technology, because they sure use the computers at the library, they know how to do that. Some of vets who like to discuss their years abroad, but who knows if they are even telling the truth. I heard that Salt Lake City built housing for them, but like the Senator Manchin, I think helping people just makes them weak. People need to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. Keep government out of our lives and let people manage themselves, the American way.
2. Natasha wrote: The causes of homelessness are largely social and economic, no one chooses to be homeless. Looking at homelessness with the “sociological imagination,” you see that homelessness grew considerably over 30 because it was barely discussed before 1977. On has to wonder what caused its growth. At first I thought that the growth was just more interest by journalists, but that seemed absurd, because why would that be, something changed to cause homelessness. The enormous differential in the number of articles about homelessness between 1977 and 2007 demonstrates that something changed in the society which caused people to become homeless, a bunch of people who once had homes did not suddenly decide “I want to live on the street.”
I addition, by far most of the homeless have long work history before they were homeless, which tells us that they will work when they can find work. What economic conditions ended their work history? You can see from the FACTS here that U.S. corporations were allowed to terminate employees to make more money finding cheap labor abroad at about the same time that homelessness began. The only conclusion I can reach is that homelessness is a social problem, not a personal one, which resulted when jobs left America and when Reagan’s administration cut funding for the mentally ill.

 

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