Personal review about Social Problems.

Posted 2008.12.19 16:17 by ytrekker adneilme
My prof asked me to write an at least 5-page essay based on what I have learned from his class and my personal review about social problems we are facing in our modern society. The class was pretty interesting but from my point of view, it taught me to be a liberal person and a free thinker(atheist) by putting your religion aside. Sorry, it didn't work for me, but I have become much more liberal than I was before. After all, the class was pretty enjoyable as long as you see some issues in sense of logical & critical thinking.

Naam                                     2006171021                            School of Electrical Engineering

Topic: Sexual Variances

                Living in a Muslim community has taught me to not accept any of aberrant sexual intercourse. I grew up in a pretty solid Islamic based family since both of my parents are genuine Malay Muslim, there is no a little drop of outside blood of other races and religions. In Islam, we are not allowed to even tolerate nor be part of exclusive sexual orientation. Before entering this class, I had a bunch of stereotypes about exclusive sexual orientation groups such as gay couples are dirt, they are disgusting to be friend with, and they become gay just because of they enjoy more sex intercourse and so forth. After I took this course, I found out that none of them are true; I just made up my own conclusion without understanding and collecting information about queer folks. I agree that a tendency to hate or deny of their rights to have the same equality and should be treated just like a normal folks is socially constructed. When someone grows up in a certain society, he/she learns to perceive other groups by comparing what he/she has learned from his/her society. At this point, he/she tends to have certain stereotypes about particular or minority groups that lead to mislead in understanding the needs of that groups.

Taking this course really made a huge impact of my life in a sense of the way I perceive these minority groups. I understood that there is no valid reason why we should have a feeling of hating toward these groups. The different between these groups and normal people is just they have a preference to like the same sex. They have their own reasons to be in this minority groups and we have to respect their choice. Although some people say these people are not born to be homosexual, scientists have conducted hundred of researches looking for a piece of truth in it. And truth to be told, in biological explanations, it mentions that they homosexual people and heterosexual people have a different in brain structure and chemicals that release by pituitary gland. Pituitary gland secretes hormones regulating homeostasis, and growth. The amount of hormone releases by pituitary gland depending on human behaviors and emotions. When a baby girl is treated like a baby boy by her parents  like dressing her up with boy dress, teaching her some tough games, all these activities stimulate the pituitary gland to generate more testosterone.

Most of our modern societies, some of them can tolerate with these minority groups especially Western society, but almost all of Eastern society they cannot tolerate with these minority groups. Most of Asian societies see these groups as one symptom of the moral corruption of Western society. But in my sense, even though my society is 100 percent condemn and not welcomed these groups, I do not see any reason why I should not tolerate with these groups. I will try to respect their rights to have the same access to public services and live in our society as long as they do not do something that harmful that lead to degradation of our moral society values.

I really disagree if there is a government if they are going to legalize prostitution as a job. In my perspective, prostitution is a symbol of inferiority of women by men and low quality of life endured by the women. Women will be symbolized as a sex slave; you pay some money to get sex pleasure. In other words, you can buy woman to be your 10 to 30 minutes sex partner and leave her after she satisfies your sex desire. The value of woman can be traded as long as you have money. The quality of life is further diminished by the contradiction between the roles of the prostitute and the people relate with whom she must deal and the idea of” I- You” relationships in which people relate to each other as person to person and not as person to thing. Men will treat women as a “thing” rather as a person by using them to make or supplement their own living. I cannot imagine having a mum or one of my sisters or my family members to involve in prostitution because I do not see any good points for her/them to be in that position.  I am a liberal person but I have certain limitation when it comes to prostitution.        



Topic: Poverty 

I was not surprise to know that the USA has the highest index of poverty with 15.8 % among advanced economic nations because I have known the fact before I took this course. But to my astonishment, facts of the income of the richest 20% of the world was 30 times that of the poorest 20% in 1960 and it was 74 times in 1997. The world’s top 3 richest people have assets greater than the combined GNP of the 48 least developed countries and their 600 million people. This is really an interesting fact I never heard of. On the other hand, the world’s top 3 richest guys are all Americans, which I believe they would be Warren Buffett, Carlos Slim Helu and Bill Gates but yet the USA has the highest poverty index among the developed countries.  By 2002, 34.6 million Americans, representing 12.1 percent of the population, were categorized as poor. The reason is perceptible, wealth and poverty are not distributed equally among the various group. Most of Americans are neither wealthy nor impoverished, but the chances of being in one these categories are greater for certain social groups.  For example, the probability of being poor is greater for families headed by a female, for racial and ethnic minorities, and for unrelated individuals.  

I used to think some “myths” which I believed it was the reason they turned themselves into impoverished group; the poor are lazy. There is no evidence supports the myth, but it is still prevalent, and it robs the poor of human dignity. In my personal view, the American economy system should be blamed for this problem. The American economy works for the rich and against the poor in various ways. A capitalist economy, which is supported by government policies allows concentration of wealth. The fact that the share of income of the richest Americans has declined during the century is misleading. Stock, bonds, and real estate are important sources of wealth for those at the top of the socioeconomic ladder.  American economy also works against the poor is by entrapping them in a circle.

For example, a man who has a job but his income is still at the edge of the poverty-level. He cannot get a better paying job because he lacks of education or skills. If he happens to have a child, he cannot afford his kid to get a better education because he has a family to support, some bills to pay.

               I really agree that poverty continues in America, in large part, because of the distribution of power. Truth to be told, even this thing happens in my country and every government in every country. The people who control the wealth are among the most powerful, whereas the poor are among the most powerless in America. As a result, government decisions typically reflect the interests of the well-to-do rather than of the poor. In addition, the political structure that prejudicial to the poor because of in government system, there are federal, state, and local governmental levels and also to the multiple branches like executive, legislative, and judicial. All of these levels have certain decision making powers and all have different constituencies. For example, in 1967, Medicaid program was held by states to ensure adequate health care for the poor. The federal government would pay half or more costs of the program but states chose not to participate or to provide fewer benefits than other states. Some states were unwilling to assume any financial responsibility for the health care of the poor, so they refuse to participate. The majority of the poor are still not covered by Medicaid.            

A few years ago, thanks to Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda Gates established a program called Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which its primary aims globally, to enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty, and in the United States, to expand educational opportunities and access to information technology . Bill Gates has total assets of US60 billion dollars and if we divide by total of the world population, each of us could receive approximately US10 dollars to spend for a day. Based on International measure of poverty, The World Bank sets a poverty threshold of $1(us dollar) per day to compare poverty in developing countries. By doing this, our goal of abolishing poverty could be achieved if most of the world’s richest people have a will to share their wealth with almost 2 billion impoverished people all over the world. I wish in a few years later, these richest people would turn to be philanthropies like Bill Gates. However, some social scientists believe poverty is more difficult when the proportion becomes smaller even there is no systematic evidence to validate this statement. Based on the past, certainly the proportion of Americans who are poor is lower than it was in the past. At the same time, but affluent people keep expanding their assets or wealth as 4 times as faster than the impoverished people. This leads to a big gap between these two socioeconomic groups giving a huge burden to a government in abolishing poverty.                

                After taking this course, I could understand and able to distinguish whether it is a personal problems or social problems. It is important to identify what causes to social problems before you make your conclusion over a certain social problem. Then, after you study the causes of problems, you need to figure out the consequences of problems before looking for the solutions of problems. As a student, we have no power to change or persuade everyone to do whatever we want even if we have the solutions of problems. Nevertheless, if we think we have the solution, at least you have a desire to change or make our modern society to be better than present by implementing what you have learned from this course.  Before I came to this class, I had a lot of stereotypes about minority groups, the myth of poor people, lacks of environmental consciousness by believing my little action will not cause the degradation of environmental and so forth. Last but not least, after coming to this class it did crackdown some stereotypes that I had before toward many things in life and I believe I have become much more liberal than I was before.          







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