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Interpretation of Societal Issues

Discuss about the Societal Issues and Personal Interpretations.

Human society functions on complex foundations, there are rules and regulations and each one overlaps the other only to complicate it further (Gould & Taylor, 2017). Very expectedly, the complications in the societal regulations pave way for the societal issues to arise and these issues are interpreted differently by different individuals. In my opinion every individual is different and the perception of different individuals varies greatly depending on their values, principles and upbringing. However, in any problematic situation in the society where the there is an issue to be overcome, it is human nature to blame any institution, person or not, to blame for the arsing of the issue (Grant, 2015). The blaming or pathologizing is valid at times, however most of the times it is unjustified to pathologize an individual for a structural societal issue. This assignment will reflect on the common social outlook when facing an issue and explore the structural basis of the behaviour taking assistance from the theories of sociology.

A societal issue needs solving and in order for an issue to be solved it needs to be properly analysed and interpreted. There are different stages to the interpretation of a challenging situation and for each individual, the different stages lead to different outcomes. One of these stages is determining the underlying cause that must have provoked the issue to be formulated. In terms of sociology there are theories and frameworks that aid in determining the contributing factor of a particular societal issue. One of those theories is the structural functionalism, which conceptualizes the human society as a complex structure that functions by all the different components of the society working together to keep it stable and smoothly working (Grant, 2015).

There can be two kinds of focus put forth on the determination of the contributing factor to developing the societal issues. One is the structural focus that differentiates the abnormalities in the societal cohesive normal situations. According to this theory, human lines on guided by different structures of the society which has relatively stable patterns of social behavior. Social structures give shapes to human lives however to society is more than the individuals who compose it (Heath, 2017). Theory of structural functionalism was established in the early 19th centuries and has been in use in the sociological determination and interpretations ever since. Structural focus while determining the contribution factor to any societal challenge or issue helps to be seen as society’s natural evolution that led to the social problems rather than the particular mishap of a single individual (Pearce, 2017). On the other hand, individual focus pathology focus to determining the contributing factor behind a social issue blames the wrong actions and decisions of a single or a group of individuals belonging to the societal structure. According to the theory of symbolic Interactionism, the pathologizing of the societal issue is intricately linked with the society's inherent inequality, and the unequal interactions of different individuals is a direct result of the inequality, rather than it being a cumulative result of uneven social evolution.

Structural Focus and Human Evolution

Societal issues are omnipresent, however it is not necessary that the society issues needs to be due to from actions or decisions or particular individual or individuals. For instance if the societal issue is related to housing or women safety it cannot be a situation where pathologizing is the solution. However human nature has always been complicated and other thought processes function in a complicated manner as well (Rubin & Babbie, 2016). Any kind of challenging situation the natural inclination of human brain or subconscious is to find effective to blame for the unfortunate situation. This is where the conflict theory and Pathology icing at the face of societal challenges comes into the picture, and in my own opinion, one of the most frequent and common occurrences when facing societal issues is pathologizing a particular individual or community for the societal problem. According to the conflict theory, the societal issues arise from the inherent inequalities or disparities in the societal structure, and in most cases these inequalities are formulated due to the wrong action or decisions of a group of individuals or a particular individual (Leicester, 2014). This disparity or inequality in most cases is based on class, race ethnicity gender or any other social demographic dimension that fit into the society hierarchy. Now the question may arise that how some individuals belonging to the same society can so easily blame others for societal problems the answer lies in the societal discriminations. I have mentioned above in my reflection that our interpretation and views about the world around us strongly interconnected with the values principles and upbringing ingrained within us. The fundamental discrimination based on inferiority and superiority has integrated a sense of self righteous dominance within us. This sense of superiority very easily guys and equal component of society to pathologize or blame another component that inferior social class or position.

Society has many interlinked external and internal variables, and the equilibrium in the society is founded on the collaboration and stability of these interlinked variables. However In certain situations, societal issues arise that end with the progressive growth of the society towards a better future (Lengermann & Niebrugge, 2016). These issues can arise from any given contribution; it can be the fundamental social evolution that are the result of changes happening within the societal patterns. The society issues can arise from the effect of wrong actions are decisions taken by a group of individuals a particular individual belonging to the society.

Now society is based on a number of frameworks and theories that help sociologist categorize different functions of society and the actions that propel the functions. One of those same words as a structural functionalism or simply functionalism which is a basic sorry when it comes to sociology that we use the society as a complex open system with different parts all components working together and complete harmony promoting solidarity and stability. According to the theory each and every pattern of change within the society is linked to all the components that form the societal structure. And if any societal issue arises it is the culmination of the overall social evolution involving all the key structural components of the society. According to the theory society is much like our human body where each and every sector is intricately linked with another and any abnormality in one part will equally and unequivocally affect all the other parts (Yoshikawa, 2014).

Individual Focus and Pathology

This theory entails that we humans and our behavior are the fruit of the societal status that we belong to and the societal behavior that we have been dealt with. On a more elaborative note, the warm welcoming approach of the society shapes an individual in becoming a particular kind of a person with particular inclinations and behaviors (Monette, Sullivan & DeJong, 2013). Very similarly cruelty and brutality received from the society shapes an individual to have malformed conceptions and behaviors towards the rest of the society. However it has to be mentioned that the natural inclination in case of categorizing the societal issue the personal values and principles of an individual plays a decisive role (Monette, Sullivan & DeJong, 2013). If an individual is naturally inclined towards blaming the other person for any issue, these characterial flaws propel him towards taking the pathologizing approach for a societal issue as well. Similarly if an individual is balanced and capable of interpreting the underlying reason behind a social problem and Co-aligning it with the structural flaws within the societal pattern he or she will not be inclined towards taking the pathologizing route for societal problem solving.

There are three theories of frameworks to Sociology, the structural functionalism, the conflict theory and the symbolic interactionism. Each has different principles and Paradigms, based on which the societal structures and functions can be integrated and evaluated (Rubin & Babbie, 2016). For instance the structural functionalism, as mentioned above, entails that the social stability is a necessity for crafting a strong society and any abnormality in the societal patterns is a direct culmination of structural evolutions within the society (Schmidt & Coe, 2014). This theory has helped me to evaluate the underlying factors within a societal issue and aligned it with the structural flowers within the problems or challenges. On the other hand blames the societal inequality and the abnormality rising from it for challenges that society faces. Symbolic interactionism on the other hand is based on the different interactions of different individuals that shape their roles and status in the society. The conflict theory and the theory of symbolic interactionism together have helped me understand the pathologizing in the society and how individuals are propelled to it.

References

Gould, N., & Taylor, I. (2017). Reflective learning for social work: research, theory and practice. Routledge.

Grant, S. (2015). Constructing the durable penal agent: Tracing the development of habitus within English probation officers and Scottish criminal justice social workers. British Journal of Criminology, 56(4), 750-768.

Healy, K. (2014). Social work theories in context: Creating frameworks for practice. Palgrave Macmillan.

Heath, R. T. (2017). Racial Bias and Its Relationship with Moral Blame(Doctoral dissertation, Appalachian State University).

Lawson, K. (2015). Police Shooting of Black Men and Implicit Racial Bias: Can't We All Just Get Along. U. Haw. L. Rev., 37, 339.

LEICESTER, M. (2014). 12. Antiracism versus New Multiculturalism: Moving beyond the Interminable Debate. Equity Or Excellence? Educ & C, 215.

Lengermann, P., & Niebrugge, G. (2016). Debating Service Sociology: The Settlements, the Academy, and the Social Work Profession, 1890–1930. Service Sociology and Academic Engagement in Social Problems, 27.

Monette, D. R., Sullivan, T. J., & DeJong, C. R. (2013). Applied social research: A tool for the human services. Cengage Learning.

Payne, M. (2015). Modern social work theory. Oxford University Press.

Pearce, C. D. (2017). The Letter and the Speech, or, Defending the Israeli State: Leo Strauss, Senator Moynihan, and the'Zionism is Racism'Debate.

Rubin, A., & Babbie, E. R. (2016). Empowerment series: Research methods for social work. Cengage Learning.

Schmidt, A., & Coe, K. (2014). Old and new forms of racial bias in mediated sports commentary: The case of the National Football League draft. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 58(4), 655-670.

Yoshikawa, H. (2014). Improving access of low-income immigrant families to health and human services: The role of community-based organizations.

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