Urbanization as a Social Problem
How is urbanization negatively effecting our society? The answer to this question is not a simple one. This essay will not only break down the problems of urbanization in the United States, but it will also tell you some of the attempts made to fix the problem and give some solutions as to how it could possibly be solved in the future. Also when answering this question one must understand that urbanization, can not be stopped, but only contained in a manner that will help the United States to function better as a country.
The more densely populated and more heterogeneous a community is, the more accentuated characteristics can be associated with urbanism. Urbanism causes decrease in per capita, and promotes urban violence, political instability, crime and aggressive behavior. Rapid population growth in urban areas also perpetuates poverty. Another major issue being created by this social problem is the breaking of the traditional family structure.
Our cities are not working well! Sanitation, safety, transportation, housing, education and even electricity are failing. These are all responsibilities of the government or it is at least their job to regulate these services deemed to be monopolies. And it is a known fact that monopolies deem toward inefficiency.
Functionalist look at our cities as a means to profit. Cities are a place where everybody visits, and therefor vendors can raise their prices and profit more on their products. For example, from my own personal experience, I bought a pack of cigarettes for $3.00 at my local gas station, and when I visited inner city Orlando, I bought the same brand of cigarettes for $4.00. This is just a minor example, and most of the residents in an urban area are in poverty and have trouble affording the $3.00 pack if they smoke much less adding a dollar to the already ridiculous cost.
In the United States, the breaking of the traditional family structure is an issue that has become increasingly noticeable in recent years, particularly in urbanized areas. The traditional, mom and dad, and children are rarely seen in the inner cities any more. There is a weakened bond of kinship, and declining social family significance as America has transferred industrial, educational and recreational activities to specialized institutions outside of the home. It is depriving families of their most characteristic, historical functions. While individuals pursue their own diverging interests in their educational, vocational, religious and recreational life.
With divorce rates rising, delinquency is also becoming more of a problem than before. With single parent families, children lack in the authority department due to the lack of the amount of time their parents have free to raise them. These specialized institutions often help, but can not replace the role of a child’s guardian. As long as the divorce rate continues to increase, delinquency will continue to increase in these areas as well.
The density of people reinforces effect of numbers in diversifying people and their activities and increasing the complexity of the social structure. The variations of people give rise to segregation of people by race, religious practices, ethnic heritage, as well as economic and social status. Segregation often creates much tension and prejudice between social groups. This can cause physical or mental damage to individuals or society, which means that sometimes people may permanently suffer before any action is taken to solve the problem because the delay in action is most often the result of people underestimating the problems.
As for racism and segregation, there is not much that can be done to fix these problems. Individuals will always have their own opinions no matter how ignorant, and the only thing we can do is to hope that these problems die out as we desegregate our communities. People will choose their destination or place of residence according to many different ideals and needs, for example what fits their budget.
Political pathology and population growth is closely related because of the population change and this change carries with it a high likelihood of social disruption. Government assumes major responsibility for development attempting to meet rapidly increasing demands for education, housing, agriculture and industrial development, transportation and employment. The government’s budget is not distributed equally mainly due to differentiation in areas. Areas with higher income will have higher income and therefor will obviously have a higher budget to work with.
Urban areas are usually lacking in the financial department. Therefor they are not able to repair all the problems in which need to be fixed in these areas, such as sanitation, education and many other categories. America has hired approximately fifty percent more teachers in the last few years than have been hired in the past, but the increase in population keeps the classrooms just as large. The effort does not meet the need; thus the problem remains as strong as ever.
Due to the overpopulation in urban areas and the lack of employment opportunity, the crime rate is also a huge problem in which they are faced with. Also the lack of the traditional family structure and weakened bonds of kinship weaken the moral of the children growing up in the urban areas. These children grow up in poverty and usually look at crime as a quick and easy way out.
The problems in urban areas are far more, than can be handled in any short term efforts. We can only hope to contain them, and attempt to make sure that no more problems arise from the already existing ones.