Sociology Midterm Paper Example: Social Issues and Challenges

Paper Type:  Book review
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1706 Words
Date:  2021-06-14

Present day society faces a lot of issues and challenges. The major issues that America faces are a realignment of its body politic, growing inequality, and a flawed criminal justice system. If this challenges and issues are not exhaustively addressed, the future may be bleak for the Homeland Generation.

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I envision the Homeland generation will inherit a body politic that is heavily realigned. Affirmative action policies may have been abolished, and welfare programs may have been eradicated. Americans have a desire to live in communities that are united, families where family members cherish each other and a society where a better future for their children is guaranteed. However, Americans have realized that attaining the American dream is elusive in the face of stagnant income and loss of homes. Hochschild (2016) asserts that it is paradoxical that Americans who are supposed to be beneficiaries of Federal assistance are the ones who oppose Federal assistance the most. In the book, Hochschild tries to understand the paradox. Hochschild reveals that Red Americans are disenfranchised by a decline in their wages, an American demographic that is constantly changing and a liberal culture that makes a mock to their patriotism and religious beliefs. Red Americans are bitter that the Federal government is supporting lazy and idle people (who they claim to be mostly racial minorities and immigrants). Red Americans are united by the fact that they feel that other people are benefitting from their long-term efforts to improve their lives. Most Caucasians are against affirmative action policies; they believe that African Americans are unduly benefitting from the policies.

Tea Party enthusiasts believe that the movement best addresses their grievances and years of frustration. Red Americans believe that they need to be treated more equally than people of color because they have worked for many years and waited longer to achieve their American dream yet the dream is continuously becoming elusive. Red Americans believe that the Federal government is treating people of color with preference at the expense of white people. Red Americans believe that affirmative action policies and welfare have played a major a role in encouraging people of color to be lazy and idle. Tea Party enthusiasts believe that lazy people who refuse to work should not be supported by welfare programs; they should be left on their own to starve. Tea Party enthusiasts stance on affirmative action and welfare programs has mutated into a wider suspicion with regard to everything that the Federal government does. Tea Party enthusiasts feel that the Federal government is squeezing white people of their modest living means. Red Americans allude that cultural and demographic changes have robbed them of the prestigious status that they once enjoyed. They also have a problem with the corporate power which they state is unchecked. Hochschild (2016) uses expertise on sociology to reveal that many Americans who would have been expected to be beneficiaries of liberal government efforts detest the very idea of liberalism because it has led to a decline in quality of their lives. Hochschild (2016) suggests that individuals who voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 United States elections did so because they believe he would ensure that their American dreams become a reality.

I envision the Homeland generation will inherit a society full of social inequality. Katz (2013) reveals that for a long time, poor people in the United States have been regarded as people who brought poverty on themselves and therefore, do not deserve any sympathy. Americans have historically treated poor people as lazy, immoral or mentally deficient people. Poverty in the United States is treated as one that stems from personal failures and not from any other cause. Due to the perception that Americans have on poor people, there has been a continued selfish treatment of poor people in the United States. Katz (2013) asserts that Americans should wake up and realize that poverty can be caused by many factors and not only personal failures. Poverty can be caused by lack of resources, lack of political power, lack of political economy and market failure. Poverty in the United States is not at the same level as the poverty experienced in developing countries, but there are millions of Americans whose spirits and bodies are maimed because they cannot afford human decency. The poor in America cannot afford decent housing, a good education, and good medical care. Efforts by the government to address the problem of poverty through the promotion of the social and economic well-being of its citizens by initiation of public policies have not effectively addressed the issue of poverty. Allocation of resources that continues to be done in a discriminatory manner plays a major role in perpetuating poverty in the United States. Welfare, charity, and welfare also play a role in perpetuating poverty; they make individuals become lazy. Americans owe each other, their families and communities in trying to eradicate the poverty problem. Americans have a social obligation in eradicating poverty.

Racial inequality is prevalent in the United States. Surprisingly, five decades after Jim Crow laws were abolished; the United States is still rife with racial discrimination. In most cases, people of color are the ones who are discriminated against. Racism is prevalent in all spheres of American society. There is racism in the education sector, in the labor market, in the health sector, in the housing sector, and the financial sector.

There are income and wage inequalities in the United States. Studies have revealed that wage inequality is at its all time high since the great depression. It has been revealed that Chief Executive Officers in the United States earn close to two-hundred times what average workers earn. It is unfair for two people who work in the same organization to have huge salary differences. Surprisingly, income inequality in the United States is highest in New York State, home of Wall Street. Apparently, income inequality in the United States is deeply entrenched; the rich keep getting richer, and the rest of the populations incomes have either stagnated or are in decline. There is also pay disparity in the United States by gender. Careers and jobs that are dominated by men tend to have better pay than careers and jobs that are associated with women.

Homelessness continues to be a problem in the United States, the richest country in the world and a country that has more than five-hundred billionaires. The Federal government and state governments have done very little to address the problem of homelessness in the United States. Most homeless people are racial minorities who cannot afford decent housing. There are racial gaps in the education sector. College enrollments are highest among Caucasians and least among African Americans. Hispanics and African Americans are more likely to drop out of high school when compared with the high school dropout rates among Caucasians. There is racial discrimination with regard to accessing healthcare insurance. Studies have revealed that racial minorities are more likely to be uninsured when compared to Caucasians. Individuals with good jobs are more likely to be insured; this is because most of the insurance packages in the United States are provided in concert with employers. Given that chances of racial minorities obtaining good jobs are slim, it becomes difficult for them to access stable insurance coverage that is offered by employers. There is a likelihood that social inequality will widen in years to come. This is because the American government is doing very little to address causes of social inequality in the United States.

I envision the Homeland generation will inherit a flawed criminal justice system. The Criminal Justice System as we know it today is full of concealed unfairness. There is unequal treatment of people in the Criminal Justice system. The Criminal Justice System is full of wrongful convictions. Human rights keep on being trampled by the criminal justice system. American police officers are full of racism, and they keep on racially profiling racial minorities. Prosecutors within the criminal justice system are dishonest. Many Americans have a level of racial prejudice in them that they use against individuals of different races. Despite America being found on principles of fairness and impartiality in the application of cases, laws keep on being interpreted partially. Cases are no longer won based on evidence or carefully arguments in the court of law. There is a stereotype in the Criminal Justice system that most criminals are of African-American descent. The incarceration rate in the United States is high among African American school dropouts. As a result, individuals of African American descent who are suspected to be involved in a criminal offense are often treated as if they are guilty before it is ascertained whether they committed an offense. Benforado (2015) reveals that judges in the criminal justice system are full of bias to the extent that they sometimes make court rulings based on suspects facial features. Apparently, individuals with facial features associated with African Americans receive longer sentences. Benforado (2015) also reveals that judges are more likely to grant parole for individuals with Caucasian facial features. Benforado (2015) states that there are cognitive elements that operate beyond the consciousness of judges that natural predispose them to be full of bias when dealing with cases in the criminal justice system.

The Criminal Justice system has failed to uphold American values, and it has also failed to protect vulnerable members of our society. The United States is the leading country in the world with regard to incarcerating more persons per capita, and it spends close to sixty billion dollars a year on correctional facilities. Benforado (2015) proves on psychology findings that police officers, jurors, prosecutors, and judges are led by intuitive feelings and not hard evidence when making assessments. Consequentially, units in the criminal justice system make biased decisions, contributing to an unsafe society. The Homeland generation is likely to inherit a criminal justice system that is dysfunctional if practical reforms are not initiated to prevent injustice and unfairness that is rampant in the criminal justice system.


Benforado, A. (2016). Unfair: The new science of criminal injustice. New York: Broadway Books.

Hochschild, A. R. (2016). Strangers in their own land: Anger and mourning on the American right. New York: New Press.

Katz, M. B. (2013). The undeserving poor: America's enduring confrontation with poverty. New York: Oxford University Press.

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