Sociological Imagination, Essay Example

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Private prison companies in the United State have spent in excess of $45 million on lobbyist and campaign donations over the last ten years.  During that time the number of illegal immigrants detained during that period rose quickly as well.  According to the Huff Post, “the prison companies’ PACs and employees gave to congressional leaders who control how much taxpayer money goes to run the nation’s detention centers and who influence private sector contracts.” (Wides-Munoz) The issue at hand is the legalities associated with the donations and their role with immigration legislation.

It is important to understand how theorist from the three major sociological perspectives would respond to this situation.  The first sociology perspective is the functionalist perspective.  “According to functionalism, society is a system ofinterconnected parts that work together in harmony to maintain a state of balance and socialequilibrium for the whole.” (Mooney, Knox, & Schacht) In this article, they would link the events that occurred between the donations, lobbying, and immigration policies.  The idea that the events were to acquainting new lawmakers to the industry was not a thorough explanation.  The functionalist would link the increased immigrants in the prison systems, with the push on new immigration laws.  The donations that were used for political debates and lobbying also link with the bigger issue at hand of immigration.  The entire social system of private prisons worked together with political agenda for financial funding.

The second sociology perspective is theconflict perspective. “The conflict perspective views society as composed of different groups and interestcompeting for power and resources.” (Mooney, Knox, & Schacht)  This article enforces the sociology perspective of power and resources.  The private prisons are housing an excessive amount of immigrants with little oversight of their detainment.  The money is being used to control lawmakers in a manner that is favorable to the individuals controlling the money.  The issue at hand is apparently the highly debatable immigration system.  By controlling the facilities that detains such immigrants, the money and the power is used to maintain control of this situation.

The third and final sociology perspective is the symbolic interactionist perspective.  The symbolic interactionist perspective “emphasizes that human behavior is influenced by

definitions and meanings that are created and maintained through symbolic interaction with

others.” (Mooney, Knox, & Schacht)  In the article it stated that companies’ that lobbied money would usually go to bordering states where immigration is high.  These states also have a large number of private prisons that are not intended for private use only.  This system of essentially laundering money felt that this social behavior has no consequence.  That they are not directly violating any laws and their use of money is justified by the end results.  Their definition of the situation was not for lobbying, simply spreading the issue to lawmakers.  The housing of the immigrants, according to their reports was not a trade for the invested money.  The justification associated with the private prisons reflects the sociology perspective of the symbolic interactionist perspective.

Obamacare has been a  long-standing debate as well.  “ObamaCare, Obama Care and Health Care for America are all the same thing. The official name for “ObamaCare” is the Patient Protection and the Affordable Care Act, a bill signed into law to reform the health care industry.” (ObamaCare Facts)  From a sociological standpoint, there are different views of this law.  It is important to understand how a capitalist would differ from a socialist in their evaluation of this legislation.

The new Obamacare Affordable Care Act is disliked by socialists because there is no individual payer government run option.  This plan eliminates the socialist program and this free market advance is too centrist.  This plan is believed to be the most socialist, liberal creation in history, and Obama has set the stage for an American apocalypse.  There was a high approval for individual parts of this law, but not much favor for the law in its entirety.  Political campaigns mislead the people in believing that socialism is conquering America.  The socialist evaluate this program favorably, the terms are dictated and highly controlled.

Capitalism is essentially an investment. It is a powerful source, aiding in overall success and prosperity.  It can be brutal, but it can provide a great opportunity for the ones who are willing to take a risk.  Capitalism has made the United States the most powerful nation.  Socialist would view Obamacare differently than a capitalist would.  From a politician standpoint, socialism will provide the power while capitalism takes the power away.  Implementing Obamacare is a way of controlling healthcare.  This plan is created for affordable healthcare to be provided to everyone, not based on money or profit.

The cost of Obamacare is excessive, leaving capitalist wondering if the benefits outweigh the cost association.  The goal of Obamacare is to provide care for all, however affordable is not really closely associated with this plan.  Not for businesses and individuals left funding the plan.  The capitalist continue to debate if it is considered a tax, a penalty, or is it free.  The worst attack will be on the middleclass. The ones who struggle to pay the bills they have.  Requiring additional payments to maintain their health insurance does not seem like a capitalist action.  Another downside that can be argued in this area is that companies may choose to drop their employer-sponsored insurance based solely on their financial obligations associated with it.  Ones personal choice will be altered by Obamacare.  It takes away the right of the people to make a choice with how long they are allowed to spend on healthcare for our families or ourselves.  Obamacare targets the senior level patients as well.  This age group has higher health needs and demands, so the cost associated is higher as well.  The capitalistic view of Obamacare associates with its price tag and its regulation.  This can directly affect the overall state of the jobs and the economy.

President Obama’s National Socialist healthcare plan, Obamacare, has its own evaluation based on the socialist standpoint.  It is argued that healthcare is already affected by available money, based on the limited amount of money that Medicare, Medicaid, and insurance companies will cover.  They also refuse to pay for some prescription drugs and costly specialized treatments.   The socialist would ignore the fact that individuals should have the freedom to choose their healthcare. They should be allowed to select the insurance programs they want.  Obamacare will ensure that all private insurance companies offer the same type of insurance claiming “so-called public option”.  This essentially eliminates all personal choice in its entirety.  Everyone will have the same health coverage regardless of their age, health, or other important health factors.  The socialist view that all should count is needed.  This means that if healthcare is necessary they should be given the care regardless of their ability to pay.   This process can be viewed as social justice.

The AIDS epidemic has became racialized, different outcomes based on race, in the United States.   There is no race that has been exempt from this disease, however, the video reflected the true effects of AIDS on the African American community.  There are many ways to contract the HIV/AIDS virus, but through careless interaction the disease has grown rapidly.  Addressing the three main ways that AIDS has attacked an entire social community it important in realizing the realms of this problem.

One of the main ways that AIDS has been spread is through unprotected sex.  According to an article in AIDS and the States,  “there are ways in which the problem of HIV/AIDS is unique, if not completely sui generis:transmitted mostly through sexual contact, initially regarded as a largely homosexualdisease, and in many places transmitted through the sharing of needles used while injecting drugs, HIV/AIDS is a highly “stigmatized” social problem, in that it tends to hithardest the most marginalized groups within society.” (Gauri & Lieberman) Careless interaction has left individuals unknowingly exposed to a disease and to continue to pass it on.  Poor healthcare and education on this topic allowed it to spread excessively before education was provided on this topic.

The second way that AIDS has become racialized is through drug use, primarily crack habits.   Crack and other drugs administered through needles created a way for this disease to be spread.  One individual would use the needle, pasted it onto another individual for use and so on.  HIV/AIDS is transmitted through blood, and the needle is enough to transmit the disease.  Again lack of education on the topic and resources prevented them from stopping the spread of this disease.  The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was passed onto many users through a contaminated needle.  These needles were rarely disposed of properly also creating an opportunity for spreading this disease.

The third way that AIDS has become racialized is through homosexual interactions.  There are a high number of homosexuals who have contracted the HIV virus through unprotected sex.  This was high in this community as well.  Whether the same sex action was being hidden or open, it still was a carrier of this virus.   The act of intercourse between same sex partners created a higher percentage of transmission than that of unprotected heterosexual sex.  This community has seen the epidemic grow and has continued to address the problem to prevent it from continuing to spread.

References

Wides-Munoz, Laura. “Private Prison Companies Make Big Money off Detaining Undocumented Immigrants”.  Huff Post, 2012.  Web. 4 December 2012.

Mooney, Knox, & Schacht. “The Three Main Sociological Perspectives”. Understanding Social             Problems, 5th edition, 2007.  Web. 4 December 2012.

“ObamaCare Facts: Facts on the Obama Health Care Plan”.  Obama Care Facts Dispelling the              Myths, 2012.  Web. 4 December 2012.

Gauri,Varun & Evan S. Lieberman.  “AIDS and the State:The Politics of Government                           Responses to the Epidemic in Brazil and South Africa”.  Web. 4 December 2012

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