Social Problems 8489 Three Problems Essay

  • Length: 10 pages
  • Subject: Transportation - Environmental Issues
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #30673237

Excerpt from Essay :

In order to make better management of urbanization certain, governments can take on macroeconomic policies with the intention of alleviating the extent of urbanization to levels that can be controlled or to maintain people to keep on living in rural areas. A National Physical (Spatial) Development Plan could be set up as a principal means for dealing with the "national direction on distribution of population; utilization of land; development of new land, water and energy; provision of infrastructure, housing and transportation that favor decentralized economic development" (Ichimura, 2003). This kind of approach would be of use in creating an orderly and consistent use of land on a nationwide basis and making the opportunity available "for urbanization issues to be addressed in the coherent way in the context of overall national development" (Ichimura, 2003).

The third approach is related to involvement, affiliation and control. It is an undeniable fact that no sum of investment, equipment or capability can make environmentally sustainable urban improvement and expansion safe if the authority brass tacks are not contributory, pluralistic and independent. A majority of countries that are in the process of development have developed wide-ranging pollution related set of laws. However, a number of these regulations have failed in effective application for the reason that that there are no competent governing bodies, official systems, political determination and spirit and capable controlling powers. It is unfortunate that the areas where economy is boosting and there is efficient development, the concerned authorities do not want to change for more good and resist and sort of new ideas for development and progression. It can be said that the implementation of any policy and plan that is related to urban management can only be successful if the urban governance is improved through amplifying lucidity and responsibility of strategy formulation and administrative processes. It must be made sure that every one of the stakeholders participates at every level of activity planning. They must be given open accessibility to acquire necessary facts and figures in combination with the enrichment of public knowledge and understanding of the issues related to urbanization. This participation is exceedingly important if the appropriate decisions and measures directly benefit the stakeholders. In addition to this, urban governance can be effectively improved by putting efforts such as "promoting participatory processes; developing effective partnerships with and among all actors of civil society, particularly the private and community sectors; securing greater effective empowerment of local government, including greater autonomy in finance and legislation; and reform of unresponsive organizations and bureaucratic structures" (Ichimura, 2003).

Patterns that characterize the Distribution of Poverty in the United States of America

In general, the measurement of poverty is done by using a way that is based on the income levels of an individual/family. An individual is regarded as being poor when he/she does not have enough income and is not able to meet even the most basic of the needs. In other words, one is considered poor when he/she has not enough money/resources to be above the poverty line. It is important to mention here that basic needs are not always the same and vary continuously according to the time and space. This is the reason why every country makes use of poverty lines that comply with its developmental level, communal standards and values etc. Thus, there is always a variation in poverty lines according to time and place ("Definitions of Poverty").

As far as the United States of America is concerned, there are a number of patterns that characterize the distribution of poverty in the country. In the ending decades of the 20th century, the spatial poverty distribution in the country was one of the major features as a pattern of poverty change. When the twenty-first century began, poverty in the United States of America was considered as a phenomenon that occurred naturally. Its distribution pattern could not be regarded as something that concentrates in a particular area in American land. The rural areas and small cities were particularly hit by the poverty menace before the 1960s. Even at the end of that decade, non-metropolitan areas had a fifty percent higher poverty rate as compared to larger cities. However, this pattern of distribution changed since the 1970s and there has been an increase in poverty in the metropolitan cities whereas it has seen a slight decline in the rural areas. This situation persisted and currently the poverty rates in the central cities of America are somewhat higher as compared to the poverty rates in the areas that are outside the cities. Another feature of poverty distribution in the United States of America is concerned with race. It is not an untold secret that in American society, the racial differences prevail since times unknown. Therefore, it is not surprising that there is also a remarkable dissimilarity in poverty rates when there are different races concerned. It is evident from the fact that "in 2005, a quarter of all African-Americans and just over a fifth of Hispanic-Americans lived below the poverty line compared to only a tenth of whites" (Wright & Rogers, 2011). There is a close association between race and poverty. However, recently the African-American poverty rates have declined as compared to the earlier times. On the other hand, it is important to mention here that the whites in United States of America are still the main group of people that is struck by poverty. This means that poverty is not the major problem of the minorities and marginal groups in the United States of America, but a menace for the whites on the larger part. To cut a long story short, poverty not only has an effect on African-Americans and Hispanics as the American problem but thousands and thousands of white Americans are also severely affected by it (Wright & Rogers, 2011).

The Difference and Relationship between Prejudice and Discrimination

Prejudice can be described as an uncorroborated and unproven preconception about a person or group of people that may be constructive or hostile in nature, nurturing to exploit it as a trend. If put simply, prejudice is to think negatively about a person or group if he/she belongs to a different ethnicity or race, sexual category, religion etc. The person demonstrating a prejudicial attitude is always found to have a very good logic and interpretation for his/her way of thinking. However, when prejudice inspires actions, it can prove to be really detrimental ("prejudice," 2013). When one turns the pages of history, it is crystal clearly evident that the hostility engendered by prejudice has been the cause of unforgettable human suffering including ethnic and racial groups, sexes, and spiritual devout or linguistic marginal groups. According to some researchers, prejudice can be considered as a subconscious fear of the stranger or economic competition. On the other hand, many consider it a chauvinistic approach towards religion or nationalism. However, a majority of scholars have categorized prejudice as a learned attribute which can be alleviated by making different communities and their members to work hand in hand to accomplish a common goal or by cross-marriage ("prejudice," 2013).

On the other hand, discrimination is an action that has prejudice as an instigator. Anyone discriminating on the basis of prejudice is observed to treat everyone in a certain group as same ignoring the fact that every person has unique personality traits and good or bad qualities. It is important to note here that no religion promotes any kind of prejudicial or discriminatory behavior. Thus, the main difference between prejudice and discrimination is that prejudice is an individual's inclination to think and feel negatively regarding a person or group of persons whereas discrimination is an authentic, unconcealed and blatant behavior demonstrated by an individual. Even though the two concepts have an obviously plain relationship, there is no joint occurrence of the two all the time and sometimes they are not even related.

There could be four types of prejudicial and discriminatory behaviors that can be demonstrated by individuals. The first two possible cases are that of the "all-weather liberal" and the "all-weather bigot." The "all-weather liberal" does not display a prejudiced and bias behavior and never even discriminates people. On the other hand, the "all-weather bigot" is always demonstrating a prejudiced and bias behavior and practices discrimination as a part of his/her daily routine. These two cases represent a consistent relationship between prejudice and discrimination.

On the other hand, the other two possible combinations i.e. The "fair-weather liberal" and "timid bigot" demonstrate an inconsistent relationship between prejudice and discrimination. The "fair-weather liberal" is any person who makes discrimination but is not prejudicial in nature whilst the "timid bigot" is prejudicial in nature but is not discriminatory towards anyone. Such types of variations and divergences between peoples' attitudes and behavior are very common and are resultant of a number of social pressures. One of the most common pressures is the wish for doing the accepted thing and meeting the expectations of society. However, both the mentioned traits can occur independently as…

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