Somalia- Social Perspective on the Research Paper
- Length: 8 pages
- Sources: 4
- Subject: Literature - African
- Type: Research Paper
- Paper: #47421796
Excerpt from Research Paper :
This idea is also strengthen by the example of the inhabitants from the northern region. Yet, the idea is not completely tolerated. There are, of course, groups which benefit from the current context, like the elite groups that one would furthermore refer to when analyzing social stratification.
Along with the political context of Somalia, which is the principal factor of the economical failure of the country, another significant reason consists in Somalia's vulnerability and lack of defense in front of the world's biggest states which transformed it, at the beginning of the 1990s in a sort of testing ground for all the issues they confronted with.
For example, one knows the fact that a significant amount of the local economy before the 1990 stood in natives' activity of fishing, as both the Aden Gulf and the Indian Ocean are known as being rich in piscicultural resources. After becoming independent in 1991, but with the given political context, this activity was abusively stopped because of the toxic waste products that were being thrown in the area by different states and because there was no governmental law to protect this.
Practically, there are no principles that rule Somalis' economy and there is no economy in the sense one usually attributes to the word. The levers of free market are being replaced with kinship and violence as regulatory principles. Furthermore, Somalia's inexistence as a real state with a central power and with institutions that would represent it makes the option of an international loan impossible for this region.
In fact, international aid had to adapt to Somalia's special situation, either by reducing the amounts of provisions and resources donated or, a solution which comes in Somalis' advantage, to offer help of any kind through nongovernmental institutions and organizations. Whereas the reduction of aids is practiced regarding Africa since the 1980s, shifting from government to NGOs is the modern and most recent response that developed countries have found and which goes round the laws that promote market as being superior to the state.
Similar to a domino game, where politics hits economy, this, in its turn, has a strong impact on society issues. First of all, the appearance of a small, but resourceful economic and social group leads to a social stratification among Somalis classes of population: on the top is situated the group of elites, which holds the economical power and therefore, the authority over the average individuals.
The population situated at the bottom of the stratification pyramid is represented by the large masses of Somalis people who find themselves almost at the extreme line of living. Agriculture is approximated to provide livelihood for a percentage of about 80% of the population. Stratification in Somalia is accentuated by extremely opposed groups and gives a new perspective on what richness and poverty means and as one can see, the percentage of the bottom class is approximately four times higher than the elite situated on top. The widely spread humoristic sallies regarding the Somalis people unfortunately arise from a dramatic truth: parts of the region are doomed to living on the edge of hunger and despair.
Furthermore, the impossibility of benefiting from a proper health system consequently leads to the appearance of numerous diseases in the area. Dying is a common word in citizen's everyday life. Similarly, the non-existence of public funds for education has lead, during the past recent time, to an increased rate of illiteracy.
Another significant and urgent effect that one must mention is the one that refers to individual's security. Without a well defined law system, Somalia has become an easy target and a preferred region for crimes of any kind, like the traffic of drugs, robberies, murders, violent protest movements or others of the kind.
How does the sociological perspective change the view over a country like this? What the concept refers to is not a different point-of-view on the above presented facts, as they come from a documented history and from a reality one can neither change, nor ignore.
The sociological perspective has the benefit of analyzing issues from a more profound and meaningful sight. The common sense tells us that Somalia is a region inhabited by African people and dominated by poverty, misery, illness and criminality, with no perspective of significant improvements by her own resources in the following future. The sociological sight refers to these as the results of a history of fragmentation and political and social turbulences which made Somalia the instable and vulnerable society we know today.
Whether this is going to help this region or it is only going to serve as a negative model for other states is a fact no one can say, at least for the moment. In a modern and changing world, the response should be in favor of Somalia. The super-state and trans-state organizations usually have on their working agenda issues that refer to the concept of "third world countries" and their rich financial and human resources provide them with the instrument of supplying their ads and degree of implication.
However, until further improvements, statistics say that Somalia is rated as being one of the least developed countries in the world, placed as 161 out of 163 assessed countries. As a comparison, the situation of Somalia in 1990, in the times of Barre's fall, was ranked as 123 out of 130 countries.
Mubarak, Jamil Abdalla (1996). From Bad Policy to Chaos in Somalia: How an Economy Fell Apart. Westport, CT: Praeger.
Abdullahi, Mohamed Diriye (2001). Culture and Customs of Somalia. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press
Feldman, Stacy, Slattery, Brian (2003). Living without a Government in Somalia: An Interview with Mark Bradbury: Development Processes in Somalia Exist Not as a Result of Official Development Assistance, but in Spite of it. Journal of International Affairs, 57 (1), pag 1.
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