Edmonton’s Homeless Population: A Functionalist Perspective

2421 words - 10 pages

Introduction
Sociology, “the scientific study of society and human behaviour” (Henslin, Glenday, Duffy, & Pupo, 2009) includes five separate perspectives by which to observe people and their interactions with each other in society. These perspectives are particular observations that are placed into a conceptual framework which thus creates five sociological theories through which reality is interpreted in a distinct way. This paper will seek to analyze Edmonton’s homeless population through the functionalist perspective which is “based on the assumption that society is a stable, orderly system” (Kendall, Linden, & Murray, 2008) and examines a group’s functioning as a whole, with each part ...view middle of the document...

Another major cause of homelessness in Edmonton addressed by the committee is the lack of affordable housing available. According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (2008) in 1999, the average two bedroom apartment rental rate was $650/month, by 2008 the amount for the same two bedroom apartment had risen to an average of $1,170/month – an increase of 80%. The rental increase, coupled with the historically low rental availability of about 1.5% correlated directly with the “drastic decrease in rental incentives” (Avison Young, 2010); the same rental incentives that generally gave a renter a break on damage deposit, first month’s rent or utility payments. So a major increase in rent saw many people losing their homes; a substantial decrease in availability added to people not being able to find new homes; and the almost complete absence of rental incentives blocked those who found a place to rent from obtaining the rental unit.
Mental health and addictions are also key factors when considering the causes of homelessness. Homeward Trust Edmonton, a broad-based community inspired initiative, states that 59% of homeless persons have a mental illness (2010) and “55% of the homeless population reported using one or more illegal drugs” (Canadian Institute for Health Information [CIHI], 2007). The above mentioned factors are known to appear concurrently where drug abuse compounds the problem of any mental health issue(s) present.
Justyna Zaprawa (ID# 0211548) 3
Lastly are incidents of family violence and/or discrimination. “Research shows that individuals and families who experience homelessness often have histories of family violence.” (A Place to Call Home, 2009). The victims of family violence are often isolated and lacking of communication with family or community support networks, they little or no access to financial support and when confronted with all these factors along with past-capacity shelters, find themselves homeless. Furthermore, those that seek out housing often face discrimination; people of non-Caucasian race are often turned away from apartments which were advertised as available.
Impact of being Homeless on an Individual
While the functionalist theory is equal in the fact that everyone has a role in society, the roles themselves do not amount to equality in social class. Therefore, through a functionalist perspective, even though the homeless population of Edmonton is intrinsic to the success of its society, being homeless does not make a person successful; the necessary inequality in peoples standard of living is the down fall or dysfunction to this theory.
A homeless person’s standard of living or comfort is exponentially less than a person who has sustainable housing. Many of Edmonton’s homeless population find themselves in “No home, no job – no job, no home” (A Place to Call Home, 2009) cycle; without a permanent address, people can’t access income support benefits; without money, they can’t get a...

Other Papers Like EDMONTON’S HOMELESS POPULATION: A FUNCTIONALIST PERSPECTIVE

Video Games and Sociological Theory Essay

626 words - 3 pages Video Games and Sociological Theory July 22, 2012 Video games have become as pervasive an aspect of our society as television, with many people spending more time playing video games than watching television. There are many perspectives with which to gauge videos games’ effect on society, from a functionalist, conflict or interactionist perspective. (Schaefer, 2011) Each of these sociological theories can provide a different view of video

Homeless in Dc Essay

988 words - 4 pages Introduction Washington D.C. is a beautiful district with great architeture and beautiful buildings. Its population was estimated to be about 672,000 residents in 2015. From the 672,000 residents, DC region has 11,623 literally homeless people, about 1.72% of all residents. In percentage, it can be considered as a low number but this little percentage is not really appreciated by the thousands of families who don’t have where to live or

Compare and Contrast the Functionalist and Marxist Perspective to Our Understanding of Society

578 words - 3 pages Compare and contrast the Functionalist and Marxist perspective to our understanding of society The Functionalist perspective to our society is that we are controlled by society by aspects of our society such as media, religion, education and government to name a few. Auguste Comte developed a theory known as the organic analogy which explained that each part of society played a vital role in making the body of society work coherently, for

Hnc Poverty

1048 words - 5 pages . Her life chances have dramatically decreased throughout the years, even having to turn to alcohol at one point to escape the abuse. J is a vulnerable adult who just gets on with life, nothing bothers her at all. Another service user has got herself into poverty due to the use of drugs and is willing to do anything to keep up her drug habit. This can fall into the functionalist perspective on poverty showing that people in poverty have a

Homelessness In America

650 words - 3 pages . One may ask what can they do help the homeless population? They can volunteer with donations and clothing drives, donate food to soup kitchens, and write to their senators with suggestions about the needs of the homeless. The donations may not be a large sum of money, but for someone that has no money it’s a lottery win (Targeted News Service, 2015). The many public and private non- profit agencies to benefit the homeless movement have

The Sociological Theories of Healthcare

824 words - 4 pages social behavior and human groups (R. Schaefer, 2011, p. 5). It focuses on social relationships, how those relationships influence people’s behavior, and how societies, the sum total of those relationships, develop and change (R. Schaefer, 2011, p. 5). This helps form many theories of the development of the functionalist, conflict, and interactionist views of healthcare. A functionalist perspective is a sociological approach that emphasizes the way in

Health Affairs

2592 words - 11 pages individuals control such as affordable housing, lack of labor, or the availability of homeless shelters. The disjointed research of past decades has left a stigma with the homeless population that correlates the homeless and indigent with a matter of equality, and if at risk for homelessness due to high vulnerability, that equality is lesser than the average community member. Vulnerability, or the weakness, susceptibility, or proneness to harm, is

Family and Homeless

745 words - 3 pages more needs than the other homeless population. Homeless Families have a number of issues that cause them to be homeless and some of the issues they face make it hard to get back on their feet. The biggest threat to family homeless is the decline of marriage, which causes mothers or fathers to have to face economic hardship in trying to raise a family. (Fertig, Reingold, 2008). Another problem that plaques families is the loss of income or low

Cji Interactive

1388 words - 6 pages Homeless Court Programs The Issue: People experiencing homelessness often receive citations for public nuisance offenses and then fail to appear in court. Homeless defendants fail to appear in traditional courts, not because of a disregard for the court system, but due to their status and condition. For many homeless people, their day is consumed with a search for food, clothing and shelter. Most homeless persons are not in a position to

Technology and Social Change

950 words - 4 pages impact on employees and their commitment to their jobs. Technology capabilities double every three to four years; society should maintain status quos and try to adapt to new technologies. The equilibrium model means that when a change occurs in one element in society, changes must be made everywhere else to maintain society's stability. Functionalist focus on what maintains the status quos in society. Those with a conflict perspective focuses on the

Healthcare and Homeless Youth

1089 words - 5 pages NURSING ISSUES AND HOMELESS YOUTH PRESENTED BY MICHELLE ALLEN AND LORI UMENHOFER I. Research and Awareness A. Homeless youth face the same issues faced by children in the general population, but their issues are exacerbated by the circumstances inherent to their homeless status. B. As touched upon in the skit, some of the health care issues especially prevalent in the homeless youth population are psychosocial issues, nutrition issues

Related Essays

Homelessness And Poverty In The Midwest

2383 words - 10 pages number of people living below the poverty threshold at about 8% of Ohio’s population. When looking a social problem it may be beneficial to look at the different sociological perspectives look at the problem. Every sociological perspective looks at the problem from a different view point which may help a person look at the topic from all different angles. The structural functionalist views poverty as being a direct effect from the government’s

The Structural And Individual Causes Of Homelessness

1617 words - 7 pages completely in the individuals’ hands. However if we view the world through a sociological perspective we see that society as whole contributes greatly to this crisis. There is a strong consensus in Canadian literature that most of the causes of homelessness are structural. This literature takes a Structural-functionalist position, which seems most widely accepted among the educated and informed and “regards homelessness as an outcome of

Homelessness Essay

731 words - 3 pages and utilization experiences. You are interested in finding out what needs to change, from the perspective of the homeless people, in order for them to access and utilize existing services and what services to they think would improve their health status. You would design a set of questions (e.g., structured interview) to ask the participants prior to the interview. (Social) It is the appropriate methodology because you are interested in

Macro Systems Essay

1231 words - 5 pages theory to poverty explains why social stratification (rankings of people based on wealth and social values); exists and endures. Interactionist theory on the other hand symbolizes the differences this stratification produces for interactions. According to Crossman, the functionalist perspective can be traced back to Emile Durkheim and Talcott Parsons and has its roots in anthropology. This perspective focuses on social systems as a whole, how