Society from my perspective tends to experience a wider range of consequences resulting from unemployment. The local economy of any society will face decline as unemployment increases. As people have less disposable income they begin to decrease their living cost. This may be done by purchasing cheaper food, less luxury goods or no meals out. As a result of this local shops and restaurants will have less income coming in due to less customers and in response have to make cut backs in order to survive.
Shops and restaurants may choose to reduce their stock or make some employees redundant thereby further increasing unemployment. Equally affected by unemployment will be the families of a society. Unemployment is perceived to have a negative effect on families. A sociologist argues family face ‘More breakdowns, higher divorce rates and more violence in the home, such as wife battering and child abuse, due to rising levels of stress in the family ( K. Browne, 2002). I believe families are more likely to experience such problems during times of high unemployment.
A recent study conducted by a private institution showed divorce rate in the USA increased rapidly during the recession, a time of peak unemployment. However, it can be argued family bond becomes stronger during periods of unemployment. ‘Morris (1994) reports on wide spread dependence on kin of unemployed families in a northern eastern British manufacturing town, with booth relatives and friends providing not just material support but also vital news about job vacancies'( C. Crouch, 1999). When a man or woman is unemployed they will look to their family for support.
Men tend be more dependent on their partner during such times. If the bond of a family is strong then Unemployment may not be the catalyst to break it. A further consequence to society resulting from unemployment may be increase in urban violence, which may be race related. During the time of unemployment people can be stressed and frustrated and this could lead to violence in certain situations. In order to vent their anger some groups of people may search for reason for conflict such as discrimination from another race of people or pressure from a group of supporters from another team.
An example will be supporters of Aston villa and Mill hill which regularly are in conflict with each other. However, the reason behind such a conflict from the people’s point of view may be racial or sports related but in actual fact may just be a result of frustration and anger towards their unemployment. Furthermore, people who are unemployed will seek other sources of income which may not be legal. Crime and black market jobs experience a sharp increase during periods of high unemployment such as a recession as people look for ways to feed themselves and families.
In general unemployment has a negative effect on both individual and society. However, society tends to have a wider range of consequences as a result of unemployment. Unemployment does not only negatively affect the financial situation of an individual and society but there very livelihood. A sociologist states ‘ it reduces the variety of life, removes the satisfaction of work, makes the day structure less, diminishes social contacts and damages self esteem'(. Fulcher and J. Scott, 2007).
The longer an individual or society remains unemployed the more severe the consequences will be and the less likely they will return to employment. People who remain unemployed will experience diminish motivation and find it harder to continue the search for employment. The rapid advancement of technology means a fast increase in demand for new products which require new skills and abilities to produce. An individual who is unemployed will not be in the process of training and is at risk of becoming obsolete in terms of their skills.
In addition, the effect of unemployment is not shared equally between every individual. The working class tends to experience the worst effect of unemployment. This may be due to the fact that with their level of skill a replacement can be found easily. The middle class or classes are the individuals in society with professional jobs such as doctors or lawyers and probably have savings which eases the consequence of unemployment. Upper class individuals who are the owners of the means of production and exchange may not even experience the consequences of unemployment.
They have assets which can be converted into cash to sustain them until they find another job. Reference C. Crouch, 1999, Social Change in Western Europe, New York: Oxford University Press, 69 K. Browne, 2002, introduction sociology for AS level, 1st edition: polity Press, 332 J. Fulcher and J. Scott, 2007 Sociology, 3rd edition, New York: Oxford University Press, 687 K. Browne, 2002, introduction sociology for AS level, 1st edition: polity Press, 335 K. Browne, 2002, introduction sociology for AS level, 1st edition: polity Press, 335 C.
Crouch, 1999, Social Change in Western Europe, New York: Oxford University Press, 227 J. Fulcher and J. Scott, 2007 Sociology, 3rd edition, New York: Oxford University Press, 687 Bibliography C. Crouch, 1999, Social Change in Western Europe, New York: Oxford University Press J. Fulcher and J. Scott, 2007 Sociology, 3rd edition, New York: Oxford University Press K. Browne, 2002, introduction sociology for AS level, 1st edition: polity Press M. Haralambos et al, 2008, Sociology: Themes and Perspectives, 7th edition, London: Collins N. Abercrombie, 2004 Sociology, : Polity Press.