This social issue involves the young graduate students of this generation. Not only has the price of college alone skyrocketed the burden of debt has gone up tremendously within the past 30 years. The reason why this is happening is due to the belief that higher education will get you the pass to the middle class and that having a higher education is the key to American success. Happening throughout the United States, this issues has sabotaged the disadvantaged groups and has hit the millennial generation the worst. Student loan debts have become the second-largest category of household debt topping credit card, and auto loan debt; a detrimental burden for American students.
There is no question that student loan debts exist and has become a macro level social problem. We live in a highly competitive society which brings in conflict theory.
There are more people going to school due to the ideology that hard work and a higher education will pave the way to the middle class and that it is vital to American success. The ideology behind getting a college degree does not always identify the misperception that just because people pursue and achieve an advanced education that they will be able to pay back those student loans.Karl Marx stresses that we are competing for social class and economic resources, we are all competing for prosperity. Prosperity within the United States involves a college degree to obtain a successful career to just be financially stable. The goal in this life is to be powerful or at the very least not let others’ power control ones life.
Conflict Theory highlights that this is all for social survival and that if conflict theory did not exist then college would evidently be free. This concept is honestly inflicting because if all public institutions were tuition free, then no one would be burdened to the debt that come with higher education, the kind of education that is vital in the society. It could easily be said that the education system is the problem just due to the fact that student loans create inequality. The people who lack money to begin with are the ones who need to take out those loans, which creates the disadvantage for the people in the lower classes.
According to Katrina Heuvel from the Washington Post, she wrote an article titled, Americans are drowning in student-loan debt. The U.S. should forgive all of it,’ she states that, women holdabout two-thirdsof all student loan debt in the United States, and since they still earn less than men make for comparable work,women pay their loans off more slowly, incurring higher interest payments. African Americans who tend to start off with fewer family resources fare worse than whites. Another group at a disadvantage are the millennials, according to a recent survey about 75% have some sort of debt, and as a result they save less than previous generations. (Heuvel, 2018) Unfortunately, for those who have the burden of larger debt they consequently can not even begin to save to settle down, they delay any decision of buying a home, marriage and children, and even retirement.
The Functionalist Theory comes into play when it comes to education because education is viewed as a highly important institution in a social society. Robert K. Merton an American Sociologist made functionalism much more useful when he introduced manifest function, also known as the primary function, which would be the intended and visible aspects of education; and the latent function; secondary, which would be the unintended and hidden aspects of education. Manifest functions within our society begins in the earliest forms of education, where students are taught social and societal roles. Schools are social institutions that prepare children for adult economic roles. Schools qualify students to earn a higher education, which leads them into higher paying jobs, and hopefully the goal is to have a financially stable life after.
The latent forms of our education system are again the unidentified misperceptions of being able to pay off their loans. Heuvel mentions in her article that the College Board reports that, in 2016 the average debt for those who took out loans to finish a bachelors degree was $28,400. Not only do students come out of college with a large amount of debt to pay off they are faced with the reality that they are still competing, and that finding a job alone is difficult without any experience. Now a days it is extremely difficult to come out of college and make enough money to pay your bills, let alone your debts. These issues result from that people think of their actions and how those actions may benefit them, they do not typically think about every hidden outcome that those decisions may have on them.
The Symbolic Interactionism theory shows us the social issue of student debt at a micro level. Interactionism claims that society is composed of ever-present interactions among individuals who share symbols and their meanings. In the case of education, it is credentials. Credentials symbolize the completion of education; it emphasizes certificates, or degrees that exhibit the persons’ skill, education level, or whether or not they have met the job qualifications. This symbol allows the labeling of that individual within our society.
According to Heuvel’s article, she brings up that if all public universities went tuition free the United States would ensure every student that they would not hold the burden of any debt for aspiring to receive a higher education, which everyone could agree is essential to our economic society. Another way that could not necessarily fix the situation, but could help it could be to base the debt on GPA; the higher the GPA the lower the debt/ interest rate. Without any kind of authority or power, unfortunately the only thing that groups or people involved could do is to be vocal about this issue. The article does not give any information on how any of the disadvantaged groups involved are invested in resolving this social problem. Without any kind of change this social issue will continuously negatively affect the generations to come, as well as our economic society. We will continue to see our younger generations condemned to the debt that comes with the education that is vital to live in the United States society.
Heuvel, Katrina. Opinion | Americans Are Drowning in Student-Loan Debt. The U.S. Should Forgive All of It.The Washington Post, WP Company, 19 June 2018, www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/americans-are-drowning-in-student-loan-debt-the-us-should-forgive-all-of-it/2018/06/19/82565218-7314-11e8-9780-b1dd6a09b549_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.2e47f5008f21.
Social Issue Involves. (2019, Nov 15).
Retrieved September 24, 2021 , from
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