19 Social Problems
India is one of the developing nations of the modern world. It has become an independent country, a republic, more than a half century ago. During this period the country has been engaged in efforts to attain development and growth in various areas such as building infrastructure, production of food grains, science and technology and spread of education. The life expectancy has increased and many diseases have been controlled. However, there are many areas in which Indian society is experiencing a variety of problems. Some of these problems have their roots in our colonial past while others are related to demographic changes, socio-political conditions and cultural processes. This lesson tries to acquaint you with some of the problems and the psychological factors involved in them. You will learn about some of the possible ways in which psychological interventions can help in dealing with the problems.
After reading this lesson you will be able to: explain social problems such as poverty, gender discrimination and social tension; state the causes of these problems; suggest some interventions for dealing with these problems.
A large section of the Indian society is suffering from poverty. Poverty is a phenomenon
Social Problem :: 201
which is objective as well a subjective. Objectively poverty implies a dehumanizing condition in which people are unable to look after the basic needs. Subjectively poverty stands for perceived deprivation. As such it is relative and any body can feel poor by comparing himself as herself with a rich person. Poor people lack the necessary resources and capacity to satisfy basic needs like food, shelter, health and education. They live under difficult conditions which are not conducive for development of their human potential. As you have learned earlier in the lesson 10 and 11 that for healthy human development a child needs environmental support for survival and development. Poverty interferes with development in many ways. For instance lack of or inadequate nutrition arrests mental development during early childhood. The unavailability of stimulating environment and absence of effective role models decreases the motivation level. A large section of poor children do not go to school. Even if they go they become drop outs and fail to complete education. In this context it may be pointed out that poverty is also related to the social structure. A number of low caste, scheduled tribe and backward communities have been put to discrimination for many centuries. They are socially disadvantaged and are deprived from the experiences necessary for development on account of their membership of specific groups. In this sense they are doubly deprived. Studies have shown that the children from the background of poverty and social disadvantage lag behind their counterparts from the enriched background. Their cognitive development and performance is found to be at a lower level. Studies of perception, memory an intelligence have demonstrated it several times. The studies have also shown that the performance between the advantaged and disadvantaged children increases with advancing age. It has also been found that the poverty condition is demotivating and makes a person more vulnerable. Low level of achievement motivation and greater need for dependence in these people make them less effective in coping with the problems of every day life. As a result the poor become marginalized and can not contribute to the mainstream of the society. The question why some people are poor has been answered in many ways. The search for causes of poverty has lead to many answers. It has been located in the individual, in the social structure, or the culture of the people. For instance many people blame the victim and consider the poor as responsible for the characteristics or dispositions of the people. A detailed analysis of the problem of...
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