Public Assistance Sociology

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Public assistance in America came about in 1935 when the Social Security Act was passed. This act remains the most significant piece of social legislations ever enacted in the United States. It also paved the way for greater federal involvement in health and welfare (Ambrosino, Ambrosino, Heffernan, Shuttlesworth, 2016). There are three main aspects of the Social Security Act, such as Social Insurance, Public Assistance and Health and Welfare Services. Out of those three aspects, I will be talking about Public Assistance or better known as welfare. There are different benefit programs of public assistance such as Supplemental Security Income, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Food Assistance, also known as food stamps or the …show more content…

Under this perspective, our society is viewed as a “system of interconnected parts that work together in harmony to maintain a state of balance and social equilibrium for the whole” (Mooney, Knox, Schacht, 2015, p. 8). One example of this perspective is the issue of the SNAP program not providing any health restrictions on food that can be purchased. If a participant chooses to buy unhealthy foods with very little fruits and vegetables, it can cause health issues such as obesity and diabetes. Now the participant must acquire additional health care to treat these issues. This causes a bigger stress on taxpayers who pay for these services and therefore a more negative attitude towards the program. A theory that falls under the structural-functionalist perspective is the social disorganization theory. This theory is defined as “a social change that disrupts the norms in a society” Mooney, Knox, Schacht, 2015, p. 9). It has become the norm for many people to become dependent on the welfare system. When in reality, this system is to temporarily help those people in need. A dependency to the program is created and some people see this system as something they don’t have to work for and can receive for free. But what they don’t realize is the people who do go to work everyday are the ones paying for them to stay at home. People also think that they can receive the same amount of money for staying at home and collecting benefits rather than working a full-time job. Why put in the effort of a full-time job when they can acquire the same benefits for free? The norm for our society has become to expect a free handout and that benefits are entitled for everyone. These programs only work because there are people paying for them through our tax

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