Socio-Economic Injustice Impacts on Society, Especially Children
Socio-Economic Injustice Impacts on Society, Especially Children
The social setup in which people are born is predetermined externally by various agents. This aspect makes life unfair and challenging to specific groups born in disadvantaged and complex socio-economic status in society. It becomes tough to navigate through life because of the various constraints due to their placement as far as the social status is concerned. The issues associated with socio-economic and their implications on the disadvantaged groups are well discussed in the book The Lesson by Toni Cade Bambara. The author picks Harlem as the geographical region for the story and 70s era because the area was less privileged than the rest of the neighborhoods. Bambara addresses some of the socio-economic issues, how it affects the subjects, how they are beyond the control of its subjects, and what it means to live under such unfavorable conditions. The book focuses on Miss Moore taking in a couple of kids from the neighborhood under her wing and exposing them to a different and much better lifestyle than the one they grew up in to motivate them and enhance their living standards altogether (Bambara, 1995). Miss Moore strives to show them a positive side of life where they can dare to dream, be hopeful, and work hard to make them a reality. The story depicts how socio-economic injustice plays a vital role in the growth and development of children in society. This paper aims to discuss and analyze some of the socio-economic issues and how they impact children both physically and psychologically. in the modern world.
According to the story The Lesson by Bambara, people living in the slums are disadvantaged socioeconomically and struggle to make ends meet hence subjecting their children to poverty states and locked up minds. Children and parents face socio-economic challenges that limit their potential and abilities to improve and enjoy their lives. Statistics show that the marginalized communities, especially African Americans, occupy most of the geographical regions termed socioeconomically disadvantaged. Black people as a minority have reported the highest poverty rates, which stand at 19.5%, followed closely by the Hispanic community at 14.7% (Mathiarasan & Hüls, 2021). According to the United States Census Bureau, there is a positive correlation between socio-economic status and race or ethnicity. Children born in such neighborhoods go through many challenges while growing up. They are likely to experience many mental and physical health problems that could potentially damage their lives and perceptions as adults.
Lack of a proper nutritional diet is likely to affect children’s growth, intelligence, and productivity in different aspects of their lives. Parents living in poor neighborhoods struggle to get stable employment opportunities and eventually settle on odd jobs that consume most of their time and pay less (Landrigan et al., 2010). For this reason, the income earned is less compared to the family needs that require their attention. It becomes difficult to afford a balanced diet despite being an essential part of their growth. Children require naturing and close monitoring as they grow up because they are vulnerable and unable to make significant decisions for themselves. However, these children are forced to be on their own and fend for themselves in a society full of insecurity, threatening their overall wellbeing. Their parents are at work half the time, so they are either in school or at home without any supervision from an adult. It is very risky for them because such children can easily be misguided by malicious society members whose interest is to take advantage of them and dump them. They can engage in criminality, drug and substance abuse, violence, and sexual activities that can have dire consequences to their lives and future.
Living in a lower Socio-economic status also affects the cognitive development of children. Research claims that low living standards affect the academic performance of children below the age of two across cognitive measures. These children are forced to be adults before their age to take of themselves and their siblings in the absence of their parents. They are brought up in harsh environments that do not focus on their individuality, self-love, and potential in academics and social life (Kordas et al., 2018). The brain development of children in disadvantaged socio-economic status is relatively slow because they do not get exposure to positive and informative tools to facilitate their growth.
Consequently, children have a hard time concentrating and focusing on their academic work. They record poor grades at school and gradually begin to detest school. The feeling of inferiority as far as their school results are concerned prompts such children to want to quit their studies and stay at home or engage in illegal activities. Additionally, these children might adopt wanting behaviors as a coping mechanism to help them feel better about their situation at home. Bullying or unruly character can be adopted in this case to divert their minds off of the challenges they are facing due to the socio-economic challenges facing them and their families and is beyond their control. Research determines that perpetrators of bullying in school, exceptionally high schools torture their peers to seek attention from parents and teachers as far as their mental health is concerned.
Social-economic injustice denies children access to proper education and, most of the time, lack the motivation to succeed and better their lives and their families. Since most parents in these regions struggle financially, they can only afford to take their children to public schools (Hurtado, 2018). Nearly all the schools located in low-income neighborhoods are poorly constructed and equipped. Additionally, these schools are overcrowded, making it challenging to facilitate learning ad understanding of concepts in class. The ratio of children to instructors is disproportionate, making the instructor’s work overwhelming. This aspect negatively impacts the teacher and the student. It will be difficult for a teacher to pay individual attention to all the children in their class because of the overpopulation problem. Additionally, the burnout from handling too many students affect teachers’ productivity and efficiency in delivering knowledge to the children. As if that is not enough, these schools have limited facilities that help expand children’s knowledge base and discover their talents and abilities. Resource centers like libraries are scarce, and the school management does not give co-curricular activities like music, sports, drama serious attention because of inadequate resources to erect such establishments. To make matters worse, Parents to these students also focus their finances on providing food and shelter and forget other needs like toys that facilitate learning and attires that boost children’s confidence and elevate their mood and receptiveness to learning.
It is undeniable that socio-economic injustice causes harm to the people it affects, and the children carry the most burden from it. They are mentally disoriented and suffer emotional damage that affects their perceptions and adulthood. To protect children’s mental health and facilitate a healthy transition into adulthood, the government needs to work hand in hand with parents, fulfill their responsibilities and meet halfway. The government should develop strategies that ensure all schools in the country are up to standard, have the appropriate population size, and have all the necessary tools and instructors to facilitate learning. On the other hand, parents should prioritize the safety of their children and be there for them despite the challenging situations at home. They must understand that home is the safest place a child can be. Additionally, couples should consider family planning to avoid financial strain due to increased family size and scarce resources.
Bambara, T. (1995). Lesson (1st ed.).
Hurtado, A. L. (2018). Health Impacts of Environmental and Socio-economic Factors on Vulnerable Groups in Mexico (Doctoral dissertation, University of York).
Kordas, K., Ravenscroft, J., Cao, Y., & McLean, E. V. (2018). Lead exposure in low and middle-income countries: perspectives and lessons on patterns, injustices, economics, and politics. International journal of environmental research and public health, 15(11), 2351.
Landrigan, P. J., Rauh, V. A., & Galvez, M. P. (2010). Environmental justice and the health of children. Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine: A Journal of Translational and Personalized Medicine: A Journal of Translational and Personalized Medicine, 77(2), 178-187.
Mathiarasan, S., & Hüls, A. (2021). Impact of Environmental Injustice on Children’s Health—Interaction between Air Pollution and Socioeconomic Status. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(2), 795.