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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Poverty as a Major Factor of Crime

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 - 0 Comments

Meaning of Poverty
According to Gillin and Gillin, “Poverty is that condition in which a person, either because of inadequate income or unwise expenditures, does maintain a scale of living high enough to provide for his physical and mental efficiency and to enable him and his natural dependents to function usefully according to the standards of the society of which he is a member.”
The social phenomenon known as poverty has remained within human society in every age, but never before in history, it has assumed so gigantic a dimension as in the present times. The expansion of trade on a worldwide scale, the consequent accumulation of wealth and its uneven distribution and the establishment of higher standards of living have increased and intensified poverty. Poverty is not a problem of under-developed countries but is equally so in highly developed ones.
Poverty is a relative term. Mankind has progressed to that stage of development when inadequacy of the basic necessity of likes fooding, clothing and housing; do not constitute the sole criteria of poverty. Poverty should, therefore, be judged on the scale or standards of life set up by our modern age. One is poor not only because he has not enough to fill his belly but also because if he anyhow manages to fill his belly he is still not able to undergo necessary medical treatment. Some thinking regarding the relation of poverty to uneven growth of population as compared to food production was pointed out by Malthus. His theories may not be correct in all respects but in as much as it propounded that unless the basic need of food can be satisfied no concrete steps should be successfully undertaken to eradicate-poverty-the theory was correct. Poverty can be eradicated by starting from the beginning, i.e. by satisfying the basic animal need of mankind, the need for food, shelter and clothing’s.
The problem of poverty become acute when we find that major part of other social problems are directly footed or connected in one way or the other with the problem of poverty and that in order to root out those problems eradication of poverty becomes necessary. This aspect of the overall problems of our society is in turn connected directly with another major problem of our times, namely, the problem of war.

Factors Responsible for Poverty
What are the factors responsible for poverty? The question may be examined under two references. Firstly we have to see the factors which were responsible for poverty in all ages and secondly we have to examine the specific causes of poverty in our times. Unwillingness to invest labour, which is the result of individual personality traits, has always been the prime cause of poverty. Individuals, groups or communities who did not appreciate the relation between human labour and the wealth of society could not understand that is the labour alone which bears fruits. Machines to some extent solved the problem, they could multiply labour and hence could produce more with less labour. Individual communities could be produced on mass scale. But with the coming into being of mass production methods the wealth become concentrated in few hand and its distribution become hindered. This is the characteristic feature of our society that on one hand we produce on a mass scale that is to say our production of industrial commodities is socialized but on the other hand the system of distribution is not socialized. It is centred round the individual profit motive. The contradiction between the mode of production and distribution is the main cause of poverty in our society.
When each individual is born as a distinct member of society we cannot hold him responsible for his state of being in poverty. The entire social system has to be examined and the causes have to be analysed in their social perspective. Further, the problem of poverty is not confined in its consequences to individual pain and suffering. Poverty has wider social repercussions. It can lead to devastating social up heaval, to bloodshed and violence, to mass murder and to war.
We can, however, no longer present a solution of the problem of poverty. It is no longer a means of destroying surplus population. In fact, if war is restored to, then the very existence of mankind is put to a state. Human society is no longer prepared to do so. Hence the solution to the problem of poverty has to be found in the different channels – by accelerating the over all production but a corresponding decrease in war production and socialized mode of distribution. Then, the problem of poverty is directly or indirectly linked with other socio-economic problems. Gillin and Gillin have summed up the aspects of the problem of poverty, in the following illustrative lines:
“In summary, then we say that poverty and dependency play such a great part in our modern civilization. Create such a waste of method and moey, of childhood and womanhood, and youth disturb so many human relationships that they demand attention. We have also pointed out that factors producing poverty and dependency are individual incapacity, due partly to heredity and partly to accidental causes, features of the physical environment over which man has not yet obtained adequate control, to the maladjustment in our economic organisation to meet adequate human needs, to defects in our social organisation with respect to education, health, housing, improper preparation for family life. The wasted childhood and youth all caused by lag in social arrangement to meet adequately the changes characteristics of dynamic society. Finally we have pointed out that in modern civilization war is a great factor in producing social change in economic and social arrangements, in destroying young manhood; in wasting enormous sums of money, in creating restlessness, with respect to social relationships and international trade, in deriving the people of a large part of their income through taxation and tariffs and thus bringing low the level of the scale of living.”

Unemployment is a Basic Cause of Crime

Problem of unemployment is gripping the whole universe. Even in developed countries where it is claimed that there is full employment the position is not really so because some of the people are either unemployed or have not been placed on the jobs of their choice. In underdeveloped and undeveloped countries, the situation is however, altogether different. In these countries usually there are large numbers of people who do not get any employment at all.

Unemployment Defined
Though various definitions have been put forth, yet in general terms it can be said that unemployment is a condition of situation of economy in which society cannot provide jobs to all people who are willing to work. In other words it can be said that the remunerative work is not available to the people for making them meet their both ends. Karl Pribram says that, “Unemployment is a condition of the labour market in which the supply of labour is greater than the number of available openings. Similarly Fair Child says, “Unemployment is forced and involuntary separation from remunerative work on the part of normal arcing time, at normal wages and under normal conditions”. From many other definitions which have been given by our sociologists, one thing emerges that unemployment is a condition in which society fails to provide remunerative jobs to the people who have will, desire and capacity to work.

Forms of Unemployment
Unemployment can be due to circumstances, which are in the control of the individual, and then it is called subjective employment. But when unemployment is due to the causes nor within the control of the individual it is called objective unemployment. Unemployment can be due to depression in trade or economic depression and inflations, and then it is called cyclical unemployment. But when the unemployment is due to closing of seasonal industries we may define it as seasonal unemployment. In many cases there is defect in the economic structure of the society and in such cases we all that structural economy. In few employing agencies work is not of regular nature. Usually they throw out the people when the work has decreased. In such cases we call that as sudden unemployment. But in most of the countries there is general unemployment, which means that the society even otherwise fails to provide unemployment in spite of the fact that unfavourable and unexceptional conditions may not occur. It means that under normal times and circumstances people do not get employment.

Unemployment and Social Disorganization
Unemployment aggravates social disorganization it reduces the living standard of the people and forces a person to spend his time in making his both ends meet rather than contributing anything to social welfare and advancement. In many cases it also dislocates harmonious family life and creates frictions in the family.

Unemployment in
Unemployment in Pakistan is one of the developing countries of the world. But unfortunately due to vast and ever-increasing population, nation has not been in a position to provide employment to vast majority of its people. The problem of educated unemployment is still more serious and alarming because that is creating discontentment and dissatisfaction among the core of society. No less serious problem is that of agricultural unemployment.

Causes of Agricultural Unemployment
Pakistan is even today a nation with an agricultural economy. Wit the present rate of development for country cannot think of changing from agricultural economy to industrial economy, at least for sometime to come. Therefore it is essential to study the causes of agricultural unemployment in sociology, because that influences our social life. One of the main causes of agricultural unemployment is that industry is not in a position to provide jobs to millions of its people with the result that they depend on agricultural land, which does not require their services. Thus on the one hand there is pressure on the land, whereas on the other there is unnecessary wastage of manpower resulting in unemployment. Then another reason is that whereas population is increasing, land remains the same. Thus non-availability of land also causes unemployment among the agriculturists. Still another reason is that even those who are engaged on the soil do not find work for the whole year round. They have only seasonal work and when peak season is over, they are without any unemployment. Code of any subsidiary industries for our agriculturists adds to the problem of unemployment and thus the farmers continue to remain in artificial employment in spending their time and resources on unproductive and unfertile land.
One of the serious problems, which result in the unemployment of our agriculturists, is that even today he depends on rain for his cultivation. Inspite of the fact that many dams have been constructed, canals have been dug and water resources have been channelised, still our farmer looks towards sky for rain. Ultimately rains or absence of rains throws him of employment. Though many regions have undertaken consolidation of land programme, yet we find that still the land is scattered and there are uneconomic holdings, which provide only partial employment. Further fragmentation and sub-division of land results in further unemployment. No less is the contribution of old obsolete and unscientific weapons which are unable to provide sufficient produce to those engaged in the profession, thereby providing them full employment. Thus the problem of agricultural unemployment in Pakistan is very grave and serious.

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