Sociology, “the scientific study of society and human behaviour” (Henslin, Glenday, Duffy, & Pupo, 2009) includes five separate perspectives by which to observe people and their interactions with each other in society. These perspectives are particular observations that are placed into a conceptual framework which thus creates five sociological theories through which reality is interpreted in a distinct way. This paper will seek to analyze Edmonton’s homeless population through the functionalist perspective which is “based on the assumption that society is a stable, orderly system” (Kendall, Linden, & Murray, 2008) and examines a group’s functioning as a whole, with each part related to a whole. This paper will take into consideration both the homeless person and the society in which they live; it will explore the causes of homelessness and how it affects an individual as well as the impact that homelessness has on Edmonton’s society. Furthermore, this paper will examine some potential solutions to homelessness from a functionalist perspective which will bring the individual and society into a harmonious balance.
Causes of Homelessness
According to a publication prepared by Edmonton’s Committee to End Homelessness, there are 6 systemic causes or risk factors that alone or combined, can push an individual and sometimes an entire family into homelessness.
Poverty is one of the largest contributor’s to homelessness. While part of society may find success in an economic upswing, others who were already in an unstable financial situation will find themselves running to keep up or floundering in the throes of debt altogether. When an
Justyna Zaprawa (ID# 0211548) 2
economy is perceived as strong, prices increase al...
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... things all canadians should know about our country. Emblem Editions.
Kendall, D., Linden, R., & Murray, J. L. (2008). Sociology in our times: the essentials. Toronto,
ON.: Nelson Education Ltd.
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Sorensen, M. PhD. (November, 2010). 2010 Edmonton Homeless Count. In Homeward Trust
Edmonton. Retrieved March 19, 2011, from http://homewardtrust.ca/uploads/Homeless% 20Count%202010%20Report%20NOV%2012%202010.pdf
Unknown. (January, 2009). A Place to Call Home. In Edmonton’s 10 Year Plan to End
Homelessness. Retrieved March 19, 2011, from http://www.endedmontonhomelessness.com/docs/report_NoSpreads_ForWebDownload_jan26-2009_000.pdf.
Unknown. (December, 2009). City of Edmonton. In 2009 Annual Report. Retrieved
March 19, 2011, from http://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/documents/2009_Financial_and_Operational_Annual_Report(1).pdf.
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