I am a freshman in the Criminal Justice major here at Saint Joseph's University. I took this course because of the interest in social issues that I gained from taking Introduction to Sociology with Dr. Brown last semester. Some of the main topics that we covered were deviance, social control, poverty, race, and gender. Of these broad areas of subject matter, the one that intrigued me the most was poverty. I never considered how poverty could be so contingent upon purely opportunity. This was before Dr. Brown showed us the Moving to Opportunity for Fair Housing study (MTO). The results of this study shocked and intrigued me in ways in which I could not have imagined. MTO implied that if income is not the main source of poverty, social division/segregation is. Knowing that you're fully educated in this matter, I just wanted to say that my glaring lack of knowledge in regards to the subject of poverty is what drove me to take Social Problems. The idea of poverty fascinates and concerns me the most of any social issue that I could think of. I look forward to getting a better grasp on this matter especially.
If I were to devise a social contract for our society, it would have a primary emphasis on helping those struggling economically. Growing up in a household with an older brother in a very costly community, I was able to witness the strains that finances can put on an individual, in this case, my single mother. I would not wish these hardships upon anyone. Therefore, I would create a social contract that ensured equal opportunity for every last citizen in our society. This means establishing a strong government. In my American Government & Politics course, we talked about collective action problems, specifically, the free-rider problem. This occurs when we all want some collective good but we have incentive not to help. This is a problem we must overcome. The role of government is to solve collective action problems by establishing institutions with the means to do so.