Social Issues in the USA
The essence of the social issues
Today, the writers use the concept of “social issues” in several key meanings:
- as a combination of large social groups (classes, peoples, ethnic groups and nationalities). In this case, the concept of the social issues fully coincide with the concept of the social structure of modern society;
- it is a set of economic sectors that are involved to a greater or lesser extent in the process of satisfying the social needs of various participants in public relations: citizens, employees of various enterprises who receive salaries depending on their duties and abilities.
Most often, in this second sense, the social issue is the issue of services, or it can be called the tertiary sector of the economy. In some studies, this sector sometimes has another name – social infrastructure (social and cultural sphere of society).
Features of the US social issue
The social issue of the United States of America, despite its standard structure, has a number of features.
For example, medicine in the United States is not available for everyone, as evidenced by the high level of security in hospitals. Often, people have the impression that there are more guards on the territory of a medical institution than medical staff.
As for the modern education system in the United States of America, it contains two key sectors: state (prevails in primary and secondary education) and private (mainly in higher education).
In most states, education between the ages of 6 and 16-18 is compulsory, the number of universities exceeds 4,000, 57% of which are private. The material and spiritual culture of the USA is enriched mainly by European colonists. The most famous museums are the National Museum of the United States, the National Air and Space Museum, the National Gallery of Art, the National Art Collection, the New York Museum of Modern Art, and many others.
The US social issues also include such areas as recreation, leisure, tourism, arts and crafts, the film industry (the most famous American film center is located in Hollywood (near Los Angeles). Nevertheless, the structure of the US social issue is fairly standard and does not differ from the structure of the social issues of other modern states.
Structure of the US social issue
The key elements in the structure of the social sphere are the following 3 elements:
- health care;
- culture and art.
Health care functions are also quite diverse:
- it is a concern for maintaining public health.
- the prevention and treatment of the most common, as well as rare and little-studied diseases.
- the provision of medical care to any member of society.
- providing people with all the necessary medications, including essential supplies.
- the restoration of lost health (rehabilitation, an organization of work in hospitals).
The second element in the structure of the social issue is education. Its main goals are meeting people’s need for knowledge and skills. Moreover, satisfaction must be achieved in the interests of the successful development of the abilities of a person’s potential, as well as the future of social, economic, political and cultural progress. The main functions of education are as follows:
- meeting the needs of people in obtaining new knowledge;
- the implementation of training for the future profession, as well as to work – both physical and mental;
- facilitating the acquisition of special abilities and mastering a profession, taking into account the creative and other abilities of a person, especially considering the intellectual level of development;
- education of a person as a responsible and able-bodied personality capable of creative and innovative activities.
The last key part of the social issues is culture and the arts, the purpose of which is to enrich the spiritual life of people and create conditions for the social and cultural activities of the population.
As functions of culture and art as a key aspect of the social sphere, the authors single out the following:
- preservation of cultural-historical and national monuments;
- the introduction of man to the creations of culture with a long history;
- replenishment of the piggy bank of cultural achievements in the field of literature, artistic creativity and art, music, cinema and painting;
- spiritual education and personal enrichment, taking into account his value potential and worldview.