The presented article outlines various effects of the intensified infrastructure growth over the last twenty years had on the sociocultural system of the United States. All of the primary descriptors for the infrastructure growth are used in the article. Gross Domestic Product, population level, real growth, immigration, and other related elements are discussed throughout its length. The effects described in the article are also varied and show the progress of the infrastructure well. For example, in the table that outlines the growth of the United States GDP, it may seem that the manufacturing section of the country is experiencing a drop in the recent years. Initially, it is possible to assume that the focus on outsourcing and import are negatively affecting the manufacturing sector. However, the author makes sure to point out that despite making up a smaller percentage of the GDP, manufacturing only grew in real dollar terms, with its profits in 1987 being 60 percent lower than in 2001. The concept of hyperindustrial economy is also introduced in this article, and it describes a state of society where the mode of production grows exponentially with a very specific level of the economic base. When a large economic base starts to grow exponentially, a society begins to change its sociocultural systems to accommodate the growth (Elwell 57-71).
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Most Interesting Elements
I found two of the article’s elements especially interesting. The first is the effect of immigration on the sex and age structure of the United States. There are many countries that suffer from the old age of its citizens. For countries like Japan, it is becoming a real concern that is likely to affect its society. However, the article states that due to high levels of both legal and illegal immigration, United States has a very large base of younger citizens, as well as a large number of middle-aged people. As the article points out, this is likely to cause additional economic growth in the future of the United States. However, its effects on the social structures could also be significant. While in the current political climate it is unlikely that the United States government would be able to create any positive immigration policies, in the previous years, politicians often used the voting power of immigrants to gain support through better immigration laws. The notion that this development also increases d the number of younger people in the country made me feel more positive about immigration (Elwell 57-71).
The second aspect of the paper I found interesting was in the description of how the baby boomer generation affected social structures. I found it to be one of the clearest examples of how population growth can affect society and politics. Even when this generation encountered difficulty in finding work, the market continued to be focused on servicing them, despite their lack of sustainable income. Their families never produced as many children due to the changes in the world, but even as they became retired, their interests and desires continued to be pandered to. The unfortunate lack of attention to social programs from the government is currently making their presence in the social security system extremely expensive. I found this issue to be very demoralizing because it must have been clear that this generation would eventually enter the social security structure, but the government did not provide the needed improvements to accommodate them (Elwell 57-71).
Reasons for My Beliefs
The reasons for my beliefs are based on my personal experiences, as well as the scholarly literature and news that I follow. I have previously assisted an older woman from the baby boomer generation that was not able to transfer to a home for the elderly due to the lack of capacity in the ones in her town. She could not travel far due to her medical condition, and unfortunately, her family passed away before her in a tragic accident. She often described her life experiences when I was assisting her with housework and the description given in the article aligns with them almost perfectly. Her worst period in life began after graduating from college as she was completely unable to find a job that would fit her degree. She later found a husband, a job, and even had children. However, she was not receiving enough support from the social security programs of the country, and without the volunteer help, it would be hard for her to continue living alone. Her struggle informed a lot of my beliefs in social sciences.
The effect of intense infrastructure growth on the social and cultural systems of the United States is an interesting topic. The article covered it with a high level of detail, from the descriptors of hyperindustrial society to examples and information about a proponent of this theory. The information about immigration and baby boomers was the most fascinating to me based on my personal experiences. Hopefully, the issues that were recorded while the baby boomer generation was aging would be examined and resolved by future political leaders.
Elwell, Frank. Macrosociology: Four Modern Theorists. Routledge, 2006.