When people are employed they are more fulfilled. They are more mentally and physically healthy. Issues such as illnesses become less common. With this, individuals and society benefits. Unemployed people go through various effects including financial strain, family problems, and poverty. They can also suffer from mental isolation and other mental illnesses. This can harm both individuals and society. In Australia approximately 5.1% of people are unemployed. This can be considered a social problem in society. Applying the idea of social construction and sociological imagination can be helpful in understanding this state of unemployment. Understanding unemployment from a social construction and sociological imagination point of view is essential. It explains why unemployment in Australia in more of a social issue rather than a personal issue.
From a social construction and sociological imagination point of view, unemployment in Australia is a personal issue. Unemployed people are lazy and lack the required working skills. According to sociologists Mills, people look at social problems from various perspectives (Brewer, 2004). Mill argued that when only a few people are facing the problem of unemployment, it is reasonable to say that they are unemployed because they are lazy and lack desired working behaviors. In this case, this problem is their own. However, if there are millions of people who are not employed, this should be a public issue (Brewer, 2004). In Australia, the number of people who are employed compared to that of unemployed people is quite low. From a sociological imagination perspective, it can be argued that those people who are not employed are lazy and lack the required skills for employment.
From a social construction and sociological imagination point of view, unemployment in Australia is a social issue. Most of the unemployed people are young people. This can be understood from a social construction and sociological imagination point of view. Most employers believe that young people lack the required experience to be productive. This is why they are denied employment opportunities. Based on Australian data, the number of young people below the age of 24 years is twice that of older people (Trading Economics, 2019). This means that the unemployment rate for the population is higher than the unemployment rate of the whole population. Even with more training, the population is still unable to secure job opportunities. The young are unable to provide for their families. Due to job inflexibility, young parents are not able to get jobs in Australia. At this point, from a social construction and sociological imagination point of view, the problem of unemployment in Australia becomes a social issue rather than a personal issue (Wiley, 2015).
In conclusion, it is clear that unemployment is an issue in Australia. Viewed from the perspective of the number of people unemployed, we would argue that unemployment in Australia is a personal issue. This is based on social construction and sociological imagination point of view. Where Mill argues that when only a few people are unemployed, then it is their problem. However, when viewed from the population facing unemployment, the problem becomes a social issue. Having the young people not able to secure jobs because of arguments that they lack experience and proper skills prevents them from providing for their families. This becomes a social issue rather than their own personal problem. Understanding Mill’s idea on sociological imagination would help understand unemployment from a different perspective essential for solving the issue of unemployment in Australia.
Brewer, J. (2004). Imagining The Sociological Imagination: The biographical context of a sociological classic. British Journal of Sociology 55(3):317-333.
Trading Economics (2019). Australia Unemployment Rate. Available at https://tradingeconomics.com/australia/unemployment-rate
Wiley, J. (2015). Sociological Imagination: A Critical Way to the World. The Pennsylvania State University. Available at https://aese.psu.edu/students/research/ced- urj/news/2015/sociological-imagination-a-critical-way-to-the-world