Foundation of Social Sciences: COVID – 19

Foundation of Social Sciences: COVID – 19: Sociology (Apring 2021) Term Paper. SOCI A 123F Foundation of Social Sciences: Sociology (Apri…

Foundation of Social Sciences: COVID – 19

Introduction

Essay Topic:  You are required to write from 1,300 to 1,500 words (excluding the reference list) to answer the  following questions. You should cite at least 4 references in your paper. A penalty can be imposed on answers that exceed the above word limit.  

Answer all the following questions:  

1. Covid-19 pandemic is impacting our daily life recently. Write an essay to illustrate how Covid-19  affect people from one of the following:  a. different Class  b. different Gender  

2. Explain briefly one sociological perspective taught in topic 4. Apply the perspective to discuss  one issue as follows: (Topic 1 & 4)  

a. Compulsory testing (Cap. 599J)  

b. COVID-19 Vaccinaton Programme  

c. Health code and LeaveHomeSafe mobile app  

d. Mask consumption and Mask wearing  

e. Social distancing measures  

f. Vaccine bubble  

? You are recommended to read lecture notes and reference readings before you write the paper.  Those readings equip your knowledge and provide insights. You also can cite them as your  references which help you to get higher marks in this paper.

Foundation of Social Sciences: Sociology

Solution

Infectious diseases present many health challenges for human populations in various jurisdictions. The COVID-19 pandemic has proved devasting affecting people regardless of age, gender, race, and geographic location (Hearne & Niño, 2021). At the same time, many people have lost their lives while others grapple with adverse symptoms and impacts; the trend is replicated across the world as it continues to deter the lives and well-being of individuals. Since the onset of the pandemic, gender inequality has exacerbated direly among women than their male counterparts.

Gender-related disparities have existed historically, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, the situations faced by young girls and women have been exposed and necessitated the need to enforce prevention guidelines. Society is the foundational element that defines people, their activities, and their way of life. The pandemic has changed cultural orientations as people progressively adopt new practices that aim to reduce and avert prevalent COVID-19 effects.

Although the pandemic continues to ravage society economically, socially, and politically, assessing its impacts on gender through a social lens is warranted given the global support and adoption of face masks.

Impacts of Covid-19 on Gender

COVID-19 spreads from one person to another in several multiple ways. Regardless of social underpinnings considered to simulate its spread, everyone can be infected through small liquid particles when one talks, sneezes, breathes, and coughs. Moreover, touching infected surfaces exacerbates the spread among people.

Although infection and spread exhibit uniformity across populations, the impacts posed by COVID-19 vary primarily based on gender. Over the past year, women have been affected disproportionately, and this has rendered the overall economy and society critically impaired (Bagnall & Laverick, 2020). According to global research and statistical records, job opportunities and positions reserved for women are 1.8 times more vulnerable to be lost compared to those for men.

Globally, women constitute 39% of global employment yet make up more than 54% of total job losses (Boncori, 2020). This trend can be attributed to the fact that society, for a long time, reserved some job opportunities for women; thus, they work in different sectors than men. The male gender is regarded as superior.

As a result, men occupy prestigious and productive work positions while women fill the ‘soft spot” positions in the hospitality and healthcare professions. Therefore, women are more vulnerable and affected than other people in society.

In the past, women were considered home keepers and child-bearers, but today, perceptions of women have changed significantly. Gender equality has improved because women have stepped up their roles in society by challenging historical norms and perceptions of women’s roles in homes and at workplaces (Griffiths, 2021).

 Today, their contribution to the economy and social settings through employment has elevated communities and countries in general. However, due to the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, many job losses and unemployment among women is projected to dip global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by $1 trillion as of 2030.

As much as the pandemic has presented disproportionate effects, gender-regressive effects of increased attitudinal bias towards women deteriorated public and private spending, and childcare burdens discourage women from the labour market (Wadman, 2020). Moreover, existing gender inequalities contribute to the increased effects of COVID-19 on women and other minority groups lives, work, and livelihoods. Women together with organizations that advocate for gender equality should strive to avert economic, social, and political adversities in their communities and globally.

The Functionalist Perspective

Society is composed of interdependent functions and processes that facilitate interactions among its members. The functionalist perspective of sociology is characterized by provisions of social consensus where community members work in cohesion to ensure the success of society.

Emile Durkheim pioneered functionalism, arguing that its social consensus can be defined through mechanical solidarity or organic solidarity (Nigam, 2020). In mechanical solidarity, people in a specific social setting exhibit similar values and beliefs and partake in common types of work. In contrast, organic solidarity defines the interdependence of community people who, however, engage in different types of work and hold varying values and belief towards life and its tenets.

In the functionalist perspective, society’s functioning applies to complex and straightforward settings. Healthcare sectors provide medical assistance and solutions for community members who in turn pay for services to keep medical institutions afloat and fully functional. Functionalism provides that community id depends on healthcare institutions to provide good health and support and promote society’s functioning as a whole.

 Hospitals, health care professionals, and patients contribute in varying extremes to the functioning of different parts of society to produce order, stability, and productivity (Niroula, 2020). In a fully functional society, these parts are efficiently interdependent. However, in an alternative scenario where ideal situations are not followed, society changes tactics of attaining new order to produce similar outcomes as a functional society. 

Another understanding of the functionalist perspective is based on manifest and latent functions. Manifest functions are characterized as being intentional and obvious, while latent functions are unintentional and not obvious. Therefore, a society’s general outlook may differ from its core functions and underpinnings depending on its economic, social, and political orientation. For example, visiting a religious place manifests worship purposes, but latent functions centre on self-identification and distinguish between personal and institutional values. 

Mask Consumption and Mask Wearing

COVID-19 pandemic has changed everyday living and ways of doing things. Person-to-person interactions have become restrained to reduce coronavirus spread, infection, and fatalities. Since the onset of the pandemic in 2019, mask consumption soared drastically as the use of masks and other preventive measures provided acceptable levels of protection (“COVID-19 and gender equality:

Countering the regressive effects”, 2021). However, adherence to mask-wearing provisions has been partly followed as some people are reluctant to follow mask use directives strictly. Mask consumption is about covering the nose and mouth and maintaining hygiene and other effective mask-wearing provisions.

Although mask-wearing is regarded as the most effective strategy to prevent COVID-19 spread, societies have had to adopt new social orientations that indicate adherence to preventive policies and demonstrate consideration for family and community members. 

The ongoing pandemic continues to demand considerable amounts of resource input and social change. The United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has distributed more than 200 million medical masks to over 100 countries globally (“Promoting Mask-wearing during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Policymaker’s Guide – NACCHO”, 2021).

These statistics indicate that mask consumption and demand is exceptionally high and will soar to unprecedented levels. According to UNICEF, the needs of health professionals should be prioritized because their areas of speciality are most affected and vulnerable to adverse impacts of COVID-19.

Application of the Functionalist Perspective

Mask consumption and mask-wearing illustrate practical measures of preventing coronavirus spread in the community and other social settings. Although masks’ use depends on individual considerations, it takes a social order perspective and influences the overall social orientation of people and processes. The functionalist perspective emerged during the 1940s and 1950s and described the social order and functions of human behaviours.

It stated that the functioning of society is interdependent and is the key determinant of its functioning. In contemporary society, members of society have widely accepted values and beliefs that hold it together, contribute to the general good, and strive to achieve goals communally. Therefore, the functionalist perspective determines definite cultures that work to enhances social interactions and behaviours. 

Human interactions and behaviours contribute to social change, especially during unprecedented events such as COVID-19. The current pandemic has exposed weakened social institutions and their inefficient preventive measures to protect communities. Mask consumption and mask-wearing has become the new social order across the world in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and has changed the general functioning of communities (“When and how to use masks”, 2021).

 In some jurisdictions, mask consumption was marred by misconceptions and derailed efforts to initiate other preventive measures. As a result, some countries are currently experiencing the third and fourth waves of COVID-19 because of laxity and lack of consideration for preventive policies. India is the latest victim experiencing far more devasting effects usurping social expectations and global projections; it has experienced devastating infection rates and deaths. Therefore, mask consumption and mask-wearing have changed social order and the general function of society. 

Conclusion

Sociology seeks to examine the foundations of societies and their approaches towards events and situations. The COVID-19 pandemic presents numerous health and social effects that change social orientations directly and indirectly. Since the pandemic began, many people have fallen victims, with some losing their lives and others confined to hospitals culminating in a society crisis necessitating new measures to address significant concerns of the pandemic.

Women have been affected the most than their male counterparts. This analogy draws from historical misconceptions and perceptions that defined women as home keepers and child-bearers; in today’s society, women occupy inferior positions. The functionalist perspective delineates the functioning of a society based on social order and the positioning of its members.

Mask consumption and mask-wearing align with the functionalist perspective as it has changed the general functioning of communities and necessitated the adoption of a new social order.

References

Bagnall, E., & Laverick, D. (2020). How women leaders can bounce back from Covid-19. Entrepreneur and Innovation Exchange. https://doi.org/10.32617/564-5f6b878ddc96b

Boncori, I. (2020). The never‐ending shift: A feminist reflection on living and organizing academic lives during the coronavirus pandemic. Gender, Work & Organization27(5), 677-682. https://doi.org/10.1111/gwao.12451

COVID-19 and gender equality: Countering the regressive effects. UNICEF Global Development Commons. (2021). Retrieved 18 May 2021, from https://gdc.unicef.org/resource/covid-19-and-gender-equality-countering-regressive-effects.

Griffiths, H. (2021). Invisible people: A story of fertility treatment and loss during the pandemic. Gender, Work & Organization. https://doi.org/10.1111/gwao.12665

Hearne, B., & Niño, M. (2021). Understanding how race, ethnicity, and gender shape mask-wearing adherence during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Evidence from the COVID impact survey. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40615-020-00941-1

Nigam, S. (2020). COVID-19, Lockdown and violence against women in homes. SSRN Electronic Journal. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3587399

Niroula, G. (2020). Cooperation with health professionals during the pandemic of COVID 19. Dhaulagiri Journal of Sociology and Anthropology14, 90-96. https://doi.org/10.3126/dsaj.v14i0.30390

Promoting Mask-wearing during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Policymaker’s Guide – NACCHO. Naccho.org. (2021). Retrieved 18 May 2021, from https://www.naccho.org/blog/articles/promoting-mask-wearing-during-the-covid-19-pandemic-a-policymakers-guide.

Wadman, M. (2020). Why pregnant women face special risks from COVID-19. Science. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abe1694

When and how to use masks. Who.int. (2021). Retrieved 18 May 2021, from https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/when-and-how-to-use-masks.

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