Problems Facing in SocietyWhat is 1 issue that the society is facing?

Expert Answers
Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Divisiveness seems to me to be a major problem today, in societies all over the world.  Is this a new problem?  Not at all.  But it is a problem that we are more aware of than ever before because of the ease and speed of communication we have.  And because of this awareness, we have, I believe, a responsibility to address the problem.  While we speak of the world becoming a global village, we remain completely at odds with one another, religiously, politically, culturally.

Sometimes I wonder if man is "designed" to exist most successfully on a tribal or village level. The larger a political or geographic unit we try to unite in, the greater the divisiveness.  Is nationalism an idea whose time has come and gone?  Is "super nationalism," as in the USSR or the unification of Europe, an even worse idea?  Diversity and divisiveness come from the same root.  Is it possible to have one without the other?

Sometimes I wonder if our empathy genes are atrophying.  I am guilty of this myself, in the current political crisis in the United States.  There was a time I would have at least tried to see the point of view of those who seek to harm the weakest of us in the interests of a balancing the budget, or tried to understand the mindset of a political candidate who would appoint no members of the Islam faith.  But there is a kind of feedback loop you need for empathy to continue, some evidence that others are trying to empathize, too.  We are born with the ability to empathize, and that ability is strengthened or weakened by the responses of the world around us.  If that ability withers, perhaps divisiveness is the consequence.

 

pacorz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Responding to #11, I think you have hit upon something there. At some point people lost track of the difference between a need and a want. This theme plays across many other discussions on this site - for instance, the many versions of can/should/will China and India attain the standard of living that is common in the US?

The reality is that people spend so much time and energy pursuing the means to pay for their standard of living that they don't spend any time living. We have houses that are far bigger than necessary, we travel great distances to do trivial errands, and we spend our money and time on "stuff", and then we read advice columns on what to do about the clutter that the stuff creates. And of course the production of all this stuff is very hard on the planet.

If you have not seen Annie Leonard's "The Story of Stuff", it is a very interesting online video. You can find it at

http://www.storyofstuff.com/

kiwi eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I can see that the advances made in technological monitoring have great advantages to society, however I also feel that we are eroding our privacy.

I would say that we are heading rapidly to a state where privacy is non-existent, and the desire to remain out of the loop of social networking is seen as subversive. I constantly receive pressure from family, friends, colleagues and even my workplace to sign up to Facebook, Twitter and the like. I currently choose not to be part of these networks, but I am made to feel increasingly uncomfortable about my choice. Travelling to the US now involves retinal scanning and other processes of retaining personal data.

 

M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Health reform and keeping a nation healthy is, to me, the first issue to be addressed. Surely, the economy's dire state is conducive to the way in which basic social services continue to be overlooked for lack of money.

Yet, as D.C. tries to come together to avoid a crashing debt followed by a horribly-implemented national health care plan, Americans continue to get fatter, more dependent on SSRI's (psychotropic medications) and all forms of illegal drugs. The first step to overcome any obstacle is to do it within a clear fame of mind and with good health. If we continue the way we are going, we are going to have a lot of problems in the future.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would have to agree with others (assuming you are talking about the US) that the economic situation we face in terms of debt, recession and taxes is our largest threat at the moment.  It will be difficult to envision, and very difficult for Americans to accept, a decline in our standard of living, but that is exactly what happens in the long term if we cannot reverse or stabilize this situation somehow.  Safety nets and major programs of aid such as Social Security and Medicare are threatened, but so are bedrock institutions like universities and emergency services.

Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Poverty is still a problem, to a lesser or greater degree, in nearly every country of the world. There are so many advances and technologies which can be focused on growing more food and maintaining better health, but there is little incentive to apply them to the poorest regions and populations. Some are doing just that, but it is a "hard sell" to many businesses and corporations because there is nothing in it for them. Poverty and its effects are a leading cause of death in many countries; the tragedy is how preventable this problem is.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is very different in different societies.

In the world as a whole, one major problem we are facing is the problem of how to create economic growth without destroying the environment.  We know that climate change is happening, but we do not really know at this point how we can turn it around without doing things that are very harmful to the global economy.  This is a major problem as it pits our need to have money and a good standard of living against the need to keep the Earth's environment in a liveable condition.

 

Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One issue common to our global society is the proliferation of toxic chemicals into our daily lives and the resulting almost universal presence of toxic chemical body burdens, which are present in virtually all persons, including infants, in Western society and becoming ever more present in persons in developing nations. The EPA has stated that the indoor air quality of American homes, schools and businesses is generally between 30 and 80 percent worse than automobile and industry polluted outdoor air quality.

bigdreams1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As you can see by the variety of ideas posted above, there are many problems facing society today...the most critical one would be a matter of opinion.

In my view, as a struggling middle class teacher, the biggest problem in American society is the nation's huge debt and the resulting recession. I think our government needs to get a handle on its spending and put itself on a strict budget (like the rest of have to do to pay the bills) so that we can get the US financially healthy again.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It's hard to overlook the terrible state of the national economy as our country heads ever so closer to another recession/depression. It has drastically affected the job and housing markets, and crime is on the rise again. The inept leadership that has been exhibited by our previous two presidents, and the infighting between Democrats and Republicans--who seem bent on strengthening their own parties instead of the country--continue to make matters worse. Sadly, more of the same looms ahead.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
The number one issue that we are facing in our society is that we cannot mantain a stable economy. This is not true only n America. Throughout the word, our economies are interconnected. The economy is important in any sophisticated culture.
losangeles12 | Student

Education, or the lack of education, is the number one issue facing various societies worldwide. Because of the rapid changes in the labor market and in society as a whole, education is a necessary tool that people must have to compete. Those without an education will not be able to work in the new economy, and those with an education will be able to succeed.

arafat12 | Student

Education, I think is the common problem that happens in some countries. Some people can't have a good education. It is still very expensive to go to universities although there are some scholarship provided. By education, a nation can be a successful nation.

truthseekah | Student

I can see that the advances made in technological monitoring have great advantages to society, however I also feel that we are eroding our privacy.

I would say that we are heading rapidly to a state where privacy is non-existent, and the desire to remain out of the loop of social networking is seen as subversive. I constantly receive pressure from family, friends, colleagues and even my workplace to sign up to Facebook, Twitter and the like. I currently choose not to be part of these networks, but I am made to feel increasingly uncomfortable about my choice. Travelling to the US now involves retinal scanning and other processes of retaining personal data.

 

Well said. I am reminded of Orwell's, 1984. We are increasingly scared into relinquishing our human rights without much opposition.

truthseekah | Student

I feel the #1 issue is equating materialism with happiness.