Part 1: Synthesis Summary of the article Issues Affecting the Social Sustainability of Telecentres in Developing Contexts
In the article Issues Affecting the Social Sustainability of Telecentres in Developing Contexts, Bailey (2009) examines the issues affecting Jamaican telecentres as they conduct their daily business operations. A number of factors impact the activities of these organizations as they address the unique problems found in the society they operate in. Bailey (2009) conducted an experimental study using information from interviews with development partners, telecentre staff, government agencies, and community host organizations to show ways in which social issues affect individuals in the society. The researcher highlights a thematic framework of these issues that emerged as the roles of Jamaicans evolved through comprehensive developed content analysis. The study has contributed to practice and theory through the use of content analysis to determine fundamental issues faced by Jamaicans as they target to fulfill their advancement mandate, identify core capabilities, and support the function of staff in telecentres as they encourage community participation. The study also provides grounds for a social context theory that will inform future research on social issues experienced in the state.
In their article, Hutchinson, Simeon, Bain, Wyatt, Tucker, and LeFranc (2004) highlight concise ways in which individuals have approached social issues from different perspectives. The article titled Social and Health Determinants of Well Being and Life Satisfaction in Jamaica states that the level of satisfaction with life and the psychological wellbeing of individuals are likely to influence social behavior and impact on the provision of social services. Hutchinson et al. (2004) conclude that it is significant to determine the factors that may form these constructs. The authors also identify variables that may forecast psychological wellbeing in Jamaica and other variables that are closely associated with degree of satisfaction with life. Hutchinson et al. (2004) gathered data for this study by interviewing people between the ages of fifteen and fifty. The study was part of a survey in sexual decision making in Jamaica. In conclusion, the outcomes of the research suggest that there are essential gender variations in the intervention of psychological wellbeing and differences in factors related to satisfaction with life.
Part 2: Expository Essay on Social Issues in Jamaica
A social issue is a problem that may prevent a society from achieving optimal performance. It is important to understand that not all things that take place within our surroundings are social issues. Consequently, social problems entail those issues regarded as a problem by the general public. They include situations that are against a standard value but accepted by members of the society. A social issue can also be regarded as a problem that can be alleviated through the joint efforts of the whole community (Hutchinson et al., 2004).
A critical analysis of the Jamaican society reveals a country characterized by a number of social issues. Some of the social issues that affect the quality of life among Jamaicans include unemployment, healthcare problems, and ageism. The issues can be addressed through concerted intervention efforts from the government, development partners, and the society as a whole.
Unemployment and Its Negative Impacts on Quality of Life in Jamaica
According to the Statistical Institution of Jamaica, unemployment in Jamaica stood at 10.4% as of October 2017 (Jamaica Observer, 2017). The figure was a reduction from the 13.2% recorded in 2016. An analysis of statistics from the past 10 years reveals that unemployment levels were the lowest in 2017. For instance, in 2007, the figure stood at 10.6%. It rose to a high of 15.2% in 2013 and fell gradually to the current figure (Jamaica Observer, 2017).
The unemployment levels in Jamaica are still high compared to what the government wishes to achieve, making this issue a social problem. There are a number of issues that have contributed to the reduction in unemployment levels within the past 10 years. One of them is the efforts made by the government to create more jobs. For instance, within the past 1 year, approximately 27300 Jamaicans gained employment (Jamaica Observer, 2017).
Unemployment in Jamaica has become a disaster by creating numerous problems. The social problems brought about by this issue include violence, lowering of individual self-esteem, and crime (Bailey, 2009). Violence comes in when those people who are unemployed engage in such acts as robbery and murder to raise money. Consequently, the rate of crime escalates when individuals try to adjust to the social situation of lack of employment. Besides, the self-esteem of an individual may be affected negatively when they are idle and see others working.
The government should ensure that that the employment gap is narrowed by creating more employment opportunities. The objective can be achieved by opening up the economy to investors, creating a favorable business environment, and increased investment in education (Bailey, 2009).
Healthcare and Individual Wellbeing in Jamaica
The government in Jamaica has made efforts to provide universal healthcare to the citizens (Lavy, Palumbo, & Stern, 1995). However, healthcare remains a social problem considering the poor quality of health services and facilities in the country. There are about 40 health facilities in Jamaica (Hutchinson et al., 2004). Most of these are public facilities, meaning that the services are provided for free. However, there is overcrowding and the quality of services provided is poor. The healthcare system suffers from low funding from the government, further escalating the poor quality of the services. Currently, the doctor to patient ratio in Jamaica stands at 1:1200. As such, healthcare providers are overworked, reducing the quality of services provided. Lack of drugs is another problem facing the healthcare sector in this country (Lavy et al., 1995).
One of the problems associated with the poor quality of healthcare services and facilities in Jamaica is mortality rate. For instance, under-5 mortality rate stands at approximately 18 deaths per 1000 live births (Lavy et al., 1995). In addition, 95 mothers out of 100000 lose their lives while giving birth. Furthermore, life expectancy in the country stands at 75.80 years compared to 78.74 years in the US and 79.55 years in Cuba. All of these are issues affecting the quality of life among individuals living in the country.
To address this social problem, the government and private sector should come together to improve the quality of healthcare services provided in the country. The government should increase funding to hospitals and universal healthcare (Lavy et al., 1995). Private organizations can invest in the health insurance sector in addition to building more hospitals.
Ageism as a Social Issue in Jamaica
Ageism has been a challenge in Jamaica for a long time. It is the discrimination against a person on the grounds of their age. In most cases, both the young and old individuals have experienced ageism, especially at the workplace (Bailey, 2009). Jamaicans experience both direct and indirect ageism (Kevles & Hood, 1992). An example of indirect discrimination is where a firm comes up with an advert that stresses "we need 20 years of experience." On its part, direct discrimination would be felt if a boss tells an employee that they are in good financial standing for their age, thus rejecting a request for pay increment.
The Jamaican population is rapidly aging. By 2030, the number of individuals aged 60 years and above is projected to grow by fifty-six percent (Bailey, 2009). The development will increase medical expenditure in the country. In addition, the failure of the Jamaican society to handle ageism would undermine the rights of older individuals and provide limitations on their capability to contribute to social and cultural development in Jamaica.
The government can address this issue by coming up with policies aimed at alleviating the problems faced by the young and the aged in Jamaica. For instance, the government can introduce cash transfer programs for the aged, while advocating for the employment of the young who are qualified but lack experience (Kevles & Hood, 1992). Private investors and the general public can also play a role by reducing discrimination against people who are young or old.
Unemployment, poor healthcare, and ageism are social issues that have an impact on the quality of life among individuals in Jamaica. It is important to identify these and other issues and come up with appropriate social actions to address them. The problems need to be immediately addressed by the government, the private sector, and the community at large for the betterment of the society as a whole.
Bailey, A. (2009). Issues affecting the social sustainability of telecentres in developing contexts: A field study of sixteen telecentres in Jamaica. The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries, 36(1), 1-18.
Hutchinson, G., Simeon, D. T., Bain, B. C., Wyatt, G. E., Tucker, M. B., & LeFranc, E. (2004). Social and health determinants of wellbeing and life satisfaction in Jamaica. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 50(1), 43-53.
Jamaica Observer. (2017). Unemployment falls as labor force grows by 0.6%: STATIN. Retrieved from http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Unemployment_falls_as_labour_force_grows_0.6_%26%238212;_STATIN?profile=1228
Kevles, D., & Hood, L. (1992). The code of codes: Scientific and social issues in the human genome project. London: Harvard University Press.
Lavy, V., Palumbo, M., & Stern, S. N. (1995). Healthy to work: The impact of free public healthcare on health status and labor supply in Jamaica. Journal of Sociology, 12(4), 12-39.
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