Urban Problems in Germany

Topics: Prostitution, Homelessness, Poverty Pages: 7 (2829 words) Published: November 28, 2006
This world is filled with many social problems; a lot of them are nearly impossible to come up with a solution for. Many of the world's social problems such as poverty, violence, pollution, prostitution, AIDS, drug abuse, and unemployment, some of the most widespread and unfortunate social problems, are more prevalent in our world's cities and urban areas. This is true not because people that live in urban areas are less honorable, but cities, and more urbanized areas attract people who don't meet the social norm and have and/or want to be around people that are in the same situation as they are. Artists, musicians, actors, and many assorted personality types inhabit cities to get away from the slow suburban lifestyle; and because of these reasons cities' concentration of people is becoming greater and greater every year. This paper will concentrate on a couple of the urban problems that are common in the country of Germany such as poverty/unemployment and homelessness, and prostitution. This paper will also be observing these social problems from a functionalist perspective.

There has actually been a significant increase of poverty in Germany. Federal Health Minister Fischer has stated: "Poverty has become a social issue. This is not changed by the fact that it is often left unmentioned or even suppressed. Poverty has become a risk to life that now reaches right into the heart of our society." In 1998 some 2.7 million people were dependent on social welfare in Germany, including over 1 million children; which is becoming more and more of a problem in Germany; there has been a rapid increase in child poverty. In total, 14.2 percent of children nationally, one in every seven, are living in poverty. In western Germany, the figure is 12.4 percent; in the areas constituting the former East Germany, 23.7 percent of children live in poverty. In many East German cities, the figure is well over 30 percent. The total in the German capital city of Berlin is 29.9 percent, and in the cities of Schwerin and Görlitz, 34.3 and 35 percent, respectively. As this information tells us the highest percent of children in poverty are in the country's cities. This is such a harsh truth. When thinking of poverty, and being poor, many, if not, most people think of adults that can't get jobs, or adults that are on welfare, or adults that can't support themselves or their children. At least that is what it is like in America. In Germany they are really starting to become concerned with child (children under the age of 15) poverty; they are concerned with children not being able to support themselves, and children not getting the best health care treatment, and children not getting basically the necessities of life. This is a really sad reality, and something needs to be done about it. This might be one of the most difficult social and urban problems to solve. A big reason is because people don't like to think about it. If they can't see it, it doesn't exist. It's hard to believe that there are more than 30 percent of children that are living in poverty in some areas in Germany these days.  Also, the information above does not include the people and children that are eligible for social welfare, and are not claiming, and are still living in poverty, which, I'm sure, would increase the percent a lot more, making it an even more devastating statistic.  According to the Children's Commission of the Bundestag (Federal authorities) the rise in unemployment plays a huge role in why this is happening. In Germany the homeless don't officially exist. The numbers of homeless in Germany are not registered in any governmental documents; the only estimates were made by independent institutions. One of these institutions in Germany is the Bundesarbeitgemeinschaft Wohnungslosenhilfe (BAG), a labor organization which aids the homeless. BAG has been requesting official governmental statistics as an indicator of housing required,...
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