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Limited Options for Working Class Citizens Prompts Joining of the Military

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  1. Introduction
  2. The primary problem
  3. Disadvantages associated with assigning secondary school students to either college preparatory or vocational training
  4. About sociological perspectives
  5. Social forces
  6. Cultural influences
  7. Conclusion
  8. References

?Military Mirrors Working-Class America? (2003) discusses the social makeup of the military servicemen enlisted in America. The authors, David M. Halbfinger and Steven A. Holmes (2003) point out that the majority of the American military is made up of low-to-middle class citizens. The authors use statistics to prove their theory that America's elite have no reason to join the army, whereas lower status citizens are hard pressed to find the benefits and pay available through the military anywhere else. It is unfair to allow disadvantage people to fight our wars when they signed up simply because they had no other choice. You don't see America's elite fighting in the war; it's the poor who risk their lives to defend our country. It is possible that these individuals would choose a different option other than the military if there were more better-paying jobs and benefits, as well as easier access to better education and financial assistance for education.

[...] The primary reason, according to statistics provided in Halbfinger and Holmes' (2003) article, is that the limited options for working-class America to improve their way of life is why these individuals are joining the army. Sociological Approaches Sociologists could approach the question of why American's are joining the military, with their own theories and then prove them using their choice of approaches; using either the structural-functional approach, the social- conflict approach or the symbolic-interaction approach. All three approaches will result in a different reasoning. [...]


[...] A sociologist using the social-conflict approach would likely lead the sociologist to believe that certain people, such as the disadvantaged as in ?Military Mirrors Working-Class America?, join the military as a way of bettering themselves. In the ?Military? article, the authors believe the disadvantaged join the military to improve their lot in life. The symbolic-interaction approach is difficult to apply to this situation, however if the sociologist chose this approach, he or she would likely reason that people chose to join the military because it was something they needed to do at that time in their life. [...]

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