Where can you get this   amazing book?

   Buy it on     Amazon.com

  Buy it on    Barnes and Noble

If you order from a bookstore, the U.S.   publisher is The Writers' Collective.   Give the store this number:  
ISBN 978-1-59411-015-3

Price: $16.95

Pages: 294, includes full index and learning guides for parents and teachers

Contact the distributor directly to order  by credit card at 1-800-497-0037
(for North America only)
Email (from anywhere)

Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems is available by ordering from your local bookstore or by ordering from the major online bookstores.

An ebook version that may be read on any computer or hand-held device [.EXE or PDF] is available for US $10. Click Contact button to get it now.
























































































































Typical social (community    and personal) problems    addressed by TIA:
violence, drug abuse, alcoholism, other addictions, road rage, office rage, bullying, homelessness, teenage rebellion, thrill-seeking and depression, major crime, even illiteracy, high divorce rates and personal problems that lead to neuroses, bankruptcy or emotional breakdowns.



 Copyright 2003-2012 BillAllin.com          All Rights Reserved


              INSIDE THE BOOK

Chapter Three:
Social Problems Affect Everyone

Social problems affect you, me, everybody. Our primary focus through the book will be problems over which we believe we have no control. We all suffer from them without knowing what to do about them. We talk about them in lunchrooms, after church, on the Internet and at social gatherings. Television news programs, magazines and newspapers are full of them. We shake our heads, sympathize with each other, feel a little more uncomfortable with each exposure.

Problems are a way of life with us. We know the effects and costs of personal problems. They have a way of resolving themselves over time. Our personal problems mostly affect us and maybe a few others close to us. Social problems ring in at a different level. They rage through our communities, out of control because we believe their causes can't be addressed or even touched by us. They seem to be a necessary evil of modern life in cities.

How can we recognize a social problem? After all, we endure all problems personally. Social problems are shared among many people, not just a few. They usually involve anti-social behaviour. But not always, since the perpetrators do not necessarily think they are doing anything wrong.. They affect strangers as well as friends and family.

Our society pays to have social workers, police and other government employees deal with those involved with social problems. Yet the problems persist. Either these people are incompetent in every city of the world or we are approaching the problems the wrong way. So we pay to take ourselves down the same dead end roads year after year.

If you find yourself on a dead end road that will not take you where you want to go, change course and find a different route. Finding that different route is the second step for this book. The first is to convince you that a new course is needed.

A social problem affects people directly and indirectly. An indirect effect would be fear or concern that is generated among members of a community over a particular problem they have in common. In a sense, you could say that "a personal problem is what I have" and "a social problem is what others have that affects me, even if I don't know the individuals involved."

For example, a divorce touches the lives of several people, most of whom know each other. A divorce rate around fifty percent is a social problem because it not only affects the individuals involved, but it has an impact on others. For example, school classes have trouble celebrating Mother's Day or Father's Day because some children lack a parent in their lives. Children may also lack the influence of one parent or gender role model in his or her life. This can affect their behaviour in class, which in turn impacts on the rest of the class.

One of the ways in which we teach children respect and admiration for their parents is through activities relating to Mother's Day and Father's Day. When the celebrations in classrooms stops for reasons of political correctness, the teaching of respect and admiration for parents on those occasions stops too. The teaching moment disappears. School curriculum provides little room for these values to be replaced.

Some formerly common celebrations within schools, including Christmas, must be omitted entirely because we fear that some kids will find them unhappy occasions or be unable to participate. Although we eliminate Christmas trees and carols, the lessons of goodwill, of caring for others, of helping and sharing, of giving, disappear. Replacement teaching situations simply do not happen.

A high divorce rate affects the topics of television programs and stage plays, fiction and nonfiction books and even creates the need for support groups and sometimes intervention by civil authorities who should otherwise not be involved in family affairs. Divorce, as a social factor, affects our lives whether or not we are directly involved.

If you are homeless, you have a personal problem. But homeless people collectively form a social problem. We believe that all people should have food to eat, shelter from the weather and clothing to wear. They need support from strangers because they cannot manage these on their own. Homeless people, for the most part, are unable to provide for themselves the basic needs of life. At least not in a socially acceptable manner.

Illiteracy, even functional illiteracy where people can read but they have trouble understanding and acting on the written documents that affect their lives, is a social problem because our businesses slow to accommodate employees who cannot keep up with the pace. Our health care system is plugged with people who suffer from stress they are unable to knowingly attribute to their own inability to cope with what they have read, either in their jobs or at home.

Speeding on residential roads and highways has become a social problem because people die or are injured in accidents. No one has a good explanation of why drivers greatly exceed the speed limit. Some of it involves thrill-seeking and risk-taking. A high-speed, high-stress lifestyle explains other examples. Some believe that speeding has become a social norm, acceptable to most drivers but frowned upon by police who need to fill the public coffers with fines.

Street gangs don't directly affect the lives of most of us. But they become social problems when their activities become violent or they sell illegal materials, behaviours that create fear among strangers to them because people worry that they might become the next victims. Repeated emphasis of these activities by the media causes fear, apprehension, even neuroses among citizens not otherwise involved.

Organized crime exists as a social problem mostly because participation in their activities is a moral issue. Even having to deal with such people in an official capacity is considered socially unpleasant.

Criminal organizations address the situation of a high demand for certain services and products for which there is a small or no legal supply. Honest citizens pay highly from their pockets for organized crime because they insist that their governments do not become involved directly in activities associated with organized crime. We pay much higher taxes because those who use the services of organized crime pay no tax and we must pay for police, court, legal and prison services so that our governments can remain at arms length from these highly profitable business activities.

If the moral component associated with organized crime activities were removed, governments could provide clean, safe products and services, in controlled conditions. If for example governments licensed prostitutes and verified their state of health and controlled the distribution of street drugs, our streets, our social services and our health care system could be relieved of great burdens.

With the money saved by freeing up police and judicial services and the taxes earned from these activities, governments could easily conduct education campaigns that would lower participation in these now illegal activities. This is a short term solution that might not be acceptable to the majority of citizens. The purpose of this book is to provide long term solutions that are agreeable to a large majority of people.

Governments have no trouble collecting money from people for products and services which they fundamentally condemn. Cigarette smoking has become socially unacceptable in most parts of North America. Governments collect taxes from the legal sale of cigarettes, then use the money to campaign against smoking by educating citizens of its hazards. Yet some less socially acceptable practices are not taxed.

Governments have begun to turn the corner on some social problems in our communities. They have not yet done so with others because they are not supported by their electorate and in some cases they don't know what to do.

Only when citizens authorize and encourage their governments to directly address social problems, without allowing ancient moralities and fears to interfere, can progress be made to eliminate them or at least lessen their impact over a short term. Those ancient moralities developed when civilization was in its tribal stage and religions needed to create rules to control the behaviour of a few people. Now we have police and laws to serve the same function. Modern social agencies work within ancient moralities.

For our purposes, a social problem will be any behaviour by groups of strangers that creates fear, worry or concern for you and others in your community.

While many people participate in them, many more are affected, either as victims or by association (such as by watching television news reports). Social problems involve almost everyone in some way, even strangers. For the same reason, social problems require solutions where people who don't know each other act together to protect their personal and collective interests. They must act together to remedy situations that have gone beyond their control and the control of their governments, their churches and other agencies that directly influenced citizens and controlled behaviour in the past.

If a particular problem worries you or concerns you in some way, then you must be a party to its solution. Social problems do not go away by themselves, as personal problems sometimes do. When people ignore them or urge their governments to provide quick solutions by using the police, courts and hospitals, the problems get worse. Only when the people affected by a problem acknowledge that it is a problem and work together on a collective solution can there be any possibility of resolving it.

There is no custom or tradition in large societies to create collective solutions to social problems. Large societies are a relatively new form of civilization, considering the history of humankind. In tribal societies, collective solutions to problems were as common as solutions devised by tribal leaders. Theft, for example, might be handled by social ostracism for a period of time, such that members of the tribe would not speak to the offender or help him. For the most part, the world of the 21st century has evolved past tribal societies into much larger forms of civilization. In the process of creating our modern world, we have not developed ways to address and resolve social problems created by our larger societies.

Our governments tend to involve us less and less in the daily operation of our countries as they grow, whether they be democracies, monarchies or other forms of administration. We don't have time to learn what our governments are doing. Or we have been led to believe that we don't have time. Our governments, in turn, believe that they don't have time to inform us. An uninformed public is the breeding ground for social problems when people do not act together to address them.

Some people don't vote because they don't know who is running in an election or anything about the issues of the day. These people unknowingly create another social problem called apathy. Governments can run amok, following whatever policies and paths their leaders want. They know that most people don't know enough about what is going on to care.

People who don't care and don't vote affect you because politicians can rouse apathetic, uncaring people enough, when needed, to support what those politicians want. Unaware and uncaring citizens unknowingly become a non-participating, controlling interest in social policy. Apathetic citizens affect public policy.

Social problems can only be addressed and solutions formed when a majority of people agree that they should. The silence of the silent majority of people is a social problem in itself. It's up to those who care and who are interested to rouse the interest of those who don't. That means that they must read this book and come to realize that they can help to solve social problems, that they are needed, that they can make a difference. In fact, social problems cannot be solved without them. Your encouragement is needed.

Our modern cities have not created a lot of bad people. They have created a majority of people who are not conscious of the need for them to participate in solutions to 21st century problems.

Those who care about finding solutions to social problems must become the ones who awaken others and keep up their spirits until we can form an active majority.

Apathetic people have become that way because they have given up hope that anything can be changed. They don't know the very important information that you will learn as you read through this book. They don't know that solutions are within us. It's up to us to make them aware that there is reason for hope, that solutions are possible, that their participation is needed and valuable and that the solutions are based on what we all believe now.

We don't need to change our beliefs and values. On the contrary, it's critical that we keep them. We need to change what we do with them.  

Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for
Today's Epidemic Social Problems

by Bill Allin

(The Writers' Collective, 2005)
ISBN: 978 -1-59411-015-3 

Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems

Home | About Bill Allin | Contact Us | Site Map