The great depression has far reaching social effect. The great depression can be explained as the great economic depression





The great depression has far reaching social effect. The great depression can be explained as the great economic depression. It preceded the First World War and was very severe. The greatest social effect was the widespread poverty all over. The wide spread poverty during the period of economic crisis lead to skyrocketing of the rate of crime. This is because there were so many unemployed people who resorted to criminal activities so as to manage a meal. Many who were jobless resorted to petty theft. There was a rapid rise rate of prostitution. Women were desperate as they were unable to pay their bills and provide for their children so they resorted to prostitution (Shiller 98). Many family units became stronger during this crisis. This happened because those who were jobless found themselves at home with their families and the family ties became stronger. There were also business men who found themselves back at home to their wives and children as their business crashed. Thus the gap the jobs and business caused in the families units was closed. Other families units became weak because the bread winners could no longer provide for the families leading to frequent fights. Another social effect of great depression was homelessness. Without an income many people especially those who had mortgaged homes lost their homes and ended up in makeshift dwellings which had poor sanitation and heating. It was during this period of deprivation that a generation referred to as the greatest generation by a Tom Brokaw came to birth. This is the name used to refer to those who grew up in the United States during this period.

The thrift had a number of merits though the demerits outnumbered the merits. First and for most there were family units that were strengthened as a result of the great depression. This as explained above was due to joblessness and fall of business that brought back the businessmen and the jobless back to their homes. When the family is close knit and the ties are strong, a conducive environment for upbringing the children is produced. This also helps in producing god values in the society. It was at this period a generation that contributed positively to the society grew up. This generation participated in the war and with their political dissent they contributed positively to the society.

The role that the great depression plays in our social consciousness is the effects of poverty in a society and thus poverty must always be fought tooth and nail. Another thing is that moral decadency of a society is more inclined to poverty (Shiller 157). When people in a society are not able to meet their needs they are forced to do anything however immoral to meet their needs. People will result to theft which results to hatred and tension in a society. When the crime rate rises the levels of insecurity arise and people leave in fear. Worse the thief even resort to taking lives in their quest to steal from other people. This generally means that the society is in chaos and is disintegrated. Thus burden to fight poverty is placed on the society and the leadership so as to avoid a state of chaos in the society.

It is as important as it was 50 years ago. Nothing has changed. Poverty as similar effects on the society as it had 50 years ago. People will resort to theft and other petty crimes when they are poor even to date. Prostitution in the contemporary society is practiced mostly by women who are poor and wish to foot their bills. Thus the effects and the lesson of great depression are relevant even to date.

My generation may be a bit different since formal education has permeated all the corners of the society. Even though the economic depression may result to poverty it may not be as severe as many people have the formal education and though they main earn little compared to what they are supposed to earn they are still able to meet the basic needs. However the standards of living for my generation may go down. People already used to high standards of living may not be able to adapt easily.


Shiller Robert. The effects of the great depression. United States: Norton publishers,2008