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Conflict Perspective on Unemployment

Youth unemployment has, unfortunately, become an integral part of the American society. Modern sociology is deeply concerned with the social interactions and behaviors associated with the inability of people to find decent jobs. The social phenomenon of unemployment is applicable to all demographic groups of the American population. Nevertheless, the most affected strata of society is people under the age of 30. The majority of people under 30 strive to get a job in global corporations that offer decent career opportunities. Simultaneously, very often the under-30 population faces the problem that the diploma is not the guarantee of employment, and other social factors come into play. The best way to analyze the unemployment of the given demographic group is to apply one of the three perspectives used in sociology: the conflict, the functionalist, or the interactionist perspective.

It is common knowledge that the unemployment rate for people under the age of 30 is 15- 16%. In terms of the aforementioned phenomenon, the conflict theory effectively reflects the essence of the problem. According to the conflict perspective, unemployment of young adults is the result of the competition in the market of labor. In other words, the qualification of the potential employee is not the only factor taken into consideration by the employer. Thus, in order for people under 30 to stay in labor market, young people need to change the way they present themselves to the potential employer. These changes should be made according to top five reasons business owners declare as the real reasons they do not like to hire people under 30. These reasons include poor dress at work, questionable social media posts (Facebook, Twitter, etc), poor research skills, inability to ask questions, and, finally, overconfidence of the potential employee. Business owners perceive their employees as the representation of the reputation of their businesses. High academic degree cannot cover the questionable impression that can be made when the young employee is poorly dressed and has compromising media posts.  Poor research skills, the fact that the potential employee does not ask questions, and overconfidence lead to the conclusion that the young professional has no potential to develop within the company. Therefore, the unemployment of people under 30 allows the social system to change for the better and maximizes the benefits of those young adults who manage to objectively evaluate themselves as professionals and are able to preserve their personal life avoiding questionable social media posts. Correspondingly, people under 30 do not meet the high demands of well-paid jobs and are forced either to remain unemployed or chose a low-paid job instead creating high unemployment statistics. This fact creates a strong competition between the demographic group of people under 30 and the group from 30 to 45. Besides, a high percentage of young adults indeed do not have appropriate college education due to economic factors forcing them to start working in the service sector immediately after finishing high school. The longer such adults remain unemployed before and after college the lesser are the chances they will meet the demands of the employers as they start presenting insufficient qualification and skills.

The extremely high rate of unemployment among the population under 30 as applied to the conflict theory can be, therefore, determined as the result of high competition among the mature employees and the young overconfident graduates. Nevertheless, this phenomenon is an acknowledgement of the high competition within the aforementioned demographic group. This competition is the driving force of the future changes within the labor market of the United States as it dictates the new “representation” rules for young adults. Taking into consideration a set of reasons why business owners prefer not to hire people under 30, it is possible to say that unemployment is also the individual’s responsibility.