Just Sociology

Poverty Racism and Housing: The Tragic Death of Awaab

The death of Awaab, a ten-year-old boy from Rochdale, UK, has raised concerns about poverty in the UK and whether racism played a role in his death. This article will explore the complex theories and concepts surrounding Awaab’s death and the wider social issues it highlights.

The first part of the article will examine Awaab’s medical condition and the inactivity of the social housing provider and the government in addressing sub-standard housing conditions. The second part will focus on the alleged racism involved in Awaab’s death and its role as a causal factor.

Finally, the article will discuss sociological perspectives on poverty, life chances and education, housing stock, and the private rented sector. Awaab’s Medical Condition

Awaab’s respiratory condition was caused by the mould in the property where he lived.

The family had repeatedly asked the Rochdale Boroughwide Council, the social housing provider, to address the issue, but to no avail. Instead, Awaab’s condition was treated with medication and an inhaler.

Unfortunately, Awaab’s condition worsened, leading to his death.

Inactivity of the Social Housing Provider and Government Policy

The fact that Awaab’s family lived in sub-standard conditions highlights the inadequacy of government regulations and the social housing provider’s inaction in addressing the issue. The family, along with their solicitor, had initiated a formal process against Rochdale Boroughwide Council regarding the housing conditions in their property.

However, there are time limits in place, and the family’s solicitor was unable to take further action before the council’s suspension of the formal process pending an investigation. Furthermore, government policy on sub-standard housing conditions has been under scrutiny, and some argue that underfunding for social housing is a contributing factor.

Awaab’s Law

Awaab’s Law, which is a proposed amendment to the Social Housing Policy, aims to remedy some of the inadequacies in government regulations and housing providers’ inactivity. The law includes the implementation of mandatory and routine inspections of social housing properties to ensure that they meet safe living standards.

In March 2021, the UK government announced plans to introduce Awaab’s Law to address the issue of sub-standard housing conditions.

Sociological Perspectives

Awaab’s death and the social issues it highlights are complex, and sociological perspectives offer valuable insights into the reasons behind such tragedies. Poverty and relative deprivation are factors that contribute to sub-standard living conditions, as well as differential educational achievement and life chances.

In this context, the underfunding for social housing and the profit motive of the private rented sector also exacerbate the problem.

Allegations of Racism

The fact that Awaab and his family were not English-speaking and the perceived inactivity of institutional authorities have led to allegations of blatant racism being involved in his death. The investigating authorities have denied any suggestion of this nature, with the UK’s Equalities and Human Rights Commission stating that it had not found any evidence to support such claims.

Racism as a Causal Factor

While the allegations of racism have not been substantiated, it is important to consider the possibility of racism being a causal factor in Awaab’s death, particularly in the context of institutional bias. Institutional bias can result in unequal treatment based on socio-economic status, race, or language barriers.

It is essential to address this issue to ensure that such tragedies do not occur in the future and that everyone is treated equitably and fairly. Conclusion:

Awaab’s death highlights the complex social issues involving poverty, social housing, government policy, and the private rented sector.

Furthermore, the allegations of racism and institutional bias surrounding his death serve as a reminder of the need to address issues of inequality and discrimination. While Awaab’s Law is a step in the right direction, it is crucial to address the underlying sociological factors that contribute to such tragedies to ensure that they do not recur.

In conclusion, the death of Awaab has brought to the forefront the issues surrounding poverty, sub-standard housing conditions, and institutional bias. The existence of Awaab’s Law and the government’s focus on social housing policy are steps in the right direction to address these issues, but there is still work to be done.

Sociological factors also need to be considered when addressing these issues to ensure that everyone has equal opportunities for a good quality of life. By raising awareness of these issues, we can work towards creating change and preventing such tragedies from happening in the future.

FAQs:

1. What caused Awaab’s death?

Awaab’s respiratory condition was caused by the mould in his family’s sub-standard housing conditions. 2.

What is Awaab’s Law? Awaab’s Law is a proposed amendment to the Social Housing Policy that aims to implement mandatory and routine inspections of social housing properties to ensure that they meet safe living standards.

3. Were allegations of racism involved in Awaab’s death substantiated?

No, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission have stated that they have not found any evidence to support the allegations. 4.

How can we address the underlying sociological factors contributing to Awaab’s death? It is essential to consider issues of poverty, differential educational achievement and life chances, and institutional bias when addressing the inadequate social housing conditions that exacerbate these factors.

5. What is the government’s focus on social housing policy?

The UK government has announced plans to introduce Awaab’s Law, emphasizing the need to address issues of sub-standard housing conditions and implementing policies that strive towards safe living standards.

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