Social bottom: definition of the concept

Social bottom: definition of the concept
Social bottom: definition of the concept

The social bottom is a special class (category) of citizens, which consists of people who, as it were, find themselves outside of modern civilization. It is also called the underclass - the lowest layer of society, consisting of homeless people, vagrants, homeless people, drug addicts and alcoholics, as well as prostitutes, in general, all those who lead an obscene, by the standards of an ordinary person, lifestyle. Those who find themselves on the social bottom are called outcasts, beggars, homeless people, etc. This category of society can contribute to an increase in crime.

those who found themselves on the social bottom

Poverty Studies

Vagabonds and tramps sometimes become the object of scientific research. So, according to one of them, not only low-skilled workers, but also those who had good qualifications in the past, find themselves on the social bottom. They make up about a quarter of the representatives of the lower stratum of society. Enoughsignificant among them is the share of the former intelligentsia - from 10 to 15 percent.

According to one of the experts in sociology, E. N. Zaborov, the world community should pay more attention to the problems of employment. Otherwise, in the future, 4/5 of the total number of residents may be left without a livelihood, while the remaining 20% ​​will become even richer. Such a stratification, unfortunately, is very relevant for modern Russia. As a result of these processes, most of the citizens of our country may end up at the bottom.

social bottom

The consequence will be the disappearance of the middle class, as well as the likely emergence of conflict situations due to social inequality.

Social bottom in literature

The stratification into rich and poor has become the main theme of some works and feature films. The long-term consequences of all these processes are colorfully described in the book by Herbert Wells "The Time Machine". In this novel, the poor and deprived of their homes and prosperity gradually went underground, making room on the surface of the earth for the rich elite. Over time, even the biology of these people has changed. The lower class from the underground turned into almost colorless small creatures with twilight vision, and those who lived in paradise on the surface became defenseless and naive creatures with a harmonious but fragile body.

In cinematography

The film "The Destroyer" starring Sylvester Stallone describes a future where the descendants of an exfoliated lower class lived in the underground catacombs, eating rats, andon the surface of the earth - rich members of the elite. The hatred that existed between them formed the basis of this feature film.

The bottom of social life in its current form is vividly illustrated in the film "Home Alone 2". To see him "in all its glory" happened to the main character of this film - a boy named Kevin. Episodes showing the life of the homeless and vagrants are found in many American films.

Poverty in the Russian Federation

The social bottom in Russia is quite well expressed. According to Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences T. I. Zaslavskaya, there are 4 strata of society in our country: upper, middle, basic and lower. The scientist singles out the so-called desocialized social bottom as a separate category. Its main feature is complete alienation from the main social institutions and, on the contrary, involvement in criminal or partially criminalized groups. All this leads to the loss of abilities for a normal civilized life and desocialization. In her opinion, representatives of the bottom in Russia are people engaged in illegal criminal activities and engaged in banditry, theft, illegal underground trade, maintenance of brothels, as well as homeless people, drug addicts, vagrants, alcoholics and prostitutes.

bottom of social life

According to I. M. Ilyinsky, in 2007 there were 14 million people at the bottom. Of these, 4 million are homeless and the same number are street children, 3 are beggars and 3 more are prostitutes.

According to Academician Inozemtsev, up to 15% of the total population fall into the category of the lower strata. At the same time, the samehave border incomes between poverty and poverty. However, they do not fall out of the general canons of life and remain within the framework of a civilized society. But if the socio-economic situation in the country worsens, this second group can easily merge with the first, which will lead to a dangerous transformation of society and an increase in tension in the country.

According to sociologist N. D. Vavilina, the social bottom consists of the homeless, the homeless, former prisoners, beggars, alcoholics and drug addicts, homeless people, refugees and prostitutes.

Why do people go to the "bottom"?

In addition to those who become marginalized by their “vocation” (the so-called professional homeless people), many fall out of civilized life due to a combination of circumstances, lack of clear life goals and life strategies, addiction to alcohol and / or drugs, and sometimes and because of the malleability in terms of defending their own rights and interests. Children can also become street children for a variety of reasons.

Personal tragedies, dissatisfaction with society, widespread unemployment and social stratification can push to the social bottom of a person. Many limit themselves to drinking and/or wallowing in depression, but some go even further, thus falling out of the modern bustle of life.

homeless representative

The cruelty of modern life

Today's life is inherently no less cruel than it was several centuries ago. Only the form of this cruelty has changed, but the struggle for survival and a place under the sun, unfortunately, is not going anywhere.disappeared, they still play a leading role. If earlier such qualities as strength and endurance came to the fore, now it is intelligence, ingenuity, stress resistance, the ability to join a team, etc. Not everyone is able to cope with all these loads, and chronic stress has become problem No. 1 at 21 century. Social injustice and social inequality, including the massive spread of nepotism in modern Russia, leave obviously fewer chances for the majority of citizens of our country to meet their needs. At the same time, the so-called elite, on the contrary, enjoy privileges and an additional amount of social and material benefits.

Signs of stratification are clearly visible in the comparison of living standards in the Russian capital and in the regions.

Losing a job can also cause a lifestyle change in a negative direction.

homeless people in russia

Varieties of representatives of the bottom

Depending on the circumstances in which a particular person finds himself and his personal characteristics, there are several types of marginalized social bottom:

  • People without a fixed place of residence (homeless people). Their appearance is often associated with deprivation of housing due to divorce, deceit or lack of livelihood. It can also be caused by serving a prison sentence. Those who are mired in debts and unable to pay them off can also become homeless. In the US, there are also homeless "by vocation" who choose this way of life on purpose. Homeless people prefer landfills andother dirty places away from the bustle of the city. However, they can also be located in crowded areas (stations, underground passages). Often homeless people have a secondary or higher education.
  • Beggars who earn by begging passers-by. They can be found at train stations and other crowded places. They can either have their own housing or be deprived of it. In the second case, there is no clear line between the beggar and the homeless.
  • Homeless children. They were left homeless due to the loss of their parents or on their own initiative (as a rule, against the backdrop of a conflict with their parents). In the future, homeless children may become homeless.
  • Street prostitutes who do not work officially and receive their income from random clients. They can be found on the streets, especially in hot places. There are even children among them. A quarter of street prostitutes do not have a place of residence, that is, they are homeless. The minimum age is 14 years old. Often they are associated with criminal activity, drug addiction, alcoholism. These factors are often also the reasons why these people slide into the social ranks.

How do the inhabitants of the bottom live?

Two-thirds of the people at the bottom of social society are men. The most common age for homeless people and beggars is 45 years old, for prostitutes - 28 years old, for homeless people - 10 years old. The smallest street children are 6 years old, and the poorest 12 years old. Most of those who have recently found themselves at the "bottom" feel a sense of despair and hopelessness, and those who have already got used to such a life feel hopeless calm.

people on the social bottom

Street children are more optimistic.

The homeless choose dumps, basements, railway stations, heating mains and the sewerage system as their place of residence. Vagabonds and homeless people are distinguished by the maximum unsettled life. In addition to begging for money from passers-by, beggars can collect metal, glass containers, food and things in landfills; use temporary jobs. They eat low quality food and often in insufficient quantities. Many do not use medication at all. Vagabonds and homeless people, as a rule, do not use the services of doctors. Among prostitutes, about a third of their total number go to medical institutions.

What the statistics say

Almost 50% of the representatives of the social bottom do not see any way out of their situation, and 36% allow one. Most of them hope for social assistance and the opportunity to find a job in a low-skilled job, for medical and material assistance, and for the opening of free food outlets. However, the attitude of ordinary people towards representatives of the social bottom is mostly negative.

Being on the margins of society is typical for 10% of the urban population. According to statistics, there are about the same number of beggars as there are homeless people, a little less homeless children and much less street prostitutes. Homeless are 10 percent of the total number of children. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, there are between 100,000 and 350,000 homeless children in Russia.

Danger representatives

People on socialday, not always peaceful. Difficult living conditions and a sense of desperation or a criminal past make its representatives quite dangerous to society. They may be armed, including firearms, and prone to violence. Many may be under the influence of intoxicants. There are many criminalized personalities among prostitutes. Homeless people and beggars are less likely to be associated with crime and there are fewer dangerous people among them.

Those who are on the brink of the bottom

The process of stratification of society in our country is clearly expressed. On the one hand, the incomes of many already poor Russians are falling. On the other hand, those who are already well settled in their current lives become even richer. Therefore, more and more people are approaching the brink of the social bottom. It is characteristic that if we althy citizens look to the future more often with optimism (or neutrality), then representatives of the poor, on the contrary, with anxiety, fear, pessimism and despair. All this breeds apathy and depression and thus reduces the incentive to fight further. That is, it predetermines an even greater downward slide. According to statistics, more than 80% of the poor experience a constant feeling of anxiety. Many worry about the risk of sudden dismissal, loss of a job and the inability to find a replacement, the risk of non-payment of wages and a sharp rise in prices. And this is understandable, because all these factors can generally deprive a person of a livelihood.

marginal social bottom

The problem of the poor in Russia is most often seen by them in the risk of losing even more than in dissatisfaction with their currentposition to which they are somewhat accustomed. Being, thus, representatives of the bottom, they may at any moment be thrown out to the real social bottom.

In the category of the Don, you can meet educated, qualified and unskilled people, as well as citizens without education. Most of them are not to blame for the current situation, but turned out to be hostages of external circumstances in which they could not get along or even did not have such an opportunity. Most of them are unable to radically change their situation without external support. The only way to get out of a state of panic for many of them is to believe in God.


Thus, the main reason for the emergence of the lower social stratum is the unfavorable living conditions of people. Those who find themselves on the social bottom are called outcasts, beggars, homeless people, etc. According to forecasts, there may be even more of them in the future.

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