What Happened?!

By Jumana Ghunaimat

تم نشره في Wed 31 August / Aug 2016. 11:30 PM - آخر تعديل في Thu 1 September / Sep 2016. 12:04 AM
  • Jumana Ghunaimat

Jordanians are most commonly, on all levels; official and popular, concerned with the Country’s economy. Publically speaking, people are so preoccupied with the unfolding of Jordan’s economic situation, and theirs; naturally, to the point that they now deliberate economic news that was not so long ago exclusive to the elites; like indebtedness, deficits, and inconsistencies in foreign aids and grants.

The most commonly raised question is: “where are we heading?”; what solution is there to a culminating economic predicament that touches the very depths and detail of their daily lives?

Usually, this line of inquiry usually hits a brick wall of conviction that government policy, coupled with a deteriorating regional situation, is all in all short of solutions that would, overall alleviate the intensity of the crisis. Everybody is complaining about the governments’ short handedness in retaining authority or recovering stolen public funds; to at least find and hold the corrupted accountable.

The economic question is not limited to the major, macro issues, but how these issues affect daily living for people and families; which why interest has increased in economy. It is for this particular reason “Um Hmoud”, a Jordanian mother, decides to transfer her children from private to government schools, not because public schooling has outdone private schools, but simply because she could no longer afford it.

She says: “I made sure my children go to an affordable private school to protect them of the dangerous behaviours spreading across public schools. Certainly public schools do not provide a beneficial education for them, but there’s nothing else I can do!”

Most complaints are about the financial difficulties people endure, that have become too much for most Jordanian families, which by the way are results of official reinterring policies that our governments have been resorting to in order to silence the pain, but not at all address its causes. All these coarse decisions passed by the government have drained people’s incomes. Granted, many of them are overly into distorted consumption behaviours.

Here we have a difficult economic crisis, opposed by either insufficient or useless resolution. Accordingly, this only means that society still has to endure harsh economic years to come, in all the hardship that accompanies that, as well as the more bitter social products of these conditions, only beginning to surface now; from violence, to crime, extremism, all the way to using and abusing narcotics, notwithstanding. Which also mean we need to prepare for this difficult course we’re sailing; we need of our specialists and sociologists to start researching and investigating shifts is social and societal structures, from previous experiences, as well as anticipated.

Concerned and respective parties, more so, need to supervise and drive these studies to stand on the changes society have and will undergo, in order to perhaps successfully identify and diagnose new and emergent behaviours, patterns, and phenoms, as is expected to rise in light of continued economic tightening, ranging from extremism to crime. Subsequently, we need to ask a question: “what happened to the people?”, “our society was never the way it is now. So, what happened?”

Economic factors are the primary drivers and enablers of social change, as well as the primary indicators to understanding change. Economic shifts in Jordan have deeply affected our society; the suspension of public employment, and the partial abandonment of pastoralism without the provision of fitting alternatives. Much can be concluded from the spread of poverty and unemployment, and the deterioration of the middle class.

So, sociologists and psychologists need to step into the field, now, and keep a close tune, with precision, to societal shifts; perhaps the more we understand about our society today, the more we are able to address future changes imminent, with emplacement of necessary precautions at the same time.