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Exploring Social Problems in Sociology

1. What is a social problem, discuss with example:

A social problem can be defined as the issue that has negative implications on the entire society thereby affecting the lifestyle, activities and behaviour of society people (Pawson and Grov, 2018). Alexis-Martin (2019), mentioned the social problem as the condition in the society that is considered as the unfavourable and undesirable by many people in the society.. On the other hand Prasad (2018) defined a social problem as he condition or a deviant behaviour towards a disapproved direction that exceeds the tolerance level c society people.

One the most common social problems is unemployment which impacts adversely on the lifestyle, social economy, education, activities and behaviour of society people. Unemployment has become a major social issue in the world which reduces the quality of living standard of society people.

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2. What is the social construction of asocial problem ad what is its difference from the common sense approaches:

The Social Constructionism approach was first introduced in the Book” Social Construction of Reality” written by sociologist Thomas Luckman and Peter L. Berger. Social Constructionism believes that a social problem is a socially created concept (Lewis and Salem, 2017). Although society views these problems as natural or real, these are actually the invention of the concerned society and do not reflect accurately to the reality (Malizia, 2017) For example, Social Constructionists believe that the major social issues such as gender and racial inequalities and disabilities are socially constructed concepts and have no reflection on the real aspects. As mentioned by Koskelainen and Hjelm (2017), social constructionism believes that the concept of different social problem is created by particular social culture of institution based on the contemporary social circumstance.

The major difference between the common sense approach and the social constructionism approach regarding defining a social problem is, the former one views a social problem as a real issue in the society that impacts adversely on the lives of society people (Malizia, 2017). On the other hand, the social constructionism approach views social problem as the socially created aspect that has no relation with the real aspect.

For example, Social constructionists view the racial discrimination as the socially constructed aspect which has no reflection of the real world (Lewis and Salem, 2017). On the contrary< based on the common sense approach this racial discrimination in society is a major social problem worldwide that needs immediate response from government and public to overcome it .

3. A social issue becomes a social problem if discussed in public sphere, explain with example:

While discussing in relation to public context, a social issue becomes a major social problem that adversely impacts the lives, healthcare, activities, behaviour and interaction of society people (Lewis and Salem, 2017). This means while social problems are viewed in terms of its interaction with its people, it is seen that these social issues interfere with the activities of daily living, holistic wellbeing, welfare, social interaction and the communication process of the society people (Prasad, 2018).

For example, unemployment is major social issue worldwide, while it is considered in terms of impacting on the lives of society people. The employment and income level of a society decide the living standard, education, and the quality of lifestyle of its people. Unemployment not only hampers the financial capacity of social people but also impacts adversely on their physical, psychological and emotional wellbeing.

4. What is a moral panic? discuss with example

In sociology moral panic is described as the widespread fear that pose severe threats to the safety, values and interest of a society at large (Prasad, 2018). South African sociologist Stanley Cohen had introduced the phrase ‘moral panic’. He represented moral panic as the irrational aspect in a society that interferes with moral values of a society. As mentioned by Alexis-Martin (2019), moral panic is generally experienced by people who are sociality marginalised. The stereotyping trend and discrimination make these socially neglected people more vulnerable to moral panic.

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Example of moral panics are ant gender movement and human trafficking.

Reference list:

Alexis-Martin, B., 2019. Book Review: Troublemakers: The Construction of ‘Troubled Families’ as a Social Problem.

Koskelainen, S. and Hjelm, T., 2017. Christ vs. Communism: Communism as a Religious Social Problem in Finland's Proto‐Fascist Lapua Movement in the 1930s. Journal of Historical Sociology, 30(4), pp.768-788.

Krahn, H.J., Chow, A., Galambos, N.L. and Johnson, M.D., 2018. Enlightenment or status defence? Education and social problem concerns from adolescence to midlife. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 39(7), pp.942-960.

Lewis, D.A. and Salem, G.W., 2017. Fear of crime: Incivility and the production of a social problem. Routledge.

Malizia, N., 2017. A social problem: Individual and group rape. Advances in applied sociology, 7(3), pp.95-114.

Pawson, M. and Grov, C., 2018. ‘It's just an excuse to slut around’: gay and bisexual mens’ constructions of HIV pre‐exposure prophylaxis (Pr EP) as a social problem. Sociology of health & illness, 40(8), pp.1391-1403.

Prasad, M., 2018. Problem-solving sociology. Contemporary Sociology, 47(4), pp.393-398.


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