Tuesday, January 23, 2018 12:30 PM
What is a social problem?
A condition that is harmful to society
Terms "society" and "harm" aren't completely clear
Example of how one persons harmful condition is another's beneft IR
Commonly accepted definitions:
Social problems exist when there is a sizeable difference between the
ideals of a society and its actual achievement
Failure to close the gap
Objective - actual statistic proof
Gun statistics, poverty line, measurable differences
Subjective aspect of social problems - "the points is not so much that some conditions
cause harm, but that people think of some conditions as being harmful"
Relativity of definit what may be harmful to some is not harmful to
Lack of consensus
Theory of social constructionism
Describe the process by which people define a social problem into
Example: money- we give it meaning/value
dependent on root facts (brute facts - dont rely on anything else)
Brute facts vs institutional facts
The whole of reality depends on language and habits/actions, no
Social problems aren't a type of social condition, but rather a process of responding
to social conditions.
Most important American values (according to me):