According to Macionis (2010), a social problem is defined as "a condition that undermines the well-being of some or all members of society and is usually a matter of public controversy." Based on our initial discussion in class about what social problems are, please reflect on what your personal definition of a social problem is. Share your own definition of a social problem, and please make sure to provide an example of a social problem. Explain why you consider it to be a "social problem." Do you have any proposed solution(s) to addressing this social problem? If so, what is it/are they? 

Post a blog response to the above assignment by clicking on "Add Comment" below. Please make sure to include your name and email on the post (your email address will not be published). Please feel free to respond to your classmates' remarks as well. 

***Your response (blog post) to this blog above is required by Tuesday, October 25, 2011  at 11:59 p.m.***
André Mons Ybañez
10/22/2011 02:42:19

My personal definition of a social problem is any issue(s) that affect a population. These issues have can (and usually do) have an effect on others that are not directly affected by the issue in a sort of a chain reaction or “domino effect”.

For example, my maternal grandparents are Cuban immigrants. They are granted legal status because of the Wet Foot Dry Foot law. Recently, there has been much debate about the Dream Act, deportations, anti-immigrant laws, etc. which affect illegal immigrants in the United States. These are still social problems because this population has a heavy impact on the economy of the nation, although my family members are not directly affected by these issues, they are indirectly affected through changes in economy (small and big impacts). I personally feel directly affected because I have so many close friends that are undocumented and the majority of the middle school and high school students I work with are the ESOL population from Latino countries that are undocumented. I however, do not have a proposed solution to address any of these issues.

Kinley Bunting
10/24/2011 04:38:57

My definition of a social problem is a problem that directly affects a group of people and can indirectly affect others.
The occupation of Tibet by China is an example of a social problem because China ignored the territorial independence of Tibet. Since China’s invasion of Tibet China has refused to recognize the independence of the Tibetan people and have imposed strict laws to limit the rights of Tibetans. How this move and refusal affects others is that now China has now begun debating the boundary between Bhutan and Tibet. A solution to this problem is that the global community needs to put pressure on China to recognize Tibet’s independence and to leave Tibetan lands.

Rodney Washington
10/24/2011 10:53:40

My definition of a social problem are issues that affects a large group of people. I don't believe that issues such as the indian reservations are social problems because it only effects a small percentage of the United States population. An example of a social problem in my opinion is terrorism. For example, terrorism can affect anyone in the U.S. physically, mentally, and emotionally. My proposed solution for terrorism is for the Department of Homeland Security to add additional funds to their child agencies such as the TSA.

10/24/2011 11:52:05

My personal opinion of the definition of "social problem" are such issues/problems that may affect an idividual or other members of society directly or indirectly.For example: immigration, discrimination against certain religions, and wars; all of these problems have an affect whether is direct or indirect, in the long run it will have a negative effect on the entire population. Most social problems are caused by its own population, without knowing the long term effect.

gary stevenson
10/24/2011 12:28:54

my difinition of social problem is a condition that at least some people in a community believe/view as is undersirable. A social problem in my community which most people agree on is speeding trafic between 2nd and 16th st and east-west hwy. There are atleast 25 accidents a year in this location. I consider this a social problem because of the high rate of injuries and atleast one death a year.To solve this problem I belieave speed camaras should be mounted and tickets sent to all speeders,this would limit speeding in this area considerably.

Rebecca Odukoya
10/24/2011 14:10:39

To me, a social problem is an issue that is big enough to leave an impact on a decent amount of people no matter their economic worth. I feel that society does not recognize half of the social problems that are happening today just because of the people these problems effect. The poorest people have no value in society because they have no net worth. For example, if I were to take a wealthy man and a poor man and strip away of all materialistic items wont they be the same in value? But unfortunately i can not and the richest people have all the value and nearly control the country. One example of a social problem today is Occupy DC. And as much as I wish i had a solution I dont. But I feel that this country has been functioning on a corrupt wheel for a long time and now that the everyday citizens are finally retaliating it shall be interesting to see what lies ahead.

Wendy Maxwell
10/24/2011 22:37:55

My definition of a social problem is when you have an issue that directly or indirectly affect an individual, and which can affect a group of people in society, for example through morals and ethics.

A social problem greatly affecting society in India is the slavery of children, where children cost less than cattle. There are 27 MILLION slaves in the world today; the highest concentration of those slaves is in India (the second highest is in America). Working with groups like Call and Response to call on our nation's leaders to step in is one of several possible solutions, as slavery is often a looked-over topic.

Robel G. Beyene
10/24/2011 22:48:44

My personal definition about social problems is the carelessness or ignorance towards a certain group or people in common for which society will have to deal with in the future. For example, we saw this on the civil rights movement starting somewhere in the 1950s, eventually people wanting to stand up for there rights and fight for there freedom of discrimination. The true genius of Martin L. King is that he knew not all people thought a like. So he showed how his people were getting treated for peaceful protesting through the media. Which interne created more awareness towards black tyranny throughout the country. This helped show the cruelty set forth on a certain group which helped change the way we live today because of awareness we gained from society. The Pain Ridge issue is similar if not different from any other social problem. The best possible solution is to have as much media coverage on places like Pain Ridge to inform people throughout the country. I mean the swain-flu had the masses buying hand sanitizers, because of what the media informed the public. And I depict many people would start donating to Pine Ride and places like that if they were told about it. The bottom line is that the more people that know about it the more people that would do something,and vice versa.

Surafel Reta
10/25/2011 00:30:52

My definition of a social problem is any phenomena which negatively affects the well being of a given members of society.The degree to which a certain problem affects a group of people may vary depending on geographic location, socioeconomic status,culture and etc. It may even be negligible to some but the idea here is that a social problem is anything that has a negative impact and it doesn't nesessarly have to directly impact our own personal lives. The presentation we saw in class about Pine Ridge made me think about another aspect of social problem.Often when we talk about social problems we refer to problems we can can statisticaly quantify for instance crime,drug use and other problems can be measured easily but what about the moral aspect of social problems for example what does the history of Pine Ridge and the massacures that took place say about the ideas of Liberty and freedom in which this country was founded on. And how does this translate into our ideas of democracy and equality? The presentation made me think about the 1950's and 1960's where we were trying to sell deomcracy as a commodity while we had a segregated sociaety.

Chun Yung
10/25/2011 03:30:03

Social problem is a condition that people in the community view is not desirable. The social problem will damage and effect the society. The social problem will not only affect a individual and it will affect a group of people in the society.
in my opinion, drug and alcohol abuser is one of the social problem. These abusers think that they are just affecting themselves by drink and taking drugs. But it is not. When they drunk, they might hurt other people by drunk driving. In addition, abusers might go rob when they do not have enough money to buy drugs. These events will have a bad effect in the society. It affects a group of people in the society, so it define as a social problem.
For solution, government should make some laws to control this situation. For example, the Government should not let people buy alcohol if he had a drunk driving record before. In my opinion, the primary prevention is the most important prevention step,so the Government should provide some program for people to know about the bad effects that drug and alcohol brings. Let people fear the result of those bad effects and they will not try to do that.

Hawanya Jones
10/25/2011 04:24:40

My definition of a social problem is any and everything that effects any group of people in a drastic way. HIV/AIDS is not only a medical problem but a social and economic problem as well as a health issue. I believe culture aspects and lack of awareness about HIV/AIDS play a major role in the prevention of the disease. The many myths and misconception and not to mention the stigma of discrimination against people who have HIV/AIDS. 99% of those infected die without treatment because they can’t afford it an no one sees this as a social problem as long as it's not effecting them. Most people
get due to social issues such as using drugs, getting raped, not using a condom, etc. It’s also a social issue because individuals with it can spread it to others leading to death. It costs a lot of money to treat and those without the resources might ask the gov for help which makes it both an economic and social issue esp since insurance doesn’t cover it. Someone as rich like Magic Johnson can afford medication to keep him in HIV status and not get AIDS for 20 years. Whereas someone else without the money can die in a year so it's a huge social and economic issue world wide. I think people need to be more educated and health care should also cover this particular disease because to many people are dying daily, hourly etc... from HIV/AIDS.

Fraol Bejiga
10/25/2011 04:50:33

Social problems are any problem or negative phenomenon that affects the members of a society in a certain way. I see social problems in two ways. First are problems that affect the healthy existence of humanity in general. These problems are common to societies living in all corners of the world. They affect individuals, in spite of their racial, economic, and cultural difference. HIV/AIDS is a good example. I consider HIV/AIDS as a global social problem because it affects everyone regardless of their race, religion, gender and other differences. The effects of HIV/ AIDS can be reduced if individuals learn the cause and prevention and put it into effect. Second are problems that affects a certain group of people or individuals who share common features. For example, I don’t think a child in Toronto would be affected by the famine in Somalia or the war in Palestine. These may not be social problem in Toronto, but people in Somalia and Palestine are greatly affected. These are social problems limited to certain boundaries. The famine in Somalia can get solution if its people use modern agricultural system. The war in Palestine could end by strong negotiations and arbitration.

Lisa D.
10/25/2011 05:30:21

My definition of a social problem is one that affects the society the problem is present at. For example a famine or genocide going on in another country isnt considered a social problem because within my society it doesnt really effect me. It is a problem that everyone should be concerned with? YES! but people who are not living within that region are not affected by it directly. A social problem within my community is gentrification. In order to get rid of the low class people within the downtown silver spring area, new buildings and businesses have started rising within the area and causes rent and property taxes to go up. Because it is happening in the area I reside in and it affects me, I consider it a social issue. I don't think there's anything I could do as an invidual to stop this issue because by them bringing new businesses to the area it creates jobs which is another issue within the area.

Stephon Green
10/25/2011 05:47:54

A social problem is a conflict that affects relations between people in any one or more aspects of life. One example of a social problem is the ability of children to become independent from their parents. Due to the economy and lack of education that people receive as they grow up, they are less likely to earn high paying jobs and move out of their parent's house. Some grow older and older and still behave in a manner similar to when they where much younger, getting free food and shelter from their parents. Some of those who receive these benefits enjoy them, while others who are emotionally mature and motivated want to move out and be independent but are prevented from doing so by their own personal set backs. The ability to become independent can cause parents to experience disappointment and frustration due to their child not living up to the dreams, hopes and standards that both parties wanted. Also financial strain can be a factor as providing food, shelter and utilities is excessive and expensive. This problem can lead to emotional and physical conflict between children and parents and is thus a social problem.

nadja bruskin
10/25/2011 06:38:53

My definition of a social problem is something that annoys a bunch of people in thier various social situations. Work, home, family, anything from teh private small scale to a very large public scale can be identified as a socail problem. They can also affect each other in different ways. The most way I've seen it is the large scale public problems affecting smaller society like homes and families. Public school teachers are having problems right now which is affecting education which is creating a socail problem. Public policies are affecting teachers which is affecting the kids in the school and affecting the culture with in the school and with out even. Class room sizes have been getting larger on teachers and they are getting more pressure to get better test scores from their students and even gettign paid based on the test scores. This can create a socail problem because its very annoying for the teachers. The test scores they get from their students depends how much they get paid. This affects how they teach how they relate to other teachers and students and might even cause them to cheat to get paid well. This creates a problem in the education system becuase then that affects the students and might create an unfair situation for studnents and teachers.

Larai Umaru
10/25/2011 11:25:59

My definition of a social problem is when a great number of individuals in the same community are suffering from their current circumstance. One of the biggest social problems is poverty. Though there are several programs in place to assist individuals who live in poverty in the United States, however, in foreign countries ongoing help is few and far between. Unless there is a natural disaster, most impoverished countries are not going to recieve ongoing help and support. When one hears about billions of dollars in aid being sent to poor nations, we know that they will return to their former condition after the clean up. When you grow up in the United States you have a sense that no matter how bad it gets, it is always worse in other countries. Poverty is a social problem that angers some Americans because its is hard to believe that one could go hungry here. Others understand that they are one paycheck away from becoming homeless and hungry themselves. If we all could exercise some empathy, then the conversation about a solution to any social problem would be more productive.

armel djeuchoko
10/25/2011 12:20:22

To me, sociology problem is definetly the result of the way some people act. For instance the occupy in DC whereas people protesting to remind the wall street trader to take the jobs seriously and fix their mistakes because lots of people are getting hurt by it. Now that the majority of the world is been affected by it and our lovely president is doing what he can to fix their mistakesP regardless of the obstacles he is facing with the republicans which in most situation cares for themselves. I personally to prevent this from happening again the wall streets traders should put inn our shoes and take their jobs seriously instead to worry about their big checks. In other world treat others like they want to be treat it.

Hawaya A
10/25/2011 13:40:05

My definition of a social problem is an issue that affects a community/group of people and can indirectly affect others. An example would be the poor healthcare in the U.S. Around 40million people are without health insurance in the united states, it affects the unemployed, the lower class, and people who work but their jobs don't offer benefits. It can also affect the wealthy and the middle class who already have healthcare, because they don't really want to share their coverage, nor do they want to have an equal coverage. They believe what you pay is what you get, the more you spend the better healthcare I receive. I think President Obama's health care reform plan is a pretty good solution, it allows you

Hawaya A
10/25/2011 13:43:46

I think President Obama's health care reform plan is a pretty good solution, it allows the people who can't afford insurance to be covered *

Jeanne J-G
10/25/2011 14:23:03

My definition of a social problem is a condition that directly or indirectly affects many people as a community. An example of this is eating disorders. These disorders affect females and men all across the country and in other countries. 5-10 girls in the United States are affected by this horrible disease. And if a person does not have an eating disorder, they can still be affected by it due to their own perception of themselves, if a family member has one, and the way eating disorders are portrayed in the media. Ways to help is to get people of all ages help if they need it by sending them to treatment centers or getting them therapy. Also it would help if society did not put so much pressure on women to be thin.

mydiem le
10/25/2011 14:36:17

My definition of a social problem would be an issue affecting but not limited to a person or group of people. Whether the group of people is small it large, although it may not affect everyone in the world personally nor may it be known to any wide range of people, the issue still may be considered a social problem. For example, people may be pressed about the issue of the war in iraq, saying and thinking that our soldiers could be dying and worrying about them everyday. What some people don't know is more people die because of obesity in one year vs. The lower number in troop deaths. Yes, the war in Iraq is a very important social issue that should be addressed, the social issue of obesity is not as popular. There are many social issues/ problems that people do not feel that they are affected, but it doesn't mean they do not exist.

Aljahai H
10/31/2011 11:54:18

My definition of a social problem is anything that negatively affects a group of people, regardless of race, status or location. One of the biggest social problems I see is poverty. It affects people of all colors and countries. And unfortunately it goes beyond the people sitting on street corners begging, or the countless masses struggling to survive. Many so called middle class families endure the daily worry of falling into poverty if they get laid off, someone gets sick, etc. These people are supposedly making above minimum wage yet are struggling to keep themselves and their families afloat. Why is it, that unless your making millions of dollars, you are doomed to scratch out an existence? Why can't our economies be tailored for all, so that everyone can benefit and at least have a peace of mind when it comes to their finance? Not a handout, just having our dollars go further.


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