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 Please make sure to include your name and email on the post (your email address will not be published). In addition to responding to answering the questions above, please also make sure to respond to three of your classmates' remarks as well. 
***Your response (blog post) to this blog above is required by Tuesday, November 6, 2012  at 11:59 p.m.. AND your three separate responses to your classmates are due on Thursday, November 8, 2012***
S. Golnaz Athari
05/11/2012 11:45

A social problem is a phenomenon that causes entanglements and difficulties, either directly or indirectly, to all the people of a society. Poverty is an example of a social problem. Even those who are wealthy could be endangered of this issue; If a poor person becomes too frustrated and sees no way out of his/her misery and couldn't emancipate him/herself out of atrophy, nothing would stop him/her from hurting others or from breaking laws and conducting crimes such as robbery, homicide, etc.

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Eric Fausto Pagdanganan
05/11/2012 13:01

I agree with your explanation of social problem. The negative effect of social problems on people could provoke a person in doing bad things as you illustrated in your example.

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Sean Simmons
05/11/2012 17:06

The threat of going to jail might squelch someone's desire to break laws...

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Fabrice Mboua
06/11/2012 08:08

I agree with your explanation about what is a social problem. As we have seen even the richest people in the world are compelled to turn to crime when they believe their fortune might be in jeopardy.

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Richard Yi
08/11/2012 21:10

Exactly. This is one reason as to why we see white collar crimes occurring. Poverty is a huge social problem in the world, but do you think we are on the right path to help those in poverty achieve a better standard of living?

Daritza Lahoz
06/11/2012 13:09

I also agree with your definition of what a social problem is. The affect that poverty has is also unbelievable. The matter of taking the law into one’s own hands also questions the motive the person has. When committing a crime, we seem to pay more attention to envy and “payback” instead of acknowledging the only way many people will be able to receive a peace of mind. The issue with this also relates to who is actually receiving justice: the person who seeks a peace of mind, or the person who sought homicide as their only means of survival. This later purposes the issue of gun laws, the death penalty, over population in jails, etc.

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Jeffrey Mitche
06/11/2012 22:39

That is true when there is no hope or direction for them to look tofor progress and bettering themselves.

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Eric fausto Pagdanganan
05/11/2012 12:54

A social Problem for me is a social issue that can have effect on many people. For example, domestic violence and pollution are two of many social problems that we commonly discuss in our society.Domestic violence could happen in every household of all social classes in society.Pollution is one of the major social topic. we have seen that climate changing brings us natural disasters that we normally do not experience in our area. Pollution can be minimized by becoming environmental friendly and going green. Welfare programs could be organized for the victims of domestic violence..

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Sean Simmons
05/11/2012 17:02

I agree with you, Eric, that domestic violence is a big problem because, as you said, it could be happening in every(or any) household. In order for a problem to be recognized someone has to come forward, which doesn't happen enough because for most it is a very sensitive and sometimes embarrassing problem. Programs exist that assist victims of domestic violence, but it's an ongoing problem because it is almost impossible to prevent.

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Fabrice Mboua
06/11/2012 08:21

I agree that domestic violence is probably one of the most glaring examples of a social problem. Domestic violence is one of those problems that tends to perpetuate throughout generations, because the children that are growing up in that environment usually tend to duplicate that type of behavior, and the cycle of violence never ends.

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taiwoayantunji
08/11/2012 20:40

I think, climate change is not a good example of social problem because there are some people who sincirely believe that there is nothing like Climate change or global warming. However, there is no index to determine whether climate change is a social problem or not.

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Sean Simmons
05/11/2012 16:54

I understand a social problem to be an issue that affects human relationship and general well-being negatively. I consider the issue of birth control, or the over-begetting of people, to be a major issue. The earth's burgeoning population intensifies overconsumption, and subsequently all the issues related to overconsumption.

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Golnaz Athari
05/11/2012 23:07

It could be helpful to educate people around the world on the negative consequences of earth over population, as well as the benefits of using contraceptives. Governments play a role in this matter. In some countries like China there is harsh punishment for those who violate the government’s controversial “one-child policy”. However in some other countries like Sudan, according to Nicholas Kristof in his book Half the Sky, “the average man receives one condom every five years “.

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taiwoayantunji
08/11/2012 21:01

The issue of ''one-child policy'' in china is unheard -off. It is hard to believe that a civilised country like China is still making laws that violate the fundermental rights of it citizen in this 21st century. I hope and pray for the restoration of a true democrazy in that country; the good people of china deserve to be freed.However, i agree with some people that china has to control it birth rate in one way or another but violations of human rights is not the best way to control or reduce it birth rate.

Franklin Okonsky
08/11/2012 21:45

Educating women in particular is vital to preventing over population. There is a direct correlation between women's years of education and rates of birth.

Fabrice Mboua
06/11/2012 08:31

I agree that over population is a very serious example of a social problem, especially for the coming years. Over population affects many things, but the most glaring has to be the destruction of nature. Naturally if there is an increase in the population, the demand for domiciles will increase. And since we are already strapped for space, the next step would be to go after the remaining open lands in communities around the world.

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Daritza Lahoz
06/11/2012 12:56

I agree that this is an issue. We don’t acknowledge the affect overpopulation has on our environment. If we continue to over populate our planet, we there will eventually not have enough resources to support every person in our planet.
The use of birth control is also an issue because many religions do not approve of it. Not only is this an issue of questioning a person’s moral value, but it also questions the actual extent to which females have control over their own bodies.

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Fabrice Mboua
05/11/2012 21:59

I personally define a social problem as being a divisive issue that affects everyone in a community, and it usually has adverse outcomes and consequences.

An example of a social problem that has been generating a lot of buzz in this area is that of gambling in Maryland, and the subsequent distrust of government officials about the allocation of the earnings. I consider it a social problem because of it being such a divisive topic. On either side of the spectrum, both sides are arguing about the possible outcomes. Those who are for the legalization of gambling are arguing that the profits would funnel money back into the community, create thousands of jobs, and help bolster schools and other programs that are in need of financial assistance. Where as those who are against this issue argue that the legalization of gambling would not funnel money into our schools or other much needed programs (Citing recent history. Allegedly money earned from the lottery went to building stadiums and not schools as promised). Those against the issue are also worried that gambling would have a spike in crime and gambling addicts. I believe anytime government officials are dishonest about the way money gets distributed is a huge social problem because it creates distrust in government. Whenever you have distrust, it can take away from any potential ventures that could indeed have a major positive effect on our community. The public will believe that the government is always putting their personal motives in front of ours whenever data like that of the lottery earnings comes out, because it is just another example of the government being dishonest.

My proposed solution is pretty simple, but by no means am I an economist, and my solution could probably not be even fiscally possible,but one can dream. Before the casinos are even completed, the government already has an estimate on the projected earnings the casinos will accumulate. Instead of prematurely allocating a certain percentage to schools or other programs, wait until their calendar year is up and with the available money they have to allocate, divide the money proportionally to the necessary programs. With the most money going to the more important programs like schools. If the government believes road revitalization programs is more of a glaring issue at the time, come out and say that, don't say the money will go to schools simply because that's what everyone wants to hear, and then spend the money on stadiums. The casinos could in fact bolster our local economy here, and I am known to frequent casinos, but if the price for that is blatant dishonesty by the people we elect to carry out our best interests, I would vote against casinos in Maryland.

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Daritza Lahoz
06/11/2012 12:48


I definitely agree on your definition of a social problem and that the casinos are a major issue in our society. I believe that the only reason it has come to be a problem is because there is not a sufficient amount of evidence that shows us where the money is actually going. I also agree with your opinion that this social problem has created a web of more problems which includes the government only telling us what we want to hear. I don’t think that it would make sense for something that is being promised to later be given to something that the government thinks is more important. We then question who decides on which programs are more important than others. If we then let the government decide, there would be continuous debates and protest because the public may not agree with what the decision of the government. It is our responsibility to acknowledge why the government does not inform the public on certain issues and consider why their decision may have been the best one at the time.
I also believe that the only reason casinos are such a big issue is because they are using children as their means of advertising. Seeing pictures of children in almost all the ads for voting yes on this question distracts us from seeing the underlying problem of the distribution of money. The distraction allows us to focus more on making the children happy rather than other issues that arise when casinos are in place such as what you identified as crime, gambling addicts etc.
The only reason why I would vote yes is because it brings jobs, if it wasn’t for this reason, I would vote against it.

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Jeffrey Mitchell
06/11/2012 22:44

I agree because bringing in a activity like gambling opens up door more negative than positive . Like creating habits and raising crime rates. An the assumption that the money from the casino will not go to eduction and up lifting the community. But that it is designed to make the rich richer for the owners and etc.

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Richard Yi
08/11/2012 21:35

I understand where you are coming from, but I feel like your statements are subjective. Some casinos actually donate millions of dollars to charities and to society. Although casinos may not have specifically contributed towards education, the general public does not yet know exactly what the outcome will be.

Franklin Okonsky
08/11/2012 21:53

I would disagree with your definition of a social problem as I don't believe a social problem has to affect everyone in a community. It can just negatively affect a group or groups within a community but not everyone and still be a social issue.

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Daritza Lahoz
06/11/2012 12:12

A social problem is an issue that many people in a single society view as interrupting or as a barrier to reaching a desired goal. Defining an issue as a social problem may depend on whether or not it has been a continuous issue that has lasted for a long period of time, and must affect the majority of the population in a society in some way or another. Social problems also raise a significant amount of inequality and unfair treatment to the members of a society in which one group is viewed as being more advantaged than the other. Social problems are controversial on several levels because something that may be seen as an issue to a particular society may not be that to another. It is important to consider keeping an open mind when addressing social problems because social problems will always exist. Acknowledging their existence is important to understanding that there will always be something several members of a society view as an issue which therefore creates a web that is not capable of being diminished.
An example of a social problem would be that of low income families. In today’s presidential election, President Obama is fighting for these families because he believes that “no house hold making more than 1 million each year should pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than a middle class family pays” (Barack Obama). As a result, he proposes that high income families/ millionaires should be paying more in taxes. This proposes a great social problem because there is a great gap that separates the rich and the poor. While there are several people struggling to pay their rent, there are also people who are living luxurious lifestyles while still paying the same amount of taxes low income families make. An obvious example of discrimination for low income families include the stigma that they are at fault for not being able to make enough money. This is definitely a social problem in America because it is evident that the gap between the rich and the poor may not be this large in another country. I believe that the only way this problem can be fixed is if President Obama wins the election. If Obama wins, the gap will definitely decrease and will therefore allow low income families to save much more money.

"Barack Obama." Barack Obama. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Nov. 2012. <http://www.barackobama.com/?source=action-bar>.

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Franklin Okonsky
08/11/2012 21:49

Obama will have trouble decreasing that gap as republicans still control congress and will veto any bills that increase taxes on the rich.

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Tyree Gray Wesley
06/11/2012 16:50

When I think of social problems my definition of it means many things, social problem can be any issue that affects a group of people or a whole society. There are many levels of social problems and many word that form a definition for social problems. An example of a social problems in are world is the water crisis in Africa and other countries. Which is not a real issue here in the United States because even though we do not have clean water in our kitchen sinks in a lot of our neighborhoods, we fix that issue at home with water purifiers, hot & cold water 5 gallon dispensers, buying water to drink at home, and etc. Those countries do not have it easy like we do in the United States. We as humans need water to survive and being unable to have clean and clear water for you and your family is a big issue in my eyes. If we all can help those organizations that help those countries it can make a big difference in people’s lives. Why can’t we help more to get water purifiers, water dispensers, and etc. to those countries, so they can receive drinkable water from their lakes, rivers, and etc. nearby?

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Jeffrey Mitchell
06/11/2012 22:50

It is true that a social problem affects certain groups of people everywhere of different ethinic backgrounds and it is terrible how we stereotype one another for example middle eastern people as terrorist or assume that all black people can play basketball that jus proves the constant ignorance within the community.

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Eric Pagdanganan
08/11/2012 16:41

In africa, I think african governments should invest more in improving their water system especially countries in central africa.

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Tyree Gray Wesley
09/11/2012 00:00

I agree because its sad they suffer and we dont appreciate what we have here.

taiwoayantunji
06/11/2012 20:59

A social problem in my own perspective is a trend or thing that directly affect people in a community and seems to generate fustration and anger. For example, gang fight in chicago is one of the practical example of social problem, auto theft in dictrict of columbia is another example of social problem, corruption in Nigeria is a social problem in nigeria.

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Richard Yi
08/11/2012 08:58

I like all the examples of social problems you mentioned for those communities, but those social problems also exist in other communities as well. For example, California has even more problems with auto theft. The rise of this social problem has led to developing agencies like the auto theft task force to help minimize its affect on society.

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taiwoayantunji
08/11/2012 20:33

I completely agree with you that there are other communities battling with the afore-mentioned social problems but the space and time did not permit me to mention all the communities battling with the afore-mentioned social problems.I didn't mean to target a particular state or a certain georgraphical area.

Eric Fausto Pagdanganan
08/11/2012 16:36

how do you think Nigerians can solve corruption problem in their country?

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Jeffrey Mitchell
06/11/2012 22:36

I feel that social provlems what we are subjected to live by everyday. An it affects us in multiple ways of our life through politcs,media, and etc and this what we seem to go by becuase media tells us how to dress,talk,and act.While politcs raise our takes to serve lift up the wealthy and to put down people who are poor.

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Tajuana Merella
06/11/2012 22:44

I think that a social problem is something that negatively affects all/groups of people within a society. An example of a social problem is a lack of proper education for those in poverty or low income households. I believe this is a social problem because education plays a key role in helping people progress, and a lot of times there isn’t enough money being put into schools in low income neighborhoods. If a school lacks proper resources, it hinders the learning process for students, and I feel that this is a problem that impacts many and needs to change.

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Golnaz
08/11/2012 13:01

According to the U.S department of education “Education is primarily a State and local responsibility in the United States. Of an estimated $1.15 trillion being spent nationwide on education at all levels for school year 2011-2012, a substantial majority will come from State, local, and private sources. This is especially true at the elementary and secondary level, where about 87.7 percent of the funds will come from non-Federal sources. “. (The Federal Role in Education)
To address this issue, the residents and representatives of low income neighborhoods could get assistance from the state government for building new schools.

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Tyree Gray Wesley
08/11/2012 23:58

Worldwide lack of proper education for those in poverty is an issue. Why do you think we have like no child left behind act and people like Oprah, and Obama fight for that social problem? Oprah supplies and help build schools in Africa who are in poverty and can’t afford supplies, and bigger schools to educate the children around there. And does that money go to the schools that really need it?

Tyree Gray Wesley
08/11/2012 23:31

That’s true and kids in those situations sometimes can't see themselves being anything in life but a rapper or baller. They think that only because they feel if they work hard enough, they can be rich and get away. A lot of kids in that situation can't see themselves applying themselves in there schools and getting a good education and being something in life. They do not see anyone around them from where they are doing something with their lives. If the government would put money into those schools that really need it, like no child left behind act it would help fix this social problem and help are economy. It will also help encourage family members to go back, and get their education if they never graduated from high school or college and earn more careers than slaving at these low paying jobs.

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Tyree Gray Wesley
08/11/2012 23:32

That’s true and kids in those situations sometimes can't see themselves being anything in life but a rapper or baller. They think that only because they feel if they work hard enough, they can be rich and get away. A lot of kids in that situation can't see themselves applying themselves in there schools and getting a good education and being something in life. They do not see anyone around them from where they are doing something with their lives. If the government would put money into those schools that really need it, like no child left behind act it would help fix this social problem and help are economy. It will also help encourage family members to go back, and get their education if they never graduated from high school or college and earn more careers than slaving at these low paying jobs.

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Tyree Gray Wesley
08/11/2012 23:33

That’s true and kids in those situations sometimes can't see themselves being anything in life but a rapper or baller. They think that only because they feel if they work hard enough, they can be rich and get away. A lot of kids in that situation can't see themselves applying themselves in there schools and getting a good education and being something in life. They do not see anyone around them from where they are doing something with their lives. If the government would put money into those schools that really need it, like no child left behind act it would help fix this social problem and help are economy. It will also help encourage family members to go back, and get their education if they never graduated from high school or college and earn more careers than slaving at these low paying jobs.

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Richard Yi
06/11/2012 23:37

A Social problem is an ongoing issue that negatively influences parts or the whole public. An example of a social problem is campus crimes. I feel like this is a social problem that has been constantly on the rise, especially in the past decade. Campus crime is a social problem because students are getting harmed on campus and can sometimes make students feel unsafe. This leads to parents feeling that the school is not a safe learning environment, which can lead to bad grades and other social problems like bullying, hate crimes, or even rape. In order to address this issue, I would suggest that campuses create a more responsive plan in case of emergencies. They can do this by adding more of those blue emergency help towers on campus. Another great way to deter campus crime would be to add a lot of security cameras throughout the campus. At the University of Maryland, their emergency help towers have a moving camera above each tower and is constantly being observed by police auxiliary every second. Montgomery College and other campuses can also put up a lot more light posts outside so the campus is lit up at night. Colleges can even hire staff primarily just for emergency calls that are instantly ready to report to the scene of the crime. These are just a few solutions that campuses can implement in order to address this social problem.

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Franklin Okonsky
06/11/2012 23:59

A social problem is an issue that affects a large enough portion of the population to be considered a society in a negative fashion. An example of a social problem would be smoking indoors. When a great enough group of people decided that tobacco smoke was too harmful not only the smokers, but those around them, it was outlawed. I don't have a solution as I believe it was handled in the correct manner.

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